'Freaks and Geeks': Judd Apatow and Paul Feig on their favorite episodes, biggest regret, and a possible movie

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I hate to ask you to pick from among your children, but I’m going to do it anyway. What is your favorite Freaks and Geeks episode?
APATOW: It’s impossible, but I think that finale that Paul wrote and directed was a perfect ending to the storyline, and everything the show did well was done perfectly in that episode. It spreads the wealth, you really go deep with every character, and it says everything that we wanted to say. And it is also really funny, and makes you cry hard at the end. I cry every single time. I cry the second you hear the first chord of the Grateful Dead song. I think that’s probably the best one.

FEIG: I love “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers.” There’s a special place in my heart for that one because I was off doing the finale, because we did them out of order. So that was one I had nothing to do with. I remember coming back from directing with that haze and sitting in the editing room watching the “Lady L” sequence and Seth smashing the guitar. It was just so funny to me that this thing had happened, so I have a real soft spot for that one. But I suppose I also have a soft spot for “Looks and Books.” That one makes me laugh the most, weirdly.

Are there any episodes where you wish you’d done something differently?
APATOW: We had the ability to do reshoots during the shoot, so when we didn’t like something we would actually do reshoots like it was a movie. One reshoot that we did that was funny was, I think it was for the Halloween episode, we wound up with a funnier opening and we came up with this idea that all the geeks are sitting around making the most disgusting thing they could ever make in a blender and seeing if Bill will drink it for money. So some of our best moments came out of feeling like we had a weakness.

So the Arrested Development group is getting back together to produce some new episodes and a movie. Any thought of reuniting the Freaks and the Geeks for a movie update, or is that too difficult considering the era the show took place in and how different it would have to be now?
FEIG: I find it scary. I mean it could be great, but if it’s anything less than great, then it just waters down the memory of the rest of the show. For some reason that becomes the last thing you’ve done, and I always feel like if you don’t get it right it erases the memory of what came before it. But I don’t know. If we came up with a great idea, who knows?

APATOW: I love the question mark at the end of the series, so I never want to know more than that. It is the reason why you don’t want to find out what happened, like when they got off the bus in The Graduate.

FEIG: That’s so true.

APATOW: That’s the main reason why it doesn’t feel interesting to do. But whenever we see any of the actors together, they have just such ridiculous chemistry that you could tell you could put them in any situation and they would be really interesting to watch, and sparks would fly. So there’s a chance I’m just completely wrong.

I got a few words for you guys: Jeff Rosso spin-off!
FEIG: Well, there you go. That’s the gold!

APATOW: I do think there will certainly never be a project that we’re more proud of than Freaks and Geeks. When Freaks and Geeks ended, in a lot of ways it freed me creatively because I thought, no matter what else happens, I was a part of Freaks and Geeks. And I always thought, I don’t think I’ll ever surpass this, my magical moment. Which I use as motivation to take a lot of risks in my career. And that hasn’t changed. As the years go by, I don’t even feel like I worked on the show. I feel like a separation from the show because I’m such a fan of it now. I can’t even believe I was there.

Follow Dalton on Twitter: @DaltonRoss

Read more:
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