Saturday, November 28, 2020

I re-watched 'Dawson's Creek' for the first time in 20+ years.

I first watched 'Dawson's Creek' when I was 10 years old. That was pre-teen me. Innocent, clueless, and with a lust to experience the teenage world. I remember falling madly in love with Pacey Witter - manly, caring, and cute - and wishing I would grow up to be just like Jen Lindley - effortlessly beautiful, fashionable, and wise beyond her years. I was so obsessed with the show, I even took notes while watching it, typed the script in our clunky new computer on MS-DOS, and saved it into diskettes. I even bought the original soundtrack and the books, and I remember reading them to my sister on our bunk bed at night.

I hadn't watched 'Dawson's Creek' again since then, though. I never got the DVDs. I never made an effort to stream it. I never even thought about it much. In fact, I completely forgot the show existed until I saw it on the 'Coming Soon' section on Netflix. The nostalgia sank in, the butterflies fluttered in my stomach, and I watched it the minute it came out. Here's what I discovered:

They didn't sound the way that I remembered.

When Dawson Leery first spoke, I was a little shocked. I didn't remember him having that kind of voice. And then I realized we lived in Germany when I was 10 and we watched it dubbed in German. That's right. I never watched 'Dawson's Creek' in English. Lol. It took me a while to get used to how whiny everybody sounded; and to be honest, I was a bit surprised by how whiny everybody in the show was, in general. Was Dawson always that annoying? Was Joey? I remember my sister loving Joey back in the day... but why?

I grew up to be nothing like Jen Lindley.

As much as I adored Jen, I didn't grow up to be like her. You'd think that if you idolize someone, you'll do your best to be more like them... but that clearly isn't what happened. In fact, I didn't even grow up to Joey. I grew up to be... Andie McPhee.

It's sad to admit that while watching her on the screen now, but she is me. I am her. I can't find a single thing about Andie that I cannot relate to. I was a nerd. I was obsessed with getting good grades and I applied to a gazillion colleges... not because I wanted to go there, but just because I wanted to see if I could get in (this is a toxic trait I still have to this day). I even have a gay brother!

And then there's the mental illness. 'Dawson's Creek' sucked at portraying mental illness (and homosexuality while we're at it) to be honest, but the fact that she had one hit far too close to me. I just wish I had someone like Pacey, too. Though the way Andie ended up handling that... I can already see how things might've panned out for me if I had a Pacey of my own.

I would probably date Dawson in real life.

I loved Pacey and I still do now that I'm rewatching it. But let's be honest: a geeky Spielberg-loving filmmaker with a room that looks like all of the rooms I've ever had? Dawson is the geek of my dreams. He just needs a new haircut.

'Dawson's Creek' touched on so many issues.

All I really remember about 'Dawson's Creek' - the title song aside - is that it was fun to watch. I never remembered it as a "serious" show. In fact, whenever I talk to people about coming-of-age series, I always talk about how much I miss 'The OC' and 'One Tree Hill' because they portrayed the sad realities of teenage life well. It turns out 'Dawson's Creek' did that, too. They've got everything in there: wild sex lives, peer pressure, divorce, scandals with teachers (lol), suicide, homosexuality, mental illness... though I am still just on Season 2 at the moment and that's when I realized...

I never finished the show.

This makes sense, really. We left Germany a mere year after 'Dawson's Creek' first aired. I was 12 and on the verge of experiencing real teenage life for myself. By the time we moved to the Philippines for my first couple of high school years, I was so immersed in the transition to teenagehood and discovering boys and first kisses and first heartbreaks that I didn't make time to watch shows on TV anymore. I am in the second half of Season 2 at the moment and have no idea how this show is going to pan out.

I hope Pacey doesn't get back together with Andie, though. He deserves better.