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'Freaks and Geeks' nostalgia recap: Gross anatomy

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “Tests and Breasts” | Aired Nov 6, 1999

Our favorite Weirs find themselves in uncomfortable new territory this week on Freaks and Geeks, as Lindsay gets caught up in a rare bit of school trouble and Sam faces the daunting enigma that is kryptonite to geeks everywhere: sex.

It’s sex education time in Sam’s PE class, but the freshman boys can’t help but giggle when they hear the words “hair growth” and “genitals” in the same sentence. A few choice lines from Bill and Neal upon seeing a diagram of the uterus: “What the hell is that? Didn’t Sigourney Weaver kill that thing in Alien?”

Their whispering gets Sam in trouble, and he’s called up to the front of the class to be humiliated. “Um, excuse me, Dr. Love, can you show me where the ovaries are located?” asks Coach Fredericks. The answer is no, he can’t find the ovaries, or the cervix, or anything.

At lunch, the geeks lament the fact that they know nothing about sex, not even the dirty joke that the jocks are telling everyone. Their wizened geek elder, Harris, won’t share any knowledge, either. He merely tells them, “Love is like homework. You’ve got to study to get an A.”

And study Sam does. Later that night, he tries doing his own research with an anatomy book. That’s when he runs into Daniel, who’s over at the Weir house for a study date with Lindsay. You see, Daniel’s been facing a few problems of his own—namely, he can’t possibly pass an upcoming math test. It doesn’t help that he shows no interest in studying, or that when Lindsay promises she can show him a few tricks to help him, he believes she means actual magic tricks.

While taking a smoke break during their study session, he catches Sam with the anatomy book and offers a little help of his own. The next day, his help arrives in the form of a shifty-looking paper bag that he gives to Sam. The geeks realize it’s a porn film, and Neal perks up. He suggests the geeks watch it together after school to officially become indoctrinated in this brave new world.

They’re clearly all lost while watching the film, as evidenced by Sam slowly scooting his chair farther and farther back, mostly averting his eyes by the end of the thing. Afterward, Neal asks, in a rather chipper tone, if they want to watch it again, but Sam just wants to go home. Plainly, neither Bill nor Sam fully comprehend what they’ve watched (that probably goes for Neal, too), and Sam’s shaken up by the whole thing.

Luckily for him, Coach Fredericks recognizes an anonymous sex question in class to be Sam’s (Sam, buddy: you can’t be anonymous if you submit your question on your Star Trek notebook paper). He speaks to him after class and upon hearing his recent cinematic experience, offers to explain the real deal about sex. What follows is a hilarious, wordless scene, complete with lots of dramatic hand gestures and Sam’s slow transition from a general look of horror to laughter to sheer amazement. He leaves class an enlightened man. Oh, our little boy has grown up!

Lindsay, on the other hand, has gotten sucked into helping Daniel cheat on his math test. Originally, she’s adamant that she won’t help him—she’s not a rule breaker, after all—but the math teacher, Mr. Kowchevski, gives a poorly timed speech about Lindsay getting caught up in Daniel’s “bedroom eyes and stringy hair.” All right, cheating it is! Of course, when Daniel gets an A on his test, Mr. Kowchevski immediately calls Lindsay out and accuses her of cheating. He even calls her parents, but Lindsay guilt trips them for believing she would do such a terrible thing.

When the pressure and the lying to everyone becomes too much for Lindsay, she tells Daniel that she’s going to fess up. That is, until Daniel pulls his ultimate trump card and chokes up while explaining how his teachers put him in the dumb classes as early as sixth grade and how he just wants to prove himself. It’s a winning speech, and Lindsay ultimately goes for it and stands by their lie in front of Kowchevski and her parents.

Alas, Daniel is then forced to solve a problem from his math test in front of everyone, and, surprise, he can’t do it. Thus, we get a second, rousing rendition of the “When I was in sixth grade …” Daniel Desario-patented speech. Once again, it’s a winner of a speech, but then Lindsay shatters the illusion by bursting into laughter: she realizes that she, like everyone else, was played by him.

But to his credit (and probably James Franco’s), you still can’t help but like the guy.


Bill, before they start the porno: “Do you have popcorn?”

Sam: “This is taking forever.”

Bill: “Yeah, we could have made our own porno by now.” (I realize at this point, I might as well just transcribe anything Bill says here. It’s all wonderful.)

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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