Sounds Off! Addicted to “Dawson’s”

Sigh…What can I say? I am addicted to Dawson’s Creek.

But I am not alone when I confess that I have never missed an episode of the show during its five seasons.

In the fall of 1997, Warner Brother network reps began targeting teens to watch the show. They passed out flyers and posters displaying the faces of actors who would soon become Hollywood’s next group of bright, young things. Curious, I took a couple of posters and put them in my dorm room in college.

No one could predict that Dawson’s Creek would become a smash hit months later.

My addiction started while I was in college. Maybe it was worse back then. Every Wednesday night, I would gather with my sorority sisters to watch Dawson’s Creek. With each girl having crazy school schedules, assembling for the show was almost a way to guarantee we could be together at one time.

The magic behind Dawson’s Creek is that it traces the life of five high school friends from Capeside, a beautiful small town just outside Massachusetts. Its young, attractive characters experiment with their sexuality and deal with the challenges and adventures of coming of age.

Dawson (James Van Der Beek) is an over-dramatic aspiring filmmaker who idolizes Steven Spielberg. He has a platonic relationship with the girl next door, Joey (Katie Holmes), and becoming more than best friends would only ruin their relationship. Pacey (Joshua Jackson) spends most of the time feeling like the ugly duckling of his family. Jack (Kerr Smith) is the jock who had a hard time coming out of the closet. Jen (Michelle Williams) is a promiscuous girl from New York who had to move away to live with her difficult past.

The popularity of the show comes from dealing with sensitive and relevant issues that teens face every day growing up. The show teaches teens how to cope with love, sex, divorce and education.

What is it about the show that has made me a loyal viewer and fan for all these years?

Well, maybe the plots are corny at times. The actors are not as young as the characters they portray–most are in their mid-20s.

But the show gets the job done, and it does it well.

The younger viewers have grown with them, but older folks such as myself, who grew up on Beverly Hills 90210, saw them like our younger siblings. We have seen Dawson and his friends grow over the years, and their vulnerability and sincerity has touched us deeply.

With the success of Dawson’s Creek, some of its cast members went on to host Saturday Night Live, appear in several magazine covers, including a spread for TV Guide, and grace retail catalogs.

They also have starred in movies.

Van Der Beek‘s first starring role was in the hit Varsity Blues, which earned him a 1999 MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance. He also made a cameo appearance playing “Dawson” in the Kevin Smith film Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. He will next be seen in the oft-delayed western Texas Rangers.

Holmes starred in the horror yarn Disturbing Behavior, for which she won a 1999 MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance. She also acted in the dark comedy Go and the Oscar-nominated Wonder Boys.

Jackson made his film debut as “Charlie” in the Mighty Ducks trilogy, and has appeared in Cruel Intentions, Urban Legend and The Skulls since joining Dawson’s Creek.

Williams co-starred with Jamie Lee Curtis in the thriller Halloween: H2O, HBO’s lesbian-themed If These Walls Could Talk II, and will next be seen in Prozac Nation, based on Elizabeth Wurtzel’s best-selling novel.

Smith starred in Final Destination and the independent romantic comedy Hit and Runway, which received the Screenwriters Award at the 1999 Los Angeles International Film Festival.

Five seasons later, the guys from the creek are all grown up. In its new season, Dawson is pursuing his film degree in Hollywood. Jack, Jen and Joey discover the hardships of being a freshman in college. Pacey is living on a sailboat.

Dawson’s Creek often gives the answers to the great mysteries that teens often face. Of course, one would only find the answer if it’s embedded in a Spielberg film. Isn’t that right, Dawson?

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