24 February 2000 | cinefan
What "Freaks & Geeks" is attempting to be
Anne Beatts, the only female editor of the National Lampoon in the '70s and an original writer for "Saturday Night Live," created the Nerds (Lisa & Todd) for Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, & Jane Curtin (as Mrs. Loopner). After leaving "SNL" after five years (in 1980), she took the nerds concept and extended it, creating "Square Pegs," a comedy about social misfits in high school. Sound familiar? That's right, "Freaks & Geeks" is NOT that original, it's merely an updating of this short-lived program. What also differentiates the two is that "Square Pegs" was more of a straight comedy, whereas "Freaks" is a "drama-dey" (an excuse for it to be not as funny as "Pegs"). Plus, "Pegs" gave us Sarah Jessica Parker playing a wallflower years before she would become known as an ingenue. The show wasn't brilliant, but it was pretty good and VERY '80s. The fact that "Freaks" is also set in the '80s is further proof of "Pegs" influence.