Freaks and Geeks was a short-lived television series which aired on NBC from 1999 to 2000. It was only one season long, at 18 episodes, only 15 of which were ever broadcast on TV.
It centers around the lives of Lindsay and Sam Weir in high school in 1980. The show starts with Lindsay's transition from hanging out with her nerdy friends, the "mathletes", to becoming part of the "freaks", a gang of mostly academically hopeless lower class kids. Sam, along with his friends Bill Haverchuck and Neal Schweiber, comprise the "geeks".
Unlike classic media portrayals of these social outcasts, Freaks and Geeks is portrays these two groups like I knew them when I was in high school. Each character is given depth and character beyond the classic "AV club, taped up glasses geeks" and "dimwitted, drugged up freaks". Although typically each episode has some sort of ultimate lesson the characters learn, ala 1990's family sitcoms, it never feels preachy, and ultimately never drifts away from reality like so many other shows would.
Ultimately, it is a very heartwarming show with infinitely likeable characters and relatable situations, from Lindsay's existential awakening to Sam's coming of age. This show is what John Hughes movies aspire to be, but never quite achieve.