Song of the Day: “Come Sail Away” by Styx (Freaks and Geeks)

This week*, I’ll be writing about songs featured in some of my favorite musical moments from some of my favorite TV shows. Be warned that I don’t shy away from spoilers… * I know it’s been longer than a week, but I have more songs in shows I want to write about.

While Freaks and Geeks usually delivered ambiguous and bittersweet endings to its episodes (to remarkable effect), the pilot’s last scene provided a rare moment of uplifting, unadulterated redemption. Sam gets a dance (albeit a fast dance) with Cindy, while Lindsay gets to make up for inadvertently belittling Eli earlier in the episode. And everyone just ends up happy, dancing the night away.

The first time I saw this scene, I appreciated the mere fact that it made clever use of a song with a slow start and rockin’ second half. In subsequent watches, there are other details that pop out: How the show so perfectly nailed each of its characters from the start; how it didn’t shy away from extended shots of the characters’ faces, emphasizing awkward uncertainty.

I also have a special place in my heart for “Come Sail Away.” It was one of MY favorite songs in high school, and one of few I had the privilege of performing on stage in front of peers (as an extended part of a band camp skit).

It all adds up to a scene that makes me smile every time, one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite shows.

Click here for the full list

Click here for the full list

Dan S.

Dan is the editor of Earn This. He co-founded the site in 2009.

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