As a teenager I only enjoyed the first four seasons. The fifth I skipped until quite recently. It’s still the season that speaks to me the least. The sixth was sort of enjoyable, because of the cocky literature professor Joey comes to blows with on her path to pocketing a university degree. But you could feel the creators had definitely run out of steam.

Am not ashamed to admit it: the first three seasons made my sensitive, romantic heart beat a whole lot faster.

I quite liked all the flowery language that burst forth from everyone’s kissy lips.

The setting… Ah, water, boats. Girls climbing through bedroom windows. What’s not to like about that?

The plot took twists and turns that were certainly… iffy. Like when Dawson’s bumbs into the unrealistic character of Eve. His temptress. A temptation he mostly resists. The character stays with us for several episodes and then vanishes into thin air. The only thing she helped to establish even more firmly is that Dawson is not exactly a man of action. Though he has his moments.

Yes, there are plenty of unrealistic elements. Joey and Pacey sailing off in their own little boat ‘True Love’ to catch the horizon as teenagers.

Pacey sleeping with his teacher.

The whole idea of a girl sleeping in the bed of the boy next door. Every night. With their clothes on.

The complicated prank the gang pulls on the character named Drew.

The psychosis of Andie.

Dawson stealing a boat to go and rescue Pacey and Jen battling a deadly storm.

Joey helping the cops bust her own father by wearing a wire. Boy, that scene is a particularly tough one to sit through not screaming: Am watching a silly teen show, am watching a silly teen show, am watching a silly teen show.

Some of the acting was horrendous. Especially Dawson’s parents or some of the teacher at Capeside High were clownishly unrealistic.

You know what? It’s never bothered me.

The details may be over the top, sure. But in a metaphoric sense it certainly represented the teenage experience. All the longing, the desires, being heartbroken over one wrong word, doing stupid things because you can’t help yourself, lying to keep the peace and making it worse, showing off, overestimating one’s abilities, fear of what other people might think, raging sex hormones, massive anxiety about school results, conflicts with adults. It’s all there.

My teenage years had almost none of the good stuff shown on Dawson’s Creek. I lived my life vicariously through Dawson’s Creek and many movies and series. Because nothing exciting was going on in my own life. I had to wait till my college days to experience similar things.

Almost every summer I catch myself rewatching at least a few episodes. In the summer of 2004 watching a rerun of Dawson’s Creek was the biggest treat of my life.

I do add that most of the music really sucked.

Joey gets exponentially more annoying as the show goes on. By season 6 she is almost eternally smiling as though the creators really want you to get the message: this girl who had everything going against her, has through hard work, risen above her situation and look at how happy she is now!

My favorite character was of course Pacey. With Dawson a close second. I have the most in common with Dawson. Only child (until he’s an adult and he gets a baby sister). Some feverish dream to create something others will want to read or watch. Getting totally hung up on some girl. Not caring about much else.

I also liked Jack. I also liked his story-line. I have never understood homophobia as anything else than some folks being scared about being gay themselves so I found it wonderful what this show did to help accept people who happen to fall in love with people of their own gender.

Jen I only came to appreciate later. Her character lacked some big dream going for her. No wonder the creator chose her to kill off in the end. Not the fault of the actress. Michelle Williams, who played Jen, has had the most impressive career beyond the creek.

Grams became more realistic and a bit more dear to me as I grew older and rewatched the show.

Some of the side characters were bloody annoying and could have been cut entirely.

This show can be so easily critized for a myriad of reasons. But for me personally it did one big thing: it gave me a taste of the things I sorely missed in my life.

God, who wouldn’t want to just sail away with the person of one’s dreams when you are about 17 and you know too little about the world to be distracted from just completely blending with that other person. As though you have been granted eternal life and eternal beauty. You eventually come to a point where the darker side of human existence makes such a transcendent experience impossible. But hell, that is why humans create a show like this. To get a taste of it.

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