7. FREAKS & GEEKS
Not to oversell the importance of this criminally short-lived series, but without it, we’d have no comedy movies of note today. Created by Judd Apatow, "Freaks & Geeks" launched the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Lizzy Caplan, and a boatload of others.
But the real allure of the show lies in its ability to make you laugh, then laugh uncomfortably, then squirm uncomfortably in the course of one episode. As you watch, wonder why Martin Starr isn’t a bigger name— his sweetly dopey Bill Haverchuck is the show’s hilariously bittersweet heart and soul: