• Publication date: April 28, 2009

The End of Innocence And the Beginning of Life

�Dawson�s Creek� follows the lives of four teenagers living in a small New England town as they cope with the dilemmas of adolescence. Its lead character, Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) is an aspiring filmmaker who enjoys making short films with his friends; when not videotaping his mates he is recording some other event, such as a beauty contest, an affair, or the birth of a baby.

�Dawson�s Creek� follows the lives of four teenagers living in a small New England town as they cope with the dilemmas of adolescence. Its lead character, Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) is an aspiring filmmaker who enjoys making short films with his friends; when not videotaping his mates he is recording some other event, such as a beauty contest, an affair, or the birth of a baby. Pacey (Joshua Jackson), Joey (Katie Holmes), and Jen (Michelle Williams) accompany Dawson in the teen drama. Joey (short for Josephine) is a tomboy unaware of her blossoming female beauty. She is Dawson�s best friend in Capeside, who moved there to live with her sister after her father�s imprisonment. Pacey is another close friend of Dawson who works alongside him at a video store. Lastly, Jen has come to Capeside to escape the perils of city life under the guise of caring for her invalid grandmother.

As with any teen drama, �Dawson�s Creek� contains the inevitable hookups between friends, including associated breakups and their aftermath. Yet it wouldn�t be complete without parental affairs, crime, and sexual innuendos, even between a high school English teacher and her student. When pitching the program to network executives creator Kevin Williamson described it as, �Some Kind of Wonderful, meets Pump Up the Volume, meets James at 15, meets My So-Called Life, meets Little House on the Prairie,� a fairly accurate summation. The high school setting is familiar territory for Williamson who gained notoriety as the scriptwriter of 1996�s �Scream.� Prior to the airing of �Dawson�s Creek,� the program had already generated interest based on its intellectually aware characters and mature, occasionally racy plotlines. Television critics either praised the show, outlining its moments of genius, or disregarded it as utter trash. Regardless of which opinion is correct, one can at least assume that a work creating so much polarity must be somewhat interesting.

Season one introduces viewers to the characters and their various idiosyncrasies. We get a real understanding of how devoted Dawson is to film � so much so that he truly loves his job working at a video store. The adults become entangled in their own scandals: Joey must confront Dawson�s mother about an affair she is having with a coworker, and Pacey finds himself in a romantic relationship with his English teacher, Tamara Jacobs (Leann Hunley). After Dawson learns of his mother�s infidelity, he seeks comfort from Jen. In an attempt to console Dawson, Jen reveals the true reason she moved to Capeside, much to her admirer�s dismay. On the more comical side of things, a girls� beauty contest goes awry when Pacey decides he would like to contend as well. Meanwhile, Joey musters up the strength to visit her father in prison on the advice of her older sister, Bessie and debates taking a summer vacation in France.

The show�s infamous introductory song, �I Don�t Want to Wait� by Paula Cole is featured on the soundtrack, along with artists such as Sophie B. Hawkins and Jessica Simpson. �Dawson�s Creek� was awarded a Teen Choice Award, while Joshua Jackson won three Teen Choice Awards for his depiction of Pacey Witter.