HomeReviewTeam-Up Review: Freaks and Geeks, “The Diary”

Team-Up Review: Freaks and Geeks, “The Diary”

Freaks and Geeks
Season 1, Episode 10: “The Diary”
Original Airdate: Jan. 31, 2000

Kriti: Let’s begin with Lindsay and Kim; this marked another intriguing chapter in their friendship during this season.

The trouble started when Kim and Lindsay accepted a ride from a guy who, as it turned out, knew Mr. Weir.

He promptly informed Lindsay’s parents about her recent activities.

They concluded that Kim was a bad influence and decided to transform Lindsay in a similar manner.

They even threw in the condition that Lindsay could only maintain her friendship with Kim if Kim’s mother came over for dinner.

This plan went awry when Kim’s mother had a rather negative perception of her daughter, considering her to be unintelligent, deceitful, promiscuous, and involved with drugs.

When your own parent fails to support you, it’s a glaring red flag. This situation echoed the underlying tension in Kim and her mother’s relationship, as we saw in “Kim Kelly is my Friend.”

Mr. and Mrs. Weir were curious about how Kim’s mother was able to discern that Kim was lying.

The answer was straightforward – she had been reading Kim’s diary, a significant breach of personal boundaries.

Consequently, Lindsay was forbidden from spending time with Kim.

Lindsay mistakenly assumed that Kim wouldn’t be hurt if she went along with the arrangement and pretended they were no longer hanging out.

This is one instance where Lindsay’s academic intelligence didn’t make her the sharpest person in the room.

That distinction belonged to Daniel, who understood Kim well enough to comprehend her strong negative reaction.

In fact, Daniel managed to have a rational conversation with Kim about why Lindsay’s parents viewed her unfavorably, given her involvement in sexual activities and drug use, which understandably frightened people like Mr. and Mrs. Weir.

This interaction was one of my favorite moments in the episode, and it was quite comical when Kim yelled at Daniel, questioning if he was calling her irrational and then threatening to rip his head off.

Kim seemed oblivious to the rationality of Daniel’s argument during this exchange.

fg ep 10 kim and lindsay
The friendship and interactions between Kim Kelly and Lindsay Weir are central to the character-driven narrative of “Freaks and Geeks.”

Daniel also played a pivotal role in helping Lindsay comprehend why Kim was so distraught. Lindsay mistakenly believed that Kim was too resilient to have her feelings hurt, revealing her lack of attention to Kim’s reactions, as seen in “Kim Kelly is my Friend.”

Daniel elucidated that Kim was highly sensitive and felt hurt because Lindsay hadn’t stood up for her.

Consequently, Lindsay supported Kim’s assessment of “On the Road” in class. I must admit that when I attempted to read “On the Road” at the age of 17, I only managed to get to around page 30 before giving up, much to my father’s disappointment, as it’s one of his favorite books.

I haven’t attempted to read it since, but I wonder if I would still have the same feelings about it as Kim Kelly.

The episode concludes with the rift between them healed, marking another significant moment for Lindsay – always standing by your friends.

I’m pleased with the way Kim and Daniel’s relationship has evolved, with the on-and-off dynamic disappearing, and they now appear quite stable.

I love that they are both thrilled that Lindsay wants to hang out with Kim that afternoon, as they’ve been spending an excessive amount of time together.

Now, turning to the diary mentioned in the title, after Kim’s mother admitted to snooping in Kim’s diary, Mr. Weir wants to do the same.

Mrs. Weir is more hesitant and finds it morally objectionable. Nonetheless, she eventually assists Harold, who has come home during his lunch break.

However, what they discover in the diary doesn’t provide any further ammunition against Kim. There are no references to drugs or sexual activities, but there is a rather critical passage about her parents being robotic in their unchanging routine.

Mr. Weir is unperturbed by this, but it deeply resonates with Mrs. Weir, prompting her to attempt to introduce more exotic dinners to spice things up.

Unfortunately, this endeavor is met with ridicule from everyone.

Mr. Weir’s behavior, particularly when he refuses to help clear the table, could have come across as quite callous, but in a subsequent scene, he displays an unusual moment of tenderness when he tells his wife that he does everything for her, that he thinks about her constantly while at work.

This scene evoked some emotion in me because it’s a declaration one might not expect from someone as emotionally reserved as Mr. Weir.

This moment brought to mind some aspects of Patty and Graham Chase’s relationship.

What were your thoughts on the argument between Kim and Lindsay? Did your parents ever read your diary?

fg ep 10 mr and mrs weir
The Weir parents are central characters in the series and contribute to its depiction of family life and the challenges of raising teenagers.

Astha: Yes, I must say, this episode ranks among my favorites.

I believe the situation went beyond the likes of Patty and Graham Chase.

It seems Harold and Jean, unlike the Chases, didn’t usually wait until the girls were asleep before engaging in intimate activities.

Harold and Jean were well aware that the kids would be returning home from school.

It’s as if they wanted to be caught, sending a shiver down my spine. Nevertheless, good for them.

I can’t recall my parents ever delving into my diary. If they did, they must have been quite stealthy about it.

My diary-keeping habits were rather erratic – I’d start one, grow bored, abandon it, and then acquire a shiny new book.

Perhaps my diary was hard to trace because there were so many of them.

I still maintain the same approach with notebooks; I have a plethora of them scattered around the house.

The argument between Kim and Lindsay felt incredibly authentic to me.

I did have some friends whom my parents didn’t wholeheartedly approve of, although I can’t recall them ever prohibiting me from interacting with those friends.

As you mentioned, it would have been an absurd request, considering we all attended the same school.

I vaguely remember my parents suggesting that a particular friendship might not be the best fit for me, but in most cases, those friendships were naturally drifting apart.

To the best of my memory, I never made the blunder of revealing to a friend that my parents disapproved of them.

Moreover, I certainly never delved into the explicit details. It struck me as a rookie mistake on Lindsay’s part to inform Kim of what her parents had said about her drinking, drug use, and sexual activities.

I wonder if Lindsay had an ulterior motive for doing so. It occurred to me that Lindsay might have shared this information with Kim to intentionally provoke her, hoping that Kim would be so upset that she’d curtail those activities.

Lindsay appears to value Kim’s friendship but may feel uncomfortable engaging in those other activities herself.

Therefore, she might be attempting to pull Kim back down to her level of innocence. Or perhaps I’m just projecting my own feelings onto the situation. Maybe.

kim and daniel
Kim Kelly is a tough and assertive member of the “freaks” group. She often displays a rebellious and fearless attitude.

I thoroughly enjoyed Daniel in this episode, and after watching him in “This Is The End,” James Franco is certainly having a great week in my book.

Despite his claims of not being very intelligent, Daniel excels at understanding his friends.

He pays close attention to their needs and what triggers them, making him a reliable friend.

I also appreciate that the writers of “Freaks and Geeks” seem to have abandoned any notion of Daniel and Lindsay getting romantically involved.

I believe he cares too much about Kim (and Nick) to even consider it. Despite being a “freak,” Daniel is fundamentally a good guy.

However, I can’t help but notice the absence of Ken! It’s surprising how little screen time Ken has had in this series. Where are you, Ken?

Shifting focus to the geeks, the process of choosing teams in gym class! The horror. Did you experience that dreadful rite of passage during adolescence?

Kriti: The expressions of shock on everyone’s faces when they realize what the Weirs are up to were both hilarious and mirrored my own reaction.

Nevertheless, it’s good for them, and at least it resulted in everyone enjoying takeout and Kim getting to stay.

I’m fairly certain my parents didn’t read my diary either. I kept it well hidden in my mind, even though it would have been easy for anyone to stumble upon.

It did have one of those flimsy padlocks, though. I only had a single diary, and it was rather substantial, but I never completed it as I didn’t write in it very often.

While I can’t be certain if Lindsay disclosed the information to Kim intentionally, it was undeniably a foolish thing to do.

fg ep 10 lindsay
Lindsay is initially depicted as an academically oriented student who is part of the “Mathletes” team.

I do appreciate your theory about Lindsay’s reluctance to partake in those activities. At the outset, when they were attempting to hitch a ride, Lindsay saw it as exciting, but she was also a bundle of nerves.

By the time I was a teenager, I had come to understand that hitchhiking was a major no-go and assumed it would lead to a sinister outcome.

I think Lindsay looks up to Kim but is also cautious of Kim’s behavior. This might be a result of her father recounting many stories that culminate in tragedy.

We might need to initiate a search party for Ken because his repeated absences are becoming a concern.

Both of us watched “This is the End” this week; did you happen to spot those fantastic paintings related to “Freaks and Geeks”?

I can comprehend why there was minimal presence of Nick in this episode, as he’s evidently still reeling from his breakup with Lindsay, but the conspicuous absence of Ken doesn’t add up. I’m yearning for some well-timed snark.

Now, shifting our focus to the geeks, you know I enjoy discussing gym class. I vividly remember the dread of being chosen last for team sports.

Fortunately, I usually found myself somewhere in the middle during the selection process, and this method wasn’t employed all that often, except for rounders, one of the sports I enjoyed.

This storyline was effective, primarily due to Bill’s unwavering desire for an opportunity. Bill may not see the point in climbing a rope, but he aspires to play baseball.

Bill determines that the way to alter his situation is to pilfer Bif’s phone number and make a call while impersonating Gordo’s father.

fg ep 10 crank-call
Crank calls in “Freaks and Geeks” reflect the mischievous and youthful nature of the characters, who use them as a means of bonding and having fun.

Gordo has no interest in playing baseball, and this tactic backfires on Bill when Gordo is offered the position Bill had dreamt of.

Bill’s next move is to make a call and leave the most scathing message he can conjure, which includes instructing Bif to “go smell a jockstrap” and labeling him a “butt patter” and a “stinky turd.”

Neal’s father (and also the boss of Chandler Bing, another butt patter) is fine with them making prank calls, as long as there’s no heavy breathing involved.

Do kids still engage in prank calls today? I remember being at a friend’s house when such calls were made, and I was petrified that we’d end up in legal trouble – I was rather apprehensive about such activities.

I also recollect receiving a heavy breather call, and that experience terrified me as well.

One of the most humorous moments in this episode occurs when Bif persuades the boys to recite these insults.

Neal seizes the opportunity to showcase his impressions, while the jocks find the insults rather harsh.

Alan, on the other hand, is thoroughly amused, and Bill attempts to alter his voice to sound different from his crank call voice.

To his credit, Bill confesses when Bif identifies him and defends his position rather effectively.

Bill earns the privilege of selecting the teams, and it feels like a genuine triumph, especially when Bill catches the ball.

Even though it results in just one out (pardon me if I’ve garbled the rules or baseball terminology – or is it softball?), they celebrate as if they’ve won the World Series.

This scene brought a broad smile to my face. For the first time in their teenage lives, the geeks have outshone the jocks, and it’s all thanks to the AMAZING Bill Haverchuck.

What are your impressions of this storyline?

Astha: Ah, those padlocked diaries with their tiny keys – a vivid memory.

Speaking of missing people, I do wish there had been more of Jason Segel in “This Is The End.”

Frankly, “This Is The End” could have been renamed “This Is The Freaks and Geeks Reunion Movie You’ve Been Waiting For” (alright, “Undeclared” folks can join too, Jay Baruchel).

Nonetheless, those “Freaks and Geeks” posters were absolutely fantastic and nearly enough to satisfy me.

fg ep 10 celebration Team-Up Review: Freaks and Geeks “The Diary”
“The Diary” is a standout episode in the series and captures the essence of the show’s relatable and heartfelt storytelling.

It’s funny because I’m quite certain we picked teams for volleyball and basketball, but my recollection mainly centers on the softball team selection.

In retrospect, it was somewhat harsh, but our junior high gym teacher somehow arranged it so there were two games played out on the blacktop behind the school.

There was a game for the proficient softball players and one for the novices and nerds. I was somewhat torn.

I had friendships with many of the jock girls, and I wasn’t a terrible softball player myself, so a part of me wanted to be drafted into the “good players” game.

However, the rest of me simply wanted to sit on the sidelines with the less skilled players, telling ghost stories and caring little about the game’s outcome.

So, even though I still experienced the anxiety of being picked late in the game, I had a reward waiting for me if I ended up among the stragglers – the reward being less exertion and competition.

I love Bill’s passion for baseball. He understands the rules, even if he momentarily forgets them while celebrating his significant catch at shortstop.

He reminds me of many guys I’ve known (and continue to know) who adore sports and want to play, even if they don’t possess much athletic ability themselves.

I hope Bill grows up, lands a corporate job, and captains the company’s 16-inch softball team.

Friends! That’s where Neal’s dad hails from (and I just watched the butt-patting episode last week)!

He’s exceptionally affable with the boys in this episode, and it saddens me to contemplate where Dr. Schweiber is headed by the end of the season (if my memory serves me correctly).

There’s a touch of foreshadowing in this episode. As we’ve witnessed with Mr. Weir, Nick’s dad, and Kim’s stepdad, perfect and cool dads aren’t a common occurrence in Freaks and Geeks-ville.

We used to engage in prank calls, but I imagine that’s a rare occurrence these days due to Caller ID and cell phones.

Poor kids, they miss out on all the fun. However, I recently received a prank text message that sent me into a mild panic.

Of course, it turned out to be my mischievous little cousin, but I was not amused. It seems kids today still find ways to play pranks. Good for them. Little troublemakers.

It was genuinely heartening to witness the geeks triumph in this episode, ruling the baseball field and having one of the jocks experience the feeling of being picked last.

The entire experience left me feeling uplifted. Of course, the writers then had to spoil it all by having poor Sam stumble upon his parents engaging in some afternoon delight.

Will Sam Weir ever catch a break? Do you have anything else to contribute?

fg ep 10 picking teams: Team-Up Review: Freaks and Geeks “The Diary”
“The Diary” delves into themes of teenage identity, the importance of privacy, and the challenges of navigating the complex social dynamics of high school.

Kriti: I had the same feeling about the foreshadowing in Neal’s storyline. It’s just a casual comment, but knowing what lies ahead definitely adds a poignant layer.

Among the geeks, I find Neal the most bothersome, but that might be because he tends to overexert himself and, up to this point, hasn’t been given much to do.

Your observation about Bill and guys like him is spot on, and it probably explains why things like fantasy football become so intensely competitive.

I create a team every year and then promptly forget about it after the first week (this year, I tried a theme with players sporting bad tattoos and facial hair, but my interest still waned).

Astha: You’re absolutely right. Neal reminds me of countless guys I knew in high school and early college – the ones who tried too hard.

The good news for them (and for Neal) is that most of them turned out to be the coolest adults I know. (I can still use “cool cat,” can’t I?)

You Might Like To Read: Team-Up Review: Frasier, “Slow Tango In South Seattle” and “The Unkindest Cut Of All”

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