The creators of Freaks and Geeks have weighed in on the possibility of a reunion special, and though it’s not happening anytime soon, it’s not impossible. Created by Paul Feig and executive produced by Judd Apatow, the series aired during the 1999-2000 television season on NBC. Though it was canceled by the network partway through the season, the series has since become a cult classic that fans continue to stream more than two decades later.
Though Freaks and Geeks has only grown in popularity since getting canceled, there has never been a reunion special to let fans know what has since become of the characters. Recently, both Feig and Apatow touched on if such a thing would ever happen. Per Collider, Feig says he’s open to the idea if the right concept came along, but he’s still a bit apprehensive.
“I would say if suddenly this amazing idea hit me, then, sure, I would do it, but I’m just nervous about it. Because you can count on your hand the number of reunions where you went like, ‘Oh, I’m so glad they did that.’ After you watch it, you’re almost always like, ‘Hmm, I kinda wish they didn’t do that.'”
The good news here is that the cast members are still so young, so there doesn’t necessarily need to be a big rush for them to reunite anytime soon. Even so, Feig teased that the cast members are interested as well, so Freaks and Geeks: The Reunion is not outside of the realm of possibility.
“We’re all pretty clever and have a lot of stories to tell. And also the nice thing is our cast is so young. And so it’s not like one of those reunions where you’re like, ‘Ooh, look how old they all are now.’ But now our cast is just all famous. So I always joke that we couldn’t afford to do it because they all cost too much now [laughs]. But I know that there’s interest from them. I think everybody’s interested in it. It would just have to be so great that it just added to the canon, if you will. But, hey, I never say no to anything.
Meanwhile, Judd Apatow is more leery about doing an update on Freaks and Geeks. He even recalled how a movie spinoff of The Mary Tyler Moore Show was released around the same time as Freaks and Geeks, and it wasn’t quite as well received as the original series. Even so, the special managed to handily defeat Freaks and Geeks in the ratings.
“I am a fan of the reunions as a viewer, but not as making them [laughs]. A lot of what you like about reunions is they’re fun when they work, and when they’re nightmares, they’re fun to see how they don’t work. I remember when we were doing the show, they did a Mary and Rhoda movie, which I don’t believe was as strong as you would want it to be, and it crushed us in the ratings and was part of our downfall [laughs].”
That doesn’t mean Apatow doesn’t recognize the continued popularity of the series. He admits that he hasn’t completely shut off the idea of revisiting the characters in some fashion someday. However, he also feels that the show’s final episode serves as a fitting finale as it is, making a modern update unnecessary. Apatow further suggests that the updates on some of the characters’ lives might actually be more depressing than funny.
“I never say never to anything, but it always felt like the last episode was oddly perfect and magical. We didn’t quite understand why, but it seemed like a way to say goodbye to everyone. So then to open up that door and explain everything that happened always feels like too big a prospect. We also have always thought that a lot of their lives wouldn’t have gone that well, and who wants to see that? [laughs] So I know Paul has always felt like, let’s just leave it where it is. That being said, I want The Jam to get back together. I want to see The Kinks. So I get why people want it.”
Freaks and Geeks followed a group of high school students in Detroit in the early 1980s. It has served to help launch the careers of many of its young stars, including Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Seth Rogen, Samm Levine, Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Busy Phillips, and James Franco. In 2018, the cast and crew were featured in a documentary about the history of the series that aired on A&E.
If you want to watch the series, Freaks and Geeks can be found streaming on Hulu. This news comes to us from Collider.