#throwbackthursday: Dawson’s Creek And Teen Angst

Today’s #throwbackthursday is devoted to one of my all-time favourite shows: Dawson’s Creek. Dawson and Joey forever and ever.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away where everyone wore plaid and baggy jeans and there was no such thing as an iPhone (aka the 90s), there was a show that took emotions to a whole new level. I’m talking about Dawson’s Creek, that beautifully shot, beautifully acted and super sweet teen drama that we were all pretty obsessed with. My obsession has never really ended (#teendramasforever) and it all started with two characters who were BFFs and lived across the creek from each other.

I know that Joey ended up with Pacey and that’s totally fine. Okay, no, it’s not fine at all. She was totally meant to be with Dawson. While I support the creative decision to have Dawson get his TV show (and phone chat with his idol Spielberg) and Pacey get Joey — because Pacey is an adorable, charming and hilarious person — I really believe in the love that Joey and Dawson shared. I mean, they watched movies together and shared a bed and it was super innocent and adorable! How could they not end up with their own love story?!

Okay, taking a deep breath now…

Dawson’s Creek is such a magical moment in the teen TV landscape because it was 100 percent real. Sure, the actors looked super old because, well, they were but the characters were honestly going through what everyone goes through. They had crushes, first dates, freak-outs, exams, college apps, parties, family fights, friendship drama. Most of us have experienced that first time that you realize you like another human being, and how completely exciting that simple fact makes every single moment. When Joey and Dawson briefly dated (the first time around, that is), you could just tell that every time they were around each other, whether they were walking down their school hallways or hanging out in his bedroom (or, you know, in a boat on the creek, of course), they didn’t want to be anywhere else.

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Plus, how can you not love/laugh hysterically at Dawson’s infamous crying face?

I know that the college years of teen dramas are often pretty controversial. But I totally loved the college years of this show. Seasons 5 and 6 were just as fascinating to me because I liked the stories that were being told. I liked when Joey had to get used to her roomie and figure out how to share her space both emotionally and physically (#deep). I liked when Joey fell for her teacher and basically failed an exam because that was so not her. I liked when Joey emailed Dawson… and accidentally emailed the entire school (aka your worst nightmare). Okay, so there were other characters but I clearly related to Joey the most. She’s just so great.

A lot of people probably think this show is way too cheesy and wordy and whatever else. Sure, it’s got grand monologues and it’s the kind of show where the characters say each other’s names a lot. Like a lot. But it holds a special place in my 90s loving heart. Season one was literally the first TV DVD I bought. It was super magical to be able to binge a show (even though, of course, we didn’t know that’s what we were doing). I remember watching episodes in my family room eating a fish burger or whatever you call it from McDonald’s. Yup, super random but that is still super clear in my mind.

There are some good teen shows worth watching on TV these days (is anyone watching The Fosters? I’m addicted). But Dawson’s Creek was special. And thanks to the magic and wonder of DVDs and Netflix and other streaming services, we can visit those crazy teens living on the creek anytime we want.

Photo credit: www.weheartit.comwww.weheartit.com

Aya Tsintziras is a food blogger at www.ahealthystory.com. She posts gluten-free, dairy-free and mostly sugar-free recipes, lifestyle and pop culture stories on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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6 comments

  1. Poor Dawson – that photo is just too tragically hilarious! Much as I liked Pacey I guess I always figured Joey would get him out of her system and choose Dawson in the end . Probably because my favourite love story of all time is the one where you get to spend your life with your best friend.

    Also, I dearly miss plaid and baggy jeans!

    Have not seen the Fosters but now I’m curious. I don’t have Netflix so hope it will at some point come out on DVD.

    1. I love that Dawson photo way too much haha. I agree, Pacey is such a great character but it totally should have been Dawson! That does sound like the best love story 🙂 I’m still wearing plaid all the time and pretending it’s still the 90s. I hope you get a chance to see The Fosters at some point, I think you would like it!

  2. Dawson doesn’t get Joey because that is not how the real world works 90% of the time. The series starts with Joey and Dawson bickering over their world views. Optimism vs Cynicism. They have to navigate these paths to find reality and grow up. These black and white worlds don’t exist. Real life isn’t a movie, it doesn’t follow the tropes.

    Joey is a young girl who craves safety and protection. What is more safe to explore puberty than your best friend? But she can’t stay that way forever. Pacey provides a different kind of safety and protection. He gives her freedom but she knows he will always be there for her. And he makes her feel much different to Dawson and we see that in the way she behaves. When she comes back off that boat mousey, prudish Joey is a lot more free. She’s kissing in public, wearing bright clothes with open backs. She’s different. And I don’t think its a coincidence that nothing really got going after that for Dawson and Joey.

    1. You make an interesting point! I like what you said about how cynical she is and how optimistic he is.

  3. To me Dawson and Joey are the heart of the show and they should’ve ended up together in the end. But I really don’t like Pacey fans who have nothing better to do than hate on Dawson. I love the angsty side of DJ and they remind me of Ross and Rachel from friends.

    1. You’re so right, they’re definitely the heart of the show! I love the way you said that. Aw Ross and Rachel! Another classic TV couple.

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