Things that are most memorable about 90s TV show Dawson’s Creek are Paula Cole’s catchy tune which became the show’s theme tune ‘do-de-do do do do...’, the insanely articulate and fast-paced angst of its teenage protagonists and/or the titular hero’s clearly 30 year old face being slightly out of kilter with the entire intake of Capeside High School’s 5th year student body (incidently James Van Der Beek was not even 30 at the time...) Those lasting impressions were among the reasons that I wanted to re-visit these moments (via the box set that my long-suffering husband bought me one birthday.)
The other part of this tale is that I have just moved house and as respite from unpacking memories and, quite frankly, a host of miscellaneous items which probably constitute the recipe for any hoarders wet dream, I chose to step back in time to The Creek, with its quaint backwardness such Jen’s Grams and her casual (shocking) racism, a world without the plague of mobile phones and the birth-squeal of dial-up internet and the romance of Joey scaling the ladder into Dawson’s bedroom: a tale as old as time.
So in a world of high-paced edgy blockbusters of TV Series such as Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead (am I up-to-date, or behind? I can’t tell…) why would somebody relatively young feel more at home watching something so dated?
Now, I’m pretty sure we are supposed to fall in line with Joey and fall in love with the be-curtained Dawson, or secretly want to be like Jen Lindley, the reformed ‘super-slut’ (hardly, by today’s standards) from New York or perhaps even fall for Pacey and his kooky charms and penchant for a cougar, but, I have to say, that my girl crush and new (but old) role-model is little old Joey Potter, ‘...from the wrong side of the creek.’ I suppose, being a teenage girl, at first in reality, and now nostalgically, being a teenage girl is one of the attractions of Miss Potter. But, also, she’s kind of like an early, hotter version of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Aside also being a ‘Potter’, Joey is basically Muggle-Born and has exactly the sort of heartbreakingly endearing story that applicants from the X Factor would be foaming at the mouth over and you can’t help identifying with her love of Dawson. In a world where we’re all strong, independent women, I guess it may seem ‘Romantic’ or rather backwards to champion Joey waiting for Dawson to admit his love for her and singing On my Own to an audience casting poignant doe-eyed glances at her Prince Charming whilst doing so, but arguably, on a second watching of the knotty-affair, I couldn’t help being kind of impressed in how much Joey knows who she is, what she wants and how committed she dares to be at such a young age. Plus, love is love… who doesn’t like love?! That aside, her quick-wit and at times, cutting remarks kind of make me want to be her.
2) References to Film
A nuance of the series, which I didn’t really appreciate the first time around, was the many references to awesome films (mainly Spielberg, but not always) that are meshed into the series to mirror Dawson’s love of film. I suppose, having grown older, I’ve now actually seen these films, rather than pretending I understood the references, and now appreciate the resonance of them in the plot and spotting these is my new hobby (I enjoy feeling smug because I am now the cool hipster I always wanted to be!) One of the episodes is basically The Breakfast Club which I adore and certainly implore you to watch, and another is a Halloween homage to, let’s face it, Wes Craven and those hammy horrors.
3) The ‘Feels’
I love to cry. I love to sit on my own in my living room with my cat and The Creek and bloody well let it all go. It’s therapy. I feel like the pains that the characters have are totally teenage and totally the kinds of wrongs we feel have been done to us in our lives even though I never had to travel to my mate’s house in a rowing boat and where I am from you were lucky if your neighbour looked you in the eye at least once a year. I enjoy being taken back to that socially awkward, self-important angsty time and longing to feel it all over again. I too remember when sleep-overs with my best guy friend took that turn into ‘something more’ that couldn’t be explained, I too remember feeling like my voice needed to be heard, I remember planning sharp retorts to exact critical hits of emotional damage on those around me, over the least thing. I remember divorces and births and deaths and school and I cry for those characters, and myself.
And then I move on.
4) Time Travel!
The final thing that I love about watching Dawson’s Creek is how fashion and music, in particular, come flooding back to me like a refreshing spritz of sickly-sweet body spray (with glitter, of course).
I love how Dawson’s beige semi-chinos are so baggy that it makes him look like his legs are each the size of his torso, that Jessica Simpson is on the soundtrack, that twinsets are in vogue, along with chokers and tank top/white shirt combos … it reminds me of trips to Tammy Girl and carefully deciding which denim jacket to wear to Youth Club each week. Sun lollies, mood rings, long summers with no real commitment, pedal pushers, hair-dye ‘wands’ and wanting to have a boyfriend so badly that I thought I’d never recover. And it’s both cringe-worthy and kind of sweet.
So, 'do' dig out your old fav's and let me know what they are in the comments below.