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'Freaks and Geeks' nostalgia recap: A nightmare of a nightsuit

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Looks and Books” | Aired Feb 7, 2000

With the help of a car crash, the honeymoon period for Lindsay and the freaks is officially over. For a moment, it looked like Freaks and Geeks might just shorten into Geeks.

Until now, Lindsay’s integration into the freak world has been relatively smooth. Sure, there was that terrible kegger, a rather awkward rendezvous with Mr. Rosso at the bar, and the whole cheating scandal, but overall, Lindsay’s choice to forgo her mathlete past and join the school’s burnouts hasn’t yielded too many consequences. She’s still a nice girl that makes good grades, so what’s a parent to complain about?

Nothing … until Lindsay crashes her dad’s car, that is. The freaks pressure her to sneak out with Harold’s station wagon, and seeing as Lindsay seems to lack any basic driving skills and Kim might be the world’s worst backseat driver, it’s only inevitable that Lindsay crashes the car.

Lindsay is officially grounded, and she accepts it without a fight. Don’t hang out with her freak friends, say her parents? Don’t worry, grumbles Lindsay, eyes still wet from an afternoon’s worth of tears. She blames the freaks for getting her into trouble and decides it’s time to revert back to her old self: apparently former Lindsay dressed like an 80-year-old woman on her way to church.

When the freaks see her the next day at school, they laugh and don’t notice how upset she is about the crashed car. They get the picture, though, once she tells Daniel to go to hell and delivers this snarky line: “Just because your lives are lost causes, don’t assume mine is.”

The freaks take this to heart, and later grumble to each other about how Lindsay is wrong. Kim, after all, is going to become a lawyer so she can, um, “put the police on trial,” Ken is going to go live in Hawaii, and Daniel … well, Daniel doesn’t know yet, and he seems to have a bit of an identity crisis when he realizes he doesn’t have any future plans. He ponders this problem with Harris, who confirms Daniel’s worst fears: Daniel isn’t a loser, but only because he has sex.

Meanwhile, Lindsay resurrects her friendship with Millie, and after a few asymptote jokes, she’s ready to rejoin the mathletes as well. Only problem is, she’s lost her place on the team. She only gets her place back by getting Millie booted. Lindsay’s return to her roots brings out her competitive side, and she makes it her personal mission to trump an annoying teammate at the big competition. It’s a success, and even better, Lindsay has her very own group of “woo girls” cheering on her every math feat: the freaks, who seem to be missing Lindsay after all.

Ultimately, Lindsay has changed too much to return to her old geeky posse. She ends back up with the freaks, and everyone forgets the past few contentious days.

Like Lindsay, Sam, too, has a bit of an identity issue in this episode. He’s struggling with the new sight of Cindy and Todd canoodling in the hallways, and he just doesn’t get Todd’s appeal. Good thing Bill and Neal know all the ways of women, though! According to Bill (who’s been keeping up with his mom’s dating preferences), women think feathered hair is foxy.

Sam heeds this advice, only to have Cindy comment on how flat his new hair looks. Next on the list, then, is a new wardrobe—but Sam makes a critical error when he decides on an awful sky blue Parisian nightsuit to catch Cindy’s eye. The result of this is predictably nightmarish (though hilarious for us to watch), and Sam eventually pleads to Mr. Rosso to take him home so he can escape the day’s humiliations. As usual, Mr. Rosso saves the day with a pep talk, and Sam finally hears the advice he’s needed all along. It’s not about clothes or hair; it’s about confidence, something that Sam is in dire need of.

Mr. Rosso, per usual, knows what’s up.


  • Mr. Kowchevski, when the mathletes panic over the new roster. “This isn’t the last chopper out of Saigon. Can we take it down a notch?”
  • I don’t think Daniel and Harris have ever spoken, but Harris’ suggestion that Daniel would make a good dungeon master is terribly intriguing. Make it happen, Freaks and Geeks, pleeeease.
  • Neal: “That’s a jumpsuit. My grandpa in Fort Lauderdale wears them all the time because he’s too lazy to put on pants.”
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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