HomeReviewTeam-Up Review: Freaks and Geeks, “Girlfriends and Boyfriends”

Team-Up Review: Freaks and Geeks, “Girlfriends and Boyfriends”

Freaks and Geeks
Season 1, Episode 8: “Girlfriends and Boyfriends”
Original Airdate: Jan. 17, 2000

Emma: This particular episode gives off the impression that it might have been better placed following “I’m With the Band.”

It delves into Nick and Lindsay’s kiss, with Nick even mentioning the replacement drummer for the band he auditioned for, which makes it seem like an episode order mix-up occurred somewhere along the way.

The central question here is whether Nick and Lindsay are now a couple. They both seem to be playing it cool, but Nick’s feelings for Lindsay appear to run deeper than Lindsay’s feelings for him.

I believe Lindsay has some affection for Nick, but it’s not strong enough to inspire candlelit serenades.

When Nick performs Styx’s “Lady,” it initially comes across as endearing. However, as the song goes on and Lindsay becomes increasingly uncomfortable, it turns into an awkward and exaggerated declaration.

This twist is a departure from the expected scenario of Nick trying to initiate a sexual encounter with Lindsay, as the buildup suggested. Once again, “Freaks and Geeks” defies the conventions of its genre.

Everyone else anticipates that Lindsay and Nick will take their relationship to a physical level, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see that Nick is in no hurry to rush things despite his intense approach (making him quite the opposite of Jordan Catalano).

In this episode, Linda Cardellini has the opportunity to showcase a range of embarrassed expressions on multiple occasions.

Within the first five minutes of the episode, we see this when Mr. Rosso hands Lindsay a leaflet titled “Dating, Sex and You” and regales her with a story about his experience with chlamydia at a discotheque, leading to the need for STDAware tests.

Additional moments of mortification in this introduction include when Millie confronts Lindsay about Nick and passes judgment on her dating choices, stating that “Freaks only date freak girls.”

Lindsay also appears uncomfortable when Nick slips his hand into the back pocket of her jeans in front of everyone.

Later in the episode, Lindsay receives a rose, which reminded me of when my mom started asking questions about a boy I dated in high school.

Moms tend to become so elated, and I couldn’t help but recall how uneasy Lindsay looked in this situation.

fg ep 8 lindsay and the parents
Despite its short run, “Freaks and Geeks” is one of the greatest TV shows of all time by critics and fans.

Kim naturally assumes that Lindsay and Nick are headed toward a physical relationship and eagerly anticipates hearing all the details, which highlights their friendship.

However, Lindsay seeks advice from her former boyfriend instead. Choosing to have this conversation in the middle of a test may not be the most ideal timing, but it’s the moment Lindsay decides to broach the subject.

Millie, on the other hand, doesn’t believe Lindsay should pursue it, suggesting that it might deter potential future suitors, essentially implying that she would be considered “damaged goods.”

Lindsay finds herself torn between two contrasting viewpoints, and it’s evident that she isn’t prepared for a sexual relationship at this point.

However, I believe that if Lindsay were to have a candid conversation with Kim (away from the influence of the boys), Kim might prove to be a supportive and empathetic listener.

What are your thoughts on the topic of everyone wanting to discuss Lindsay’s sexual activity? Did you enjoy Nick’s singing?

fg ep 8 sam and parents
“Freaks and Geeks” remains a beloved and influential series, inspiring other coming-of-age shows and films.

Julie: Why should Harold be concerned about the possibility of Sam fathering a child out of wedlock? That potential situation would primarily fall under Cindy’s parents’ responsibility.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and found it to be one of the funnier ones in recent memory, although I must say Ken’s absence was quite puzzling.

Most of the humor was delivered through Lindsay’s expressions of embarrassment and Bill’s antics, which is not surprising at all.

If Lindsay Weir were a real person, I believe she would have sought refuge in a closet somewhere for at least a week after enduring all these uncomfortable conversations and events.

Firstly, there were the freaks making a big fuss about her “relationship” with Nick.

Then came Mr. Rosso and the herp, Millie with her sex advice, Mr. Weir and the $5 Korean prostitute, and Nick and his singing. That’s quite a handful for a high school girl to handle.

I thought the writers did an excellent job addressing the topic of teenage relationships and intimacy.

They touched on the rebellious teens who engage in it, the potential health risks, the unwise choices, and the subsequent regrets.

This episode likely occurred a bit before the prominent AIDS awareness campaigns of the ’80s and ’90s.

I can still recall, as a child, being bombarded with the message that sex was a perilous endeavor, practically a death sentence.

That’s what sex education and MTV seemed to emphasize, at least.

However, regarding Lindsay’s perspective, it’s quite evident that she isn’t eager to have a sexual relationship with Nick.

Her feelings for him aren’t particularly strong, and his spelling abilities are not great.

How can Lindsay Weir lose her virginity to someone who misspells “wait?” The fact that Nick also wants to “wate” for sex must be a considerable relief for Lindsay, at least until he starts singing.

In contrast, the prospect of engaging in sexual activity doesn’t seem as daunting or undesirable.

On the geek side of things, the boys are paired up for their science projects. Sam ends up with Stinky Gordon as his partner, and Bill gets to work with Cindy, who seems like the epitome of perfection.

It’s quite evident that Sam is envious of the time Bill will get to spend with Cindy, even though, in my opinion, Sam has the better end of the deal by partnering with Gordon, who is cool and a good friend.

As for Cindy, well, my opinion of her was never high, and it’s even lower now. She comes across as insincere, claiming not to watch TV and pretending to dislike carrot sticks, despite Bill witnessing her devouring them at her house.

She assigns blame to innocent chairs for her cheese-cutting mishap, and it seems like she’s relegating Sam to the dreaded friend zone.

There’s no way Cindy isn’t aware of Sam’s feelings for her, at least on some level. Girls, even those with not-so-great intentions like Cindy, aren’t usually oblivious to such things.

It appears she desires her big football player but also enjoys the thrill of keeping Sam hanging on.

I can’t help but hope for some comeuppance for her, maybe a figurative fall into a well, or at the very least, a realization that all those bacon cheeseburgers she’s indulging in might catch up with her now that she’s fully in puberty.

It seems I have quite a few thoughts about Cindy, more than I initially realized. How do you feel about her? Would you want to be her best friend?

fg ep 8 bill miss piggy
Freaks and Geeks Episode 8 Bill Miss Piggy.

Emma: I completely share your sentiments about Cindy, and I couldn’t help but wonder where the delightful Maureen was during all of this.

Perhaps Cindy’s self-absorption is the reason she fails to recognize Sam’s feelings for her, and her preference for Miss Piggy as her favorite Muppet might be telling (I’m not much of a Miss Piggy fan either).

Bill is spot on: the Swedish Chef is undeniably the best Muppet.

The scene of Bill in Cindy’s room was certainly a highlight of this storyline, as he appeared entirely out of his element.

I also appreciated that Bill decided to test the chair before concluding that, yes, Cindy did “cut the cheese” (a phrase for farting that isn’t often heard).

Sam believes that Bill is fibbing about this and that it’s all part of a scheme to win Cindy for himself.

However, Bill is simply messing with Sam, and he’s far too clever to fall for Cindy’s holier-than-thou attitude.

My apologies, Cindy, for piling on like this, but you’ve certainly left quite an impression as “kinda the worst.”

It’s genuinely heart-wrenching to see how much Sam likes Cindy, to the point where he’s willing to be her confidant just to spend time with her.

That final phone call is emotionally crushing, as many of us have likely found ourselves doing something similar in an attempt to get closer to someone we admire.

Unfortunately, such tactics rarely yield the desired results, and Cindy comparing Sam to her sister is the ultimate blow, precisely the last thing he wanted to hear.

The telltale sign that Sam should have picked up on is when Cindy mentions getting her period, as no teenage girl would typically share that detail in front of a boy she’s interested in.

I share your sentiment about the Sam/Lindsay scene; it’s a refreshing moment of sibling bonding.

It has been a while since we’ve seen one of these, and I hope we get more such scenes in the future.

Julie: Absolutely, Maureen’s absence does seem to support the idea that there might have been some schedule rearrangement in the episodes.

Your observation about Cindy’s Miss Piggy fandom pointing to her self-centeredness is spot on.

It’s quite perplexing how she can’t seem to make up her mind about liking carrots or not. These are pretty straightforward questions.

As for Cindy’s perception of Sam, it’s a bit puzzling. She might indeed have some confusion or assumptions about his gender or sexual orientation.

Her questions, like whether Sam finds the football player cute, seem unusual. It’s a quirk unique to Cindy, it seems.

Sam finding himself in the friend zone with Cindy is indeed a relatable and sometimes tough part of growing up.

Many of us have experienced similar situations in high school, having strong feelings for someone who likes someone else, often a close friend.

It’s nice that your best friend respected your feelings in the situation.

The sibling moment between Sam and Lindsay was heartwarming, and it’s great to hear that you cheered for it.

It’s true that amidst all the chaos in their lives, they can find solace and support in each other. Family can be a constant source of comfort, even when things get a bit crazy.

You’re absolutely right about Sam’s handling of the Gordon situation.

Instead of ignoring the issue or gossiping behind Gordon’s back, Sam chose the path of empathy and understanding, which not only helped Gordon open up but also strengthened their friendship. And it’s safe to say that Gordon can hold on to that pencil.

It’s a bit disappointing that Ken was absent from this episode, but it’s great to hear that he’ll be making a return in the next one.

It sounds like you’re eagerly anticipating that episode, especially since it involves Ken and basketball, two of your favorite elements of the show.

I don’t have anything additional to add at the moment, but if you have any more thoughts or questions, feel free to share them!

team up review freaks and geeks girlfriends and boyfriends
Freaks and Geeks Episode 8 Daniel and Nick.

Emma: Another interesting aspect to note is Jason Segel’s basketball prowess, which was alluded to in this episode.

It’s noteworthy that we can see his skills in Freaks and Geeks, especially since we’ve witnessed Nick playing basketball previously.

This connection becomes even more intriguing, considering that Jason Collins, who came out as gay a little over a month ago, had played basketball with Segel in high school (see their team photo here).

This shared history likely influenced the show’s portrayal of Segel’s basketball abilities.

In addition, it’s fun to learn that Busy Philipps revealed on Twitter that they affectionately referred to Segel as “Dr. Dunk” behind the scenes on the show.

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Nirajan Shrestha
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