My colleague and I were reminiscing about the ’90s the other day: the strange fashions (bomber jackets?!), the music, the television shows…
And then the topic of Dawson’s Creek came up. Yep, the drama that centred around a group of of angst-ridden (and decidedly average-looking, or is that just me?) teenagers trying to claw their way out of the dark cave that is adolescence.
Maybe I’m just being overly critical and judgemental, but I’ve always had a couple of fundamental issues with the show: the characters, the casting, the script – amongst others.
First and foremost, what kind of name is Pacey?!
I mean, where I come from, “pacey” means fast; nippy. (Where I come from, it also sounds the same as the Afrikaans word for pimple, “puisie”, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Why not “Duncan” or “Bradley”? Even “Walter” would’ve been better. I just don’t understand how, or why, they decided on “Pacey”.
The next issue is not really Dawson’s Creek specific, it’s more to do with the actress herself: Katie Holmes (aka Joey Potter). And, just to clarify, I had a problem with her long before those nauseating clips of her and Tom Cruise fawning over each other started circulating.
I guess she’s pretty, in a unique kind of way; but she has this strange half-smile, half-grimace that looks like she’s going through absolute agony yet somehow enjoying it (who knows – maybe she’s a masochist) on her face 90% of the time. It’s definitely a Katie Holmes thing and not just a Joey Potter thing, because I’ve spotted her doing it in numerous interviews and almost every other role she’s played. But I think she hit an all time annoying high in Dawson’s Creek.
Then there’s the fact that the entire cast looked as if they were a couple of months away from the big 3-0, when in actual fact they were yet to blow out 16 candles on their respective birthday cakes. That just made the entire plot and premise even more unbelievable.
Perhaps the most infuriating thing, however, was the way they talked to one another. I mean, how many 15-year-olds do you know who say things like:
“I’m an artist, torture is a prerequisite.” (Dawson)
“Edge is fleeting, heart lasts forever.” (Dawson)
“Cramming dreary German folk tales and the inner workings of the Fett is hard enough without having to listen to a diatribe about your ass.” (Joey)
“But what good is their love if it’s not strong enough to overcome those circumstances?”
“Because in spite of the circumstances… they never stop loving.” (Dawson and Joey)
I’m sorry? What?!
You lost me there.
When I was 15, I was talking about how “lame” geometry was; how I couldn’t wait for first break so I could go buy R5’s worth of Fizz Pops; and how hot Josh Hartnett was. But maybe I just wasn’t as deep or as intellectual as the Capeside kids.
So we’ll move on to another annoying element – one that is probably the most problematic, since he was the central character (it was his creek after all): Dawson Leery. Wow, where to begin…
I always wondered when they were going to introduce the theme of Dawson’s premature ageing disorder into the story (and, to be honest, I think this is what could’ve saved the show). All the telltale signs were there: the receding hairline; the head that was slightly too large for the body; the faint crow’s feet that were highlighted in every lingering close up.
I won’t even get started on his constant internal struggle with trying to remain true to himself while still wanting to give into his (teenage male) hormones. Or his stalker-like obsession with Steven Spielberg, for that matter.
But, when all is said and done, I guess Dawson’s Creek did have its positives.
First and foremost, Oliver Hudson (aka Eddie Doling). Well, hello.
If I were Joey, or any female who came within a 20 metre of radius of him, I would’ve dropped everything, eloped with him to some farm in the Midwest, and then proceeded to start a family of little Eddie Dolings. (I would’ve also made him herd cattle, wearing nothing but a Stetson and torn stonewashed jeans, at every possible opportunity. But let’s not get sidetracked.)
Then there was the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Robin’s high school sweetheart, played by none other than James Van Der Beek, comes to see her in New York, years after breaking her heart. We first see him as the bad boy hottie who featured in her hit music video (“Sandcastles in the Sand“) as a teenager, and then as the overweight, balding alcoholic loser he is today.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m almost sure that viewers who were familiar with James Van Der Beek in his Dawson’s Creek days found the episode at least 90% more entertaining than those who had never been introduced to Mr. Leery. It was almost as if we were getting a glimpse of what happened to Dawson after he left Capeside and his dreams of becoming an award-winning director fell flat.
Last, but certainly not least, I just don’t think those numerous lazy Sunday mornings (preceded by Saturday nights involving Shack, good friends and several double McQueens) earlier this year would’ve been the same without Vuzu’s four hour-long Dawson’s Creek omnibus specials. Even if I was just watching to get a peek of Dawson’s bad hair and Joey’s lopsided grin.
And hey, Joshua Jackson (aka Pacey) is dating mega babe Diane Kruger, while Michelle Williams (aka Jen) was once married to the oh-so-beautiful Heath Ledger. So I guess it all worked out okay for everyone in the end.