“Question Everything” opens the floor for debate of pop culture topics–serious to whimsical, sublime to ridiculous—that have no right or wrong answers but certainly elicit a wide spectrum of intense opinions. Hopefully reading these different perspectives will open minds, challenge thinking and maybe even provoke a change in what you believe. Let’s discuss!
Which series nailed it: My So-Called Life or Freaks and Geeks?
EW’s Critics Make Their Cases
Freaks and Geeks is a funny, thoughtful show, but its joys are entirely retroactive — it points out how adolescence felt then. If pulled into 2015, the Geeks would find acceptance and solace in online gaming forums, the proliferation of comic book culture, and the return of Star Wars. But Angela Chase would be overcome with her particular brand of universal self-doubt and inexplicable pubescent sadness no matter what the era. MSCL even doubles down by casting Angela’s parents as just as filled with uncertainty as the anxiety-ridden teenagers. The message of Freaks and Geeks is “it gets better,” but My So-Called Life settles on “it may always be like this.” That’s what life is like, and that’s what makes Life the superior show.
It’s a miracle to me that either of these shows even got to live on the air — and on major networks! It was like someone finally busted through TV’s idea of teendom as a never-ending Mentos commercial and showed it how it really was: Anxious, angry, smothered in secondhand flannels. Angela Chase is one of the best onscreen characters ever created; I won’t even fight you on that. But Freaks gave us our own, less self-aware Angela in Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) plus the whole back row of dudes you meet in detention and at least half the AV club. Paul Feig and Judd Appatow brought these nerds and burnouts out from behind the bleachers with so much wit and humor and unexpected pathos, God (and John Bonham) only knows what they could have done with a Season Two.