Question: Hi. I don't know what the overall opinion of Boston Public is, but I think it's ridiculous. I was a huge fan of Freaks and Geeks. I am twenty-four years old and that was the first show I have viewed that I was able to identify with. I could see every person in my high school in that show. Then, it was cancelled. Why? Everyone I know watched that show. Now, we have to sit there and try to swallow the stories of what high school is like from Boston Public? Please! If this show continues, I will be sickened. Freaks and Geeks cancelled, but Boston Public staying. Who decides who stays and who goes, anyway? A bunch of over-50, upper-class white men who never had the emotional struggles and day-to-day problems of a normal teenager. Amy M. Kapus
Televisionary: Now, Amy. There's no proof that those upper-class white men are over 50. In this town, revealing your age is tantamount to taping a "fire me" sign to your butt.
Truth is, I heartily agree with you on some points. As I've said in this space before, Freaks and Geeks was a thoroughly wonderful show, chock full of excellent writing, acting and casting. Unfortunately, more often than not those qualities will get you killed in today's TV market, where the execrable Yes, Dear finds an audience and American High gets yanked after a nanosecond's airing.
However, it's not the silver-haired, besuited execs wielding the greatest influence, really it's the misrepresented high school kids across America. To repeat myself yet again, show after show hangs in because the budget is right and it draws enough of the crucial 18-34 demographic that the wizards on Madison Avenue deem to be so important. Their thinking is the Diagnosis Murder crowd is too old to change brands, but the younger set spends more and is pleasingly susceptible to advertising. Advertisers buy more time on youth-oriented shows, so the networks try to keep them happy. (Frustrated? Join the club. That thinking vexes the older-skewing CBS, but keeps the WB in business.) The kids are watching Boston Public. Aside from you and your friends, they largely ignored Freaks and Geeks.
And your Boston Public points are certainly well taken. The show has a lot of potential, I think, with solid acting and a set-up that should deliver better stories. But producer David E. Kelley keeps falling back on his tried-and-true outlandish sexual situations wherever sex will fit. (Not that there's anything objectionable about sex, mind you, but when teacher-teacher and teacher-student canoodling is the crux of two out of every three plots, it gets a little tiresome.)
Here's hoping they find something better for the adorable Jessalyn Gilsig to do than serve as a magnet for flying spit and breast implants week in and week out. And giving the talented Anthony Heald some meatier material as they did recently after his character had a falling out with his lawyer brother is certainly a step in the right direction.
But I'm with you on this: I don't see the show getting anywhere near the level of Freaks and Geeks, which is probably why it's doing reasonably well in the ratings. Color me jaded.