Dawson’s Creek Rewatch (Part 2)

spoilery (✿◠‿◠)

I apparently have a lot of feelings about Dawson’s Creek and a second post is required!

Carrying on from my previous post, my Dawson’s Creek rewatch continues and so DOES THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOSTER. I’m now partway through season two and I’m constantly stunned by how impressive this show is, especially for its time. The characters are very well written and there’s such a running theme of genuine sincerity throughout the show that I’m just moved by. (I’m all about good vibes these days and let me just say, this show is the perfect break from reality right now.)

Season two tackles Jack’s coming out storyline, the return of Joey’s father, Jen’s struggles with her aunt and her personal happiness, Andie’s mental health crisis, Dawson’s parents’ divorce and subsequent dating adventures, and love stories on all sides.

I’m just gonna start with my favourites: Jack and Pacey. Jack’s dating Joey – who’s smitten with him – when his bitter, angry teacher decides to make Jack read a personal poem in front of the class. The poem was meant to be only for the teacher’s eyes and is about another man. Jack leaves the class in tears. This is followed by Pacey spitting in his teacher’s face. Pacey is honestly the most amazing ally in these episodes and I STAN A GOOD MAN. Later, when he confronts Andie about her being bothered by Jack’s homosexuality, he tells her straight out that he’s disappointed in her. He further refuses to apologise to the school for standing up for Jack and is genuinely delighted when Jack thanks him at the end. Pacey is honestly so pure. THESE PRINCES.

Pacey’s amazing treatment of Jack is also mirrored in his wonderful treatment of Andie, who struggles with her mental health throughout the season. He’s open and understanding, promising to stand by her side through what’s to come. The scene where she locks herself in her room, hallucinating Tim, her and Jack’s late brother, is gutting. In the aftermath, Jack is forced to recall his dad – who was last seen telling Jack that he didn’t want him to be gay – for Andie’s safety, and the end result isn’t great for anyone. Jack’s father continues to be homophobic and suggest conversion therapy, but Jack stands up for himself and tells his father that while he wants his dad to be proud of him, he won’t compromise who he is. I’m definitely bummed that Andie left at the end, leaving Pacey and Jack brokenhearted, but I’m glad Jack stayed behind and gets Jen to move in with him at the end.

This season also had a lot of classmate Chris (Jason Behr) and resident drama llama Abby, who bonds with Jen while stirring up chaos with everyone else around her, often with Chris’ help. I thought they were really great minor characters and I wish we’d had them around longer. The actors were superb!

I’m stoked for the rest of this rewatch! (Clearly.)

Rewatch Review: Dawson’s Creek (1998)

I’m going to be fairly spoilery with this so heads up. (✿◠‿◠)

Do you know what I remember about Dawson’s Creek? I mean, we all remember: I don’t wanna wait for our lives to be overrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ♫♪. But the standouts for me were Jensen Ackles’ showing up right before he started on Smallville and Supernatural, and of course Jack McPhee’s storyline.

For those don’t remember, Dawson’s Creek made television history with Jack’s LGBT storyline at the time. LGBT relationships, let alone kisses, weren’t commonplace on television in the US at the time and it was A BIG DEAL. I could count on one hand the number of gay storylines we got on network television when I was growing up: Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friends. So my everlasting memory of Dawson’s Creek was largely: thank you for giving us representation when so few would.

I also just adore the cast of Dawson’s Creek in general and continue to, to this day. Seriously, the core actors all went on to have lovely careers and seem so genuine in real life that I’ve always had a soft spot for the show as a result. Same with Firefly and Buffy and Supernatural. If the actors seem chill in real life, the show feels like comfort food, especially when you’re looking for escapism (and who isn’t this week?). Now it’s a decade since I last watched the series (I think?) and I’m finally getting a chance to rewatch it, and I’m finding that I remember – basically none of the storylines whatsoever! Which is making the rewatch so much fun and surprising. Somehow I even forgot about Dawson’s movie obsession??? Which is basically the foundation of the entire show, so that’s a wow at me. WOW.

Some more wows: I didn’t remember Dawson’s parents having an open marriage after a case of infidelity. Nor did I remember Pacey and his teacher in season one?! What the?! I feel like that storyline came out of left field. I didn’t remember Joey and Jack kissing??? Wut??? And he tells Dawson he’d do it again? To his face?? And Dawson punches him?! How did I forget this???? And wait, Jason Behr was in this, too? *SHOCK PIKACHU FACE*

Something that really struck me this time is Pacey’s fixation with his brother Doug’s sexuality in season one (Doug comes out in the final episode of the series and ends up with Jack), and while Pacey is being a jerk in the context of the scene (it’s evident that he’s mocking, not supporting), I wonder if it was foreshadowing on the part of the writers? If so, I’m really impressed by how early Doug’s homosexuality is brought in (1998) and how it comes full circle by the end (2003). I’d also forgotten about how awful and homophobic one of the high school teachers was to Jack. (Watch Jack’s poem.) And then, somehow, I forgot about Pacey’s response. Let it never be forgotten that Jack and Pacey were precious, loyal and deserved better.

I also really appreciate how much agency Joey starts to assert for herself after she begins dating Dawson. She starts pushing herself to have more of her own identity, which is something so important. The emphasis on friendship that’s really underscored in the show is wonderful, too. The characters are all well developed and have great individual storylines, from the high-schoolers to the parents and siblings.

Jen as a character is one I didn’t remember too much about, although I’ve followed Michelle Williams’ career as a result of Jen, so go figure. She’s a sweet, spunky girl who’s open minded and kind, befriending everyone and supportive to all. I really adore her from the get go, and much as I like Joey, she was being quite cruel to Jen at the start simply for existing. The progression of Jen’s relationship with her grandma is really lovely and well progressed. I love that they have that bond, and the scene where her grandpa dies is so heart-shattering.

I think it’s clear Pacey’s one of my favourites, but just as a character study he’s so lovely and mature to his friends. When I think of other 90s lead guys, Pacey really stands out as someone who cares more about the happiness of the ones he loves than his own. And that’s something, I think, that I’m noticing on this rewatch. There’s a lot of kindness amongst the characters of the show that I think is absent from a lot of television nowdays. Nineties show had a quality, a softness, a kindness. I miss that. Kinda wholesome, you know? I mean that in a truly sincere way. I love how wholesome it is.

Anyone else watch this show when they were younger? Thoughts?