Dawson’s Creek, Season 1

There are three major things I like about the first season of this show. One is the music. It’s always a nice shock to your system to hear Savage Garden at a school dance. Two is that the final episode was incredibly meta. Joey and Dawson have a conversation about cliffhangers, movie cliches, and false hopes, and it’s like they’re making fun of the show in a really smart way, and at the right time, too. This show is saturated with teen drama, so it’s nice to know that they weren’t taking themselves too seriously. And the third thing is that this first season, the first thirteen episodes, much like those of Glee can stand alone. It’s almost a miniseries. It has a happy ending, an unfinished one actually for Pacey and Jen, but the point is that Joey and Dawson get together. I don’t know if there are others out there who think the show was self-contained in the first season and wish it had ended on top like that, but judging from the synopses I read of the rest of the series, I don’t think I’m alone.

Anyway, there was one major thing I hated about this show. Ready? Dawson. And, yes, I realize that he’s not only the main but the TITLE character. Even thought I watched the last four episodes in a very rapid-fire addictive manner, I became painfully aware that I didn’t have the gut reaction to this show that I suspect most people did when it came out, and I definitely won’t be making the time or emotional investment in this soap opera to finish out its remaining five seasons. Reading about it was enough for me. So why do I hate Dawson? It’s simple. He’s a huge pussy. He’s too sensitive, he lives in a fantasy world, he can’t think for himself, and he’s not even that hot. He might be one of the most annoying characters I’ve ever seen on television. Why he earned the following of a bajillion teenage girls is beyond me, because he might be the least assertive character in the history of teen dramas. Pacey, on the other hand, is awesome. What he lacks in skills or motivation, he makes up for in charm and personality. It was weird at first to see Josh Jackson in such an awkward stage, with his body and his voice so well-developed beyond his face, but at least I know he turned out hot. Van Der Beek, though. Oy. That hair.

Michelle Williams was good and all, though she looked like she was about 26. It just didn’t size up to me. Katie Holmes, on the other hand, WOW. That girl can (or could, maybe) act. She was fifteen if I ever saw it. Her posture, her facial expressions — all were reminiscent of a teenage nerd, unaware of her own beauty, oozing self-deprecation, dripping with insecurity and tragedy. Watching her shine like this makes her personal story all the more depressing. To watch her on DC, and to see her in interviews then, was a true delight. She had that charming midwestern accent and that slightly quirky list of conversation topics to make her weird enough to be normal. But now she’s this horribly boring robot, controlled by Tom and Scientology, and it’s just sad, man. I hope she gets out, because she’s still so young and capable. She needs to be a little more like Joey Potter.