Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Where Are They Now?: "Freaks and Geeks"

The most obvious answer to this question might seem to be "in Judd Apatow's movies," but some of the kids from this great one-season show have just seemed to disappear altogether. So, just in case one person besides me would care about this, here goes:

Lindsay Weir
First of all, how in the world is the simply stunning Linda Cardellini not a major movie star? I'm very happy she has had a five-year-and-counting run on "ER," but I gave up on that show years ago. The only movie I can remember seeing her in was "Brokeback Mountain," as the waitress who removed all doubt that Heath's cowboy was indeed completely gay. Her upcoming projects are the Larry McMurtry TV miniseries "Comanche Moon," coming to USA in December, and then the movie "The Heaven Project," a thriller directed by John Glenn (probably not the 86-year-old former astronaut) which she appears to be toplining with Paul Walker.

Sam Weir
Believe it or not, John Francis Daley is the star of a flick I have only heard rumblings about but sounds pretty frigging cool. An autobiographical flick from Patrick Read Johnson titled "5-25-77," it's about (in case the title didn't give it away) one dude's quest to see "Star Wars," which is surely impeded by various complications. If anyone knows anything more about this, please let me know. He also popped up once on the the funniest thing on the Internets, Michael Cera and Clark Duke's

Daniel DeSario
Clearly the most successful of the Freaks or Geeks (except for maybe Seth Rogen), James Franco has just gotten into the directing game with "Good Time Max," for which he's now making the festival circuit. He also co-wrote and stars in the flick, which is described thusly at the IMDB: Two genius brothers grow up and grow apart as one becomes a successful surgeon and the other pursues a drug-fueled high life. I have to assume Mr. Franco is the latter, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. He also had a bizarrely small part in Paul Haggis' "In the Valley of Elah" and has two other upcoming projects listed: The stoner-buddy-witness-a-murder flick with Seth Rogen "Pineapple Express," coming next summer, and then something called "Nights in Rodanthe," in which he will play Richard Gere's son for Broadway guru George C. Wolfe.

Ken Miller
Although I don't think I'll get there anytime soon, it's entirely possible that the world is gonna have too much Seth Rogen, 'cause he's gonna be just about everywhere. Next up, early next year, he's starring in "The Spiderwick Chronicles," a family-friendly fantasy from Nickelodeon (I think) and based on the books by Holly Black. After that comes the aformentioned "Pineapple Express," which he co-wrote with partner Evan Goldberg, and then another "Star Wars"-themed flick you may have heard of, "Fanboys." Then he turns to two animated projects I can't say I'm terribly excited about, "Horton Hears a Who" (why!?!?) and "Kung Fu Panda."

Neal Schweiber
The last place I can remember seeing Samm Levine was standing on line waiting to get into that club in the "OK, Awesome" episode of "How I Met Your Mother." Since then he's mainly done short stints on TV (including one appearance on "Veronica Mars," huzzah!) and apparently (though I have no way of confirming this) had a role this year in the Amanda Bynes flick "Sydney White." His newer projects are "Anderson's Cross," a comedy which, although it apparently won "Best International Feature" at the 2007 Bridgetown Film Festival in Barbados, is probably out on DVD already, and then some kind of marriage comedy titled "Made for Each Other."

Bill Haverchuck
Always my favorite of the "Freaks and Geeks" crew, Martin Starr also appeared on an episode of "HIMYM" (yes, it's gonna keep appearing, so forgive the abbreviation), in which he got to flirt with Cobie Smulders. He's also remained solidly in the Apatow camp, appearing in both "Knocked Up" and (briefly) "Superbad" this summer. His only new project listed is something called "Good Dick," which will hopefully be as silly as its title implies but which I couldn't find out anything else about.

Nick Andopoulis
Jason Segel, of course, is one of the main stars of what is quickly becoming my favorite network TV show, the very-often-mentioned-today "HIMYM." He and Alyson Hannigan are even more adorable on screen than they would seem to be on paper. Next summer he'll get his directing debut courtesy of Mr. Apatow, the rather unfortunately titled "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." The few early reviews I've seen of this one haven't been promising, but with Mr. Segel and Kristen Bell as the stars, I'll definitely be there.

Kim Kelly
There must be some "HIMYM"-"Freaks and Geeks" connection I don't know about, because Busy Phillips appeared on the show this season as (gentlemen, control yourselves) one third of Ted's threesome that also included Danica McKellar (the former Winnie Cooper, who has, to put it as crudely as possible, growed up good.) Her only new project is something called "Made of Honor," which appears to be a romantic comedy (hence the rather painfully punny title) headlined by Michelle Monaghan and Patrick Dempsey.

Harold Weir
Don't worry, we're almost finished, but I couldn't omit the parents, could I? Long after his legendary work in "SCTV," Canuck Joe Flaherty contributed perhaps the funniest moment on "Freaks and Geeks" with his Vietnam speech. The only project I could find for the great Mr. Flaherty was some kind of (Canadian, I think) summer-camp comedy called "Summerhood."

Jean Weir
Becky Ann Baker, since "Freaks and Geeks," has sadly not had much acting work to speak of beyond bit TV parts. Her most recent stint listed was a three-episode arc earlier this year on "All My Children."

And, of course, how could I wax nostalgic about the greatest one-season-only TV show without including a clip? Here's one of my favorites, in which Daniel joins the geeks for a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Enjoy, and have an entirely bearable Wednesday.

P.S.: If you happen to live anywhere near Macon, please make your way to the Capitol Theatre downtown tonight for a very special event. Georgia actor Ray McKinnon will be presenting his new film, "Randy and the Mob," at 7:30 p.m., and then sticking around to answer questions afterward. At $10 at ticket, it won't be cheap, but you have my guarantee this will make for a very entertaining evening. Hopefully I'll see you there.


jeremy said...

$10 a ticket isn't cheap? Man, Macon must really be in the middle of nowhere.

Reel Fanatic said...

It more than sort of is, Jeremy, but my reaction mostly probably just implies that I myself am quite a miser

Chalupa said...

I'm so glad you've made a post about Freaks and Geeks since it is one of the best shows of all time for me.

Did you see Daley in Waiting? I loved the end of that. I also saw an episode or two of Kitchen Confidential.

One short you might want to check out is Eyeball Eddy starring Martin Starr. It's about a highschool wrestler with a glass eye.

Chris said...

Wow...I didn't even know that was Danica McKellar in the threesome episode of HIMYM. Easily one of my first crushes.

Reel Fanatic said...

You probably know this already, Chris, but she also appeared in a very funny episode from season one titled "The Pineapple Incident" ... The world would be a much better place with more Winnie Cooper in it, in my opinion

And thanks for the head's up about that short flick, Chalupa .. I'm not sure where I'd be able to find it, but I'll definitely try

Chalupa said...

I only know about that short because my wife has a copy of it. I'll ask her if it's copyable. I don't know if it's something she bought or just something she got on a dvd when she was doing film school in LA.

Reel Fanatic said...

Do let me know what you find out Chalupa ... Given the wonders of Youtube, I wouldn't be surprised if it's available online somewhere

Bob said...

My favorite TV show ever. It never fails to put a smile on my face no matter what kind of day I'm having. Always happy to see it get the love it deserves.
There's a trailer online for "5-25-77." I first saw it more than two years ago. It's been sitting around for a very long time. God knows if it will ever see the light of day, which is a shame because it looks really good. I'm sure you can find it on youtube.
Bill was my favorite character too. Hopefully he'll get some bigger roles.
You should rent "The TV Set" if you haven't yet (very good movie). The commentary with Jake Kasdan and Judd Apatow reveals that much of that movie is based on the experience of making "Freaks and Geeks."
I guess the people I wonder about the most are Millie and Harris. I haven't seen her since her stint as the one "potential" who didn't annoy me on the last season of "Buffy." And I don't think he's done anything since "The Royal Tenenbaums." I hope they turn up again soon.

Reel Fanatic said...

Now I'm thoroughly embarrassed, Bob, to have to admit that I had no idea that was Harris as Dudley in "The Royal Tenenbaums" ... As I've made clear on this site probably way too often, I'm a tremendous fan of Wes Anderson, and "Tenenbaums" is my favorite of his works (by just a nose over "Rushmore") .. And thanks for the head's up about TV Set .. I'm gonna rent it from Netflix as son as I can

Chalupa said...

Hey RF - Eyball Eddie is definitely copyrighted. My wife was saying she thinks it was a student film. It's listed on IMDB but not on netflix. Maybe you could contact the creators or something?

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Chalupa ... I'll certainly look into it now that you have peaked my interest!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Thank you for this post! I loved Freaks and Geeks, although I was only introduced to it this year so I've not yet build up all the nostalgia-over-time but it was great to see what has happened to the beloved cast.

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