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'Freaks and Geeks' nostalgia recap: Naked and afraid

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “I’m With the Band” | Aired Nov 13, 1999

Nick’s got one dream, and one dream only: to make it as a drummer. The only problem is, well, he’s not all that great.

This episode of Freaks and Geeks opens with Nick in full rock-star mode, pounding away to a Rush song on his enormous 29-piece drum kit. His father wanders downstairs, and we hear the real deal. It ain’t pretty.

Nick’s oblivious to his shortcomings, though, and he urges his band of Daniel, Ken, and Sean to practice more to get ready for Battle of the Bands. Calling them a real band is a bit of a stretch, since they seem to know only one song, Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love,” and they have yet to pick out a real band name. The guys aren’t into “Creation,” as designated by Nick, and Lindsay’s suggested names “Mission Control” and “Anarchy’s Child” seem equally cringeworthy.

Their band practice consists of a sloppy cover of the aforementioned Cream song. Nick gets called upstairs by his dad, his Army uniform a sharp contrast to messy Nick in his tiny drummer shorts. Apparently, father and son have a deal. If Nick can keep above a C+ average, he can continue on with his drumming fantasy. Anything lower, however, and it’s off to the Army.

Lindsay overhears their conversation and attempts a little motivational speaking. She tells Nick he could be a great drummer and that he shouldn’t give up on his dream. The guys just need to practice a little more, that’s all. Unfortunately, this suggestion doesn’t fly with the band, and they accuse her of being Nick’s Yoko Ono. When Nick asks the band to work harder, they all quit.

No one takes Nick’s dreams seriously, all of which makes Lindsay want to help him more. She finds out that Dimension, a legitimate band, is looking for a new drummer and gets Nick to audition. This doesn’t pan out, because of the aforementioned lack of real drumming abilities, and Nick finally grasps he’s nowhere near good enough. As he realizes his inevitable future in the Army, Lindsay makes a rash decision to cheer him up in the form of a little lip-locking.

Perhaps it’s not the best move, as Nick takes the kiss rather seriously and now Lindsay has clearly supplanted drumming to become Nick’s numero uno. It certainly looks like we’re on to some awkward teenage love from here, guys.

Over in geek land, Sam is struggling with a new class policy dictating that everyone take showers after gym class. Sam panics at the prospect of getting naked in front of his classmates. Short, skinny, and distinctly lacking any chest or armpit hair, Sam has taken the long route to puberty, and he’s way too insecure to go broadcasting that to the rest of his class.

He tries his best to avoid the mandated showers, first by wetting his hair in the sink and trying to fake a shower, then playing the sick card, and finally just hiding in the bathroom stall for the whole class period. None of these maneuvers work, though, and he realizes it’s time.

The night before his inevitable naked destiny, he gets a little encouragement by his parents that his body is, indeed, beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of. Thanks, mom and dad!

With grim resignation and wearing nothing but a towel, Sam is heading toward the showers after gym class—when Alan the bully shoves him out of the locker room and into the school hallway. Then he promptly steals his towel, too. Naked and locked out, Sam rushes to find some extra clothes in his locker … just as the bell rings and everyone comes out into the hallway. In perhaps his worst nightmare come true, Sam sprints through the school stark naked, showcasing everything he was trying to hide.

But as it turns out, streaking through school actually makes Sam look a great deal cooler, and in the end, he impresses Cindy. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.


Nick: “It’s just a lot easier for me to drum without fabric on my thighs.”

Coach Fredricks: “Schweiber, put on some clothes. You look like a 50-year-old man.”

Neal: “My mom says girls prefer guys with a good sense of humor.”
Bill: “But you’re not funny.”

Lindsay (rather sarcastically, at her parents’ urging): “Sam, you have a beautiful body. You’re an Adonis. A slab of beef. If I wasn’t your sister, oh my God.”

TV Families | EW.com
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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