Aubrun, Axel and Joseph Grady. “Aliens in the Living Room: How TV Shapes Our Understanding of ‘Teens’”. The Frameworks Institute. 18 September 2000.
The article explores the different expectations and definitions of viewership and how they are applied to the teenage audiences. There is also consideration of how these definitions determine what portrayals are seen of corresponding characters and demographics represented on television. It will contribute to the discussion in the essay of what teens are seeing when they view themselves on television, and in particular what type of teenager was displayed on Freaks and Geeks as compared to other teen television fare.
Berger, Arthur Asa. Narratives in Popular Culture, Media and Everyday Life. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Ltd, 1997.
The work of Berger generally concerns the decoding of any type of media text down to a fundamental storytelling core. This book emphasizes the presence of narrative in every aspect of a person’s life, from entertainment capacities to conversation and personal recollections. Its primary purpose within this paper is to provide meaningful literary examples that can be compared to storytelling tactics that were effective in Freaks and Geeks. It also features (and defines) terminology that is useful in breaking down the creative technical components of the show’s story.
Bowe, John. “The Trouble with Paul Feig.” New York Times Magazine 26 September 2008.
The subject of interview in this article is Paul Feig, co-producer and writer on all 18 episodes of Freaks and Geeks. Written in 2008, Feig elaborates on his potential projects and current chief job as co-executive producer of NBC’s The Office. However, there is a lot of reflection on his open dedication to Freaks and Geeks, the influences of his personal experiences on the creation and content of the show (and all of his material in general), and his personal disappointment at the cancellation of the series. This different take on the series from someone who could be considered “auteur” of the show as much as Apatow offers a more intimate perspective on the meaning and message of the material, as well as the profundity of personal experiences invested during creative development.
Conaway, Sandra B. “Lindsay Weir Doesn’t Give a Damn About a Bad Reputation.” Girls Who (Don’t) Wear Glasses: The Performativity Of Smart Girls On Teen Television. Dissertation: p. 152-158.
Conaway examines the importance and influence of gender roles on teen television. As varied as girls can be (and as uniform as they tend to appear) it is important to distinguish what is perceived as the “smart” girl from the other teen female portrayals on television. Discussed in the paper will be the significance of choosing a female lead in Freaks and Geeks despite having a strong male presence (both creatively and in production), and what that reflects on the “auteurs” of the program, Judd Apatow and Paul Feig.
Hatcher, Thurston. “’Freaks and Geeks’ leaves NBC with three-hour finale.” CNN.com. 2000. 28 October 2009 http://archives.cnn.com/2000/SHOWBIZ/TV/07/05/freaks.geeks/index.html.
Hatcher’s article was published in 2000, the year that Freaks and Geeks was officially cancelled. It features excerpts from interviews with executive produce Judd Apatow and cast member Samm Levine, who both offer insights as to why the show, despite being a critical darling, couldn’t gain enough ratings to remain in production. The opinions from members of the show who worked in its creative and business aspects are relevant to this paper in understanding what the importance of the show was, which consisted of providing a sense of comfort and familiarity rather than, as Apatow puts it, “escapist fare” that is so popular in the format of the teenager/family show. Additionally, there are sentiments about the network’s apparent lack of interest in promoting the show, which assured the early conclusion of the series.
Poniewozik, J. “Save This Show!”. Time Magazine. 1 May 2000: p. 68-9.
This article provides an assessment of Freaks and Geeks from the perspective of a critic rather than a regular viewer or person involved with the show. There is also a comparison of this show to two competing (but similarly styled) programs that were on at the same time and suffered the same fates, Felicity and Roswell. According to the author, it is important to consider that the climate of television at the time is relevant to determining success, and the paper will discuss the notion that a show may fail not only because of time slot or lack of promotion but what the viewers are demanding at that time in a general sense.
Rodrick, Stephen. “Judd Apatow’s Family Values.” New York Times Magazine 27 May 2007.
This interview of Judd Apatow during the filming of Knocked Up offers a perspective into his personal and professional lifestyles. There is a huge emphasis on Apatow’s appreciation of hard work and practice over just luck and talent, and how this attitude has afforded him not only great success but respect among his peers and admiration from his co-workers. It offers great insight also on his close relationships to a particular group of actors and writers who he has simultaneously influenced and been influenced by, including members of the cast form his first major production Freaks and Geeks (especially Seth Rogen). This article highlights the techniques and experiences Apatow developed over the years that contributed to his transformation into an auteur of sorts.