They're responsible for some of the greatest films of the past decade and beyond, but these awesome directors have all geeked it up on the small screen as well. Here are five awesome TV shows from five of the geekiest directors around!
1. Freaks and Geeks—Judd Apatow
Freaks and Geeks has become somewhat of a legend among comedy fans and geeks alike and although it started as a cult hit it now boasts a legion of admirers. The series, which followed the lives of a pack of awkward high-school misfits in the 80s was Judd Apatow's (Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin) first major critical success, and served as the launching pad for the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and many others. It's a true shame it only lasted one season, but it's following will ensure the series is always fondly remembered. It even appeared in Time magazine's 2007 "100 Greatest Shows of All Time," ranking number three amongst all the series of the 2000's.
2. Buffy The Vampire Slayer—Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon maybe on top because of The Avengers, but he started that climb with his stellar Buffy the Vampire series. It wasn't an immediate hit, though, when it debuted on the now defunct WB network in the late 90s, long before vampires became cool again. Buffy itself, though, was one of the catalysts of the vampire resurgence in pop culture, and it's not hard to see why; its unconventional story lines, charismatic cast and whip-smart sense of humor made the series a standout. It jump-started the careers of its eclectic cast, spawned a spin-off series, and created an army of fans, all of which can be attributed to Whedon's gifts for story and dialogue that he would later showcase to even greater effect and copious box-office returns. There have been rumors of a reunion both on TV and film since Buffy's demise in 2003, and after such a long hiatus fans would surely welcome its return with open arms.
3. Spaced—Edgar Wright
For most Americans, director Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Hot Fuzz) and actor/comedian Simon Pegg (Star Trek) first blazed onto the scene with the groundbreaking zombie-comedy Sean Of The Dead, but British audiences knew them long before from their winning series Spaced. The series starred Pegg as an under-achieving twenty-something slacker who poses as one half of a couple in order to land the only apartment he can afford. The series wasn't quite as high concept as most of Pegg and Wright's subsequent collaborations, but it had their unmistakable wit and was successful in its native England. The series also co-starred frequent Pegg/Wright collaborator Nick Frost, who would later become Pegg's sidekick in Sean of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul and the upcoming Wright directed comedy, The World's End.
4. Lost—J.J. Abrams
Lost is quite simply one of the greatest television series of all time. The show, which was an often surreal account of a band of plane crash survivors attempting to survive on a mysterious island and unlock its mysteries, was the brainchild of Abrams. The series bore many traits that have come to be associated with Abrams: an eclectic cast with complex story lines that become increasingly odd as time goes on, a Steven Spielberg like sense of adventure, and loads of plot twists per episode. Although Abrams has proved his talent a thousand times over by now, Lost still remains his most universally loved achievement, even over his stellar treatments of the Star Trek and Mission Impossible films, and will forever be revered as one of television's most daring shows.
5. Amazing Stories—Steven Spielberg
Amazing Stories was the creation of Steven Spielberg, but over the course of its three year run, it enlisted the talents of nearly all the world's leading directors and producers of the time, including George Lucas, Robert Zemekis, Martin Scorscese, Clint Eastwood and many, many more. The series was sort of the Twilight Zone of it's time, featuring a new, extraordinary story and a different cast with each episode. The genres ranged from comedy, to sci-fi, to horror, fantasy and even animated farce, but at its heart was exceptional story-telling in the classic, all-American, Speilbergian mold. Several of Hollywood's current leading directors also launched their careers through the series, including Tim Burton, who would later re-fashion his episode "The Family Dog" into his recent claymation masterpiece Frankenweenie. This is one series that's definitely worth tracking down!
What director's early work do you want to see?