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Why Freaks And Geeks Might Be Confusing For Certain Viewers Nowadays

"Time," we are told in the Throwback Thursday Instagram posts of old coworkers who are living, laughing, and loving, "is a thing." It's probably even a good thing. Without time, there wouldn't be any novelty clocks that look like cartoon characters, and then where would we be?

But when it comes to time, there's also a down side: people get older. New people pop up with astonishing regularity, asking their elders "What was it like when there were only six Star Wars movies?" and "So, was Steven Tyler famous for something besides being a cursed corn husk doll brought to life through alchemy?" The misconceptions behind these lines of inquiry only get more difficult, presumably, when you're part of the historical feature that's being brought up — George Lucas, for example, or the mad-eyed evil antique store owner who first breathed life into Steven Tyler.

To Jason Segel's eyes, through these sorts of misunderstandings, time has taken an inexorable toll on younger viewers who might want to watch some of his early work. According to a recent interview with the 41-year-old actor in Entertainment Weekly, he feels that more fresh-faced generations might not even be able to check out his cult favorite early-2000s TV series Freaks and Geeks at least, not with the proper frame of mind.

Freaks and Geeks draws on the far-off past of 1980

"For a kid watching Freaks and Geeks now, it'll be hard for them to contextualize that that took place in (the 1980s), even though we filmed it in 2000," Segel stated in his interview. "They're just going to think that's what 2000 was like. I don't know what the experience would be like to watch something from 20 years ago. That's insane to me." The proof, he says, is in Singin' in the Rain: "That movie was, I don't know, 40 years behind me when I finally saw it. There was no way for me to contextualize that that movie actually took place 30 years earlier than when it was filmed. For me it was all just the past, you know what I mean?"

First airing in September of 1999 and taking place in 1980 and 1981, Freaks and Geeks has now been off the air for longer than the gap between its premiere and the era that it was set in. Bananas though it may be for old fans to think about, it probably is true that, to new, younger fans, there isn't much differentiating the early 1980s and the early 2000s. 

If nothing else, this realization may cause you to develop a new sliver of existential dread to stew on while you do all of the normal, day-to-day 2021 things that you do, like dropping your Nokia cell phone without consequences, or chugging an ice cold Surge.