When I set out to re-evaluate my personal artifacts in honor of my FORTIETH! birthday, I had grand dreams of having re-evaluated everything by the time the actual birthday rolled around. Eternal, illogical optimism is often the cause of all my tardiness. I constantly think everything will take entirely less time than it actually does.
The Dawson’s Creek re-watch was going really well for a long time. I’d clip along, a few episodes a week, usually during lunch. But then I got fed up with the shittiness of the DVD series I bought a few years ago, so I quit for awhile until that magical day I discovered the entire series on Netflix. I did pretty well, making it through most of junior year, senior year, and part of freshman year, until Mitch Leery died. I just wasn’t in the mood to sob my eyes out. So I stopped again.
My birthday came and went and I never did get around to finishing the series, until last week when I discovered I was losing my most favorite (and lucrative) client. There’s nothing like emotional and financial upheaval to leave a grown woman craving her favorite visual security blanket.
The Mitch Leery dies episode of Dawson’s always gets me unstuck, at least emotionally. I cry my eyes out until I can’t cry any more. It gets the ick out in a way nothing can, not even listening to Jeff Buckley’s “Lover You Should Have Come Over” in the dark.
Get over it. What is the big deal? So I like a teen soap? So what?
As I type this I’m watching the first part of the series finale, and Jen has just fainted. My heart is giddy and fluttery and I can’t stop grinning even though I know in about 7 minutes I’ll be projectile crying, the tears shooting out of my eyes
I love this show. I don’t know why and I can’t explain it. Is it ridiculous and melodramatic? Yes. Is it inane and unrealistic? Yes. And yet I love it still.
(Oh Grams just came out of Jen’s room sobbing, here come my tears)
I love this show so much and have watched it so much, that I have many quibbles with the Netflix version. First, they’re fucking up these final episodes, cutting shit out. . . like the first time Dawson & Joey see each other at the gas station, and Joey finding the wedding ring.
Second, the music is all wrong and I’m not talking about how they swapped out theme songs. Trading Paula Cole for Jann Arden. There’s one scene where college-aged Jen plays R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming” for Dawson to remind him of that one time they went skinny-dipping, only on this new and unimproved version it’s not R.E.M., it’s some song I’ve never heard of.
Also, when Jen jumps on the chair to “Baba O’Reilly” in this version it’s some other bullshit song that makes the scene feel awkward.
This, this quibble, more than anything shows how much I love this show. I’m like those crazy StarWars fans who got mad at George Lucas for changing shit in their beloved movie. Dawson’s Creek is my StarWars and if there were weirdo conventions where I could cosplay as Audrey Liddel or Grams, I would totally go every year.
Other thoughts on this show which will continue to serve as the TV-backbone of my personal pop cultural canon:
- Dawson is a self-centered creep. His ridiculous arrogance and obliviousness to other people’s feelings gets more unbearable with each re-watching of the series.
- Michelle Williams is luminous. Her skin. . . it’s like otherworldly in its beauty.
- Speaking of Jen, I have her dying speech to her daughter memorized.
- Now that Katie Holmes is divorcing Tom Cruise (just typing his name gives me shivers of revulsion, he’s the reason I have never seen “Top Gun” or “Risky Business” or many, many movies) I write fan fiction about Michelle Williams and Busy Phillps (Audrey Liddel) swooping in and reprogramming her and the three of them being BFFs.
- PACEY! PACEY! PACEY!
- The professors at Worthington college have very inappropriate relationships with their students. At least Joey’s profs do.
- Grams is the most dynamic character on the show, she changes the most from bible-banging judgmental old hag, to college-attending, black-man dating withit woman of the world.
- I write fan fiction about a Dawson’s reunion where Michelle Williams comes back to play her own daughter.
- In the early years Joey pulls the “dead mom” card way too often and early, luckily she lays off that as she grows up.
- Also, Betsy is totally under-rated. She’s a great sister and character.
Grams just said, “I’ll see you soon child, I’ll see you soon” which makes me cry so hard I can’t even type anymore.