‘Freaks and Geeks’ Understood That Popular Kids Aren’t Cool At All

In 1999, audiences were flooded with teen movies and TV shows that would become modern classics. The world seemed to belong to high schoolers: She’s All ThatAmerican Pie, and Varsity Blues ruled theaters, while Dawson’s CreekParty of Five, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer reigned on TV. But there was one show that debuted that year, Freaks and Geeks, that came and went with hardly a mainstream peep. Its cast was full of unknown actors, its characters weren’t “hot” in any conventional sense, and they weren’t wearing whipped cream bikinis or fighting demons.

‘Derry Girls’ is the best teen show out right now

( Originally airing on Channel 4 )

The hilarity of Derry Girls is so powerful that it transcends language. The Irish sitcom, currently streaming on Netflix, follows four girls (and their teen guy accomplice) who are growing up in Northern Ireland during the last years of the Troubles. A good 74 percent of any given episode is likely unintelligible to anyone who didn’t grow up hearing an Irish accent; it took me a few episodes to admit defeat and finally switch on the subtitles. But subtitles or not, and my cursory knowledge of the Troubles notwithstanding, I still found myself cackling at one of my favorite new shows and falling in love with Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle, and James.