What I Learned Revisiting ‘Dawson’s Creek’ As An Adult

Back in 1998 when Dawson’s Creek first aired, I so excited about the new show and its “real life writing.” I was two years older than the characters the actors were portraying but I still thought I’d feel a connection to Joey, Pacey, Dawson and Jen. At the time, I was sad to find that, within just the first couple of episodes, I could not relate to the show at all. In one episode they are discussing the dream of the first kiss—the next they are discussing the possibility of having sex. Was this really what other teenagers were doing? I know I wasn’t. So, I stopped watching the show while it was still in its infancy.

Now, at thirty-two, I have had privilege of re-watching the series through the magical portal called Netflix. What I realized watching the show as an adult really surprised me. Here’s what I discovered: .

1. The writers of Dawson’s Creek weren’t that far off

As a grown, college-educated, married, mother of one, I can honestly look back at my teenage years and say that I was truly sheltered. I was naïve and, well, home-schooled. My friends didn’t act like that. . .or so I thought. I am now worldly enough to know that some of my friends DID act like that, they just hid it well. Some of the friends I have made since high school tell me stories about their teen years and from what I can tell, they too were living the kind of life that was nothing but a fictional story to me.

2. If I took a shot every time I heard the term “subtext” I’d have spent the last couple months drunk off my butt

The writers really wanted to draw attention to their own “subtext” and I guess they thought the best way to do that was through calling it out for what it was. I’m pretty sure you hear “subtext” at least once in every episode in all six seasons. Oddly enough, teenagers, and even grown-ups for that matter, do have a lot of “subtext” going on. If I could relive my teenage years being aware of all the “subtext,” I do believe those drama-filled days would be much different.

3. There was no Team Dawson or Team Pacey 

They were both perfect for her. They were both her soul-mates. By choosing one, she’d lose the other and losing either Pacey or Dawson would make the universe implode. The only way to save humanity was by not being with either; because she needed both. The genius writers who created the most amazing series finale EVER found a way for her to choose one but still keep the other. The only way for that happen was to make them grow-up. While I found myself in constant turmoil over who Joey should to be with, and I was mildly devastated that Dawson and Joey did not lose their virginity to each other. But, I was extremly happy with the end result and I truly believe the one she chose was indeed “The One.” Joey and Dawson had history but Joey and Pacey and chemistry!

4. The guest stars were truly fantastic  

Chad Michael Murray, Seth Rogen, Jensen Ackles, Jennifer Morrison, Sasha Alexander, and Jane Lynch. . .just to name a few. All of the above visited Capeside before hitting it big in shows (or movies) of their own. It’s enough to make me grin and think, Haha! You kissed Pacey! while watching Jennifer Morrison play Emma Swan on Once Upon A Time. Or giggling when I see Jane Lynch on Glee playing Sue Sylvester and remembering how she is actually Pacey’s mom.

5. It was the best finale ever

I was overwhelming pleased with the way the show ended. Unexpected twists and turns, a glimpse into the future, and the decision of the decade when Joey (FINALLY!) chooses who to be with. Yes, it sucked that Jen died leaving behind a baby girl, but that is what the show was all about in the first place. People die in real life. They die too young, they die unexpectedly, they die when we still need them. Unlike most series endings, I wasn’t left with many questions or “what-ifs.”

I definitely hope they do a reunion show someday and I’d love to see a spin-off surrounding the teenage drama that Alexander (Joey’s nephew) and Lily (Dawson’s sister) are bound to run into. If my calculations are correct Alexander would be 16 now and Lily would be somewhere around 14. It’s a perfect time to start a spin-off! I’ve even done Hollywood a favor by choosing the actors for them. You’re welcome, La La Land. Jacob Artist would make a perfect Alexander and Lily should be played by none other than AnnaSophia Robb.

Now that I’m finished with Dawson’s Creek, I feel empty and wonder what teenage drama I can sink my teeth into next. I’m thinking maybe Gossip Girl. Until then, I find solace in the show Don’t Trust the B*tch in Apartment 23 featuring “the Beek from the Creek” playing—wait for it—himself! It is full of Dawson jokes and is working nicely as a great rebound.

Elle Dodds is an ice cream-loving, lip-gloss-wearing, girlie girl, shopaholic, germ-a-phobic, domestic diva and songstress living the beach life on the Emerald Coast with her two favorite boys: one who calls her “boo” and the other who calls her “mommy.” You can follow her on Twitter @RElleLife.

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