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Freaks and Geeks’ 10 Greatest Needle Drops

Moments that prove how central, vivid, and ridiculous pop music can be for teens

Freaks and Geeks' 10 Greatest Needle Drops
Freaks and Geeks (NBC)
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    Freaks & Geeks is now on Hulu. That’s great news for fans of the ’80s-set dramedy that launched the careers of James Franco, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogen, among others. Yet it’s also, in a way, a minor miracle for newcomers.

    While DVDs of the series remain in print, the show has been largely shelved from streaming circulation due to music clearances. These issues tend to affect variety shows that include music performances — like The Muppet Show or Saturday Night Live — but Freaks & Geeks runs into licensing challenges due to its heavy use of classic pop music.

    All too often, the series featured multiple hit songs from major artists like The Who or Van Halen. Rewatching the series now, it’s clear how effectively Paul Feig, Judd Apatow, and the rest of the team used this period-appropriate music to define its teenagers. The show truly understands how central, vivid, and ridiculous pop music can be at that age.

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    So, to celebrate the streaming return of Freaks & Geeks, here are 10 of the best needle drops from throughout the show’s run. These descriptions are full of spoilers, so if you’ve never seen the series, do yourself a favor and binge it as soon as possible.


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