Ever since I introduced the late 1990s TV show “Freaks & Geeks” to my son a few weeks ago, he has binge-watched the entire one-season show (18 hours) at least 5-6 times on Netflix. It’s been nice reconnecting with the best show ever to be broadcast on TV about teenagers, if not one of the best series in TV history.
This particular scene is one of my favorites. It’s one where the geekiest of the geeks, latchkey child Bill Haverchuck, comes home after school to watch TV by himself. He catches an early TV appearance by comedian Garry Shandling and experiences a moment of unbridled joy laughing at Shandling and just hanging by himself. I know that many people paint the life of a latchkey kid as unbearably tragic. But speaking as a latchkey kid myself, sorry Dr. Laura, I had a f–king blast! And no, it’s not because I used the alone time to drink alcohol, do drugs, use my bedroom as a f–kpad, or look at porn. I realize this is anathema to common ideas of parenting these days, but sometimes kids just need one-two hours a day to do absolutely nothing but veg. Yes, socializing, exercising, doing school activities, etc. are important, but vegging is seriously underrated and kids these days don’t do enough of it.
Anyway, I love the way that The Who’s “I’m One” … one of the best, but least-heralded tracks from their great album “Quadrophenia” is used in this scene. One of the best uses of popular music for dramatic purposes ever.