Freaks & Geeks: I had somewhat fond memories of the four or five episodes' worth of this I saw when it was actually on, which was...good lord! Seventeen years ago? Cripes, it's as old as Sopranos!!! Uhm. Anyway, this hasn't really held up too well, and I'm...having a REALLY hard time putting my finger on what's missing. See, the thing was obviously made with such CARE. Completely from the heart, professionally and smartly written, dealt with real issues, you know the whole drill re: why some show becomes a critics' favorite. And very little of it seemed inauthentic, except for two or threee howlingly unlikely fantasy-come-true moments like the John Francis Daley and Martin Starr characters getting to make out with their cheerleader dreamgirls at the end of episode 15. Oh, and I'm not bothered by all the "hey, it's 1980!" nostalgia either. What I think it boils down to is that....the show's really just kind of a smarter, less sappy, less pandering Wonder Years, but it's not really that much more watchable than Wonder Years. And...well, no, that's not really a real answer either, because I can't put my finger on why those things don't make it better than Wonder Years. Is it the cast? Maybe it is, even though none of them gave bad performances based on what they were written. I grew tired of Linda Cardellini's angst, I know that much, so that's a flaw--there are times when she borders on being a Napoleon Dynamite figure with the constant moaning and sighing. If you had told me James Franco and (especially) Seth Rogen would go on to become the biggest stars from the show, I'd have given you bus fare to get right out of town and take a bus, because their characters are, 95 percent of the time, completely unlikeable unpleasant douchebags, with Rogen in particular playing such a sodden lump that...well, see, the problem is could name four dozen guys from my high school just like him. And to think, people on the Internet love to hate on Samm Levine? I guess people are that easily annoyed by wisecracking midgets. The MVP of the show then ends up being--I can't believe I'm writing this--Jason Segel. Really?!? Yes, really. He was damn near the only one whose angsty moments I felt genuinely sorry for, the only one I really liked, and he had a lot of the show's funniest moments as well, with "Lady L" (which he wrote) at the top. Joel Hodgson and (unrecognizably) Trace Beaulieu were on this, and they were okay, but Ben Stiller and Jason Schwartzman's appearances were wastes. What else...I dunno. "Hah, hah, that wimpy kid got a wedgie in gym class" type cringe humor not doing it for me anymore may be the reason I'm not getting behind this show anymore, or maybe it's just that Apatow (whom I mistakenly thought created F&G--it's Paul Feig's creation, really) went on to do better things, and just imagine if he hadn't, because maybe's been a bad influence. OH! The parents were well depicted. Gotta give the show that. That's pretty rare.