Drinks Taken: 26
Welcome to week two of the Dawson’s Creek rewatch project, and my first week as your co-host of this delightful adventure. Disclaimer: I only watched the first couple of seasons when they originally aired, and I have very vague/poor memories of the episodes I did see, so this is basically my Dawson’s Creek first watch project. That said, last week Meredith asked me to play Fuck/Marry/Kill with Dawson, Pacey, and Mitch, and that is super easy: kill Dawson, like, immediately, before he starts crying over Spielberg and his feeeeeelings. Fuck Pacey because obvi. And marry Mitch because he’s an endearing adult and also he’d keep me in close proximity to Pacey for optimal boning position.
Anyway! Let’s drink to all my bone talk! And hormones! Yeah!
The Dawson’s Creek Drinking Game
Drink Once every time:
Joey purses her mouth or chews on her lip
Joey tucks her hair behind her ear
Joey climbs into or out of Dawson’s window
Sex makes Dawson and/or Joey extremely uncomfortable
Jen brings up her atheism
Grams says “Jennifaaah”
Someone says the words “black boyfriend” in reference to Bodie
Drink Twice every time:
Dawson mentions Spielberg
You have literally no idea why Joey is mad
Pacey gives someone a really good hug
Cool Jen Lindley is totally crapped on by the universe
As the title suggests, this episode is Much Ado About Kissing, from Pacey’s gross macking on Tamara (uhhh, Ms. Jacobs) to Dawson’s absurd over-thinking with Jen, to Joey’s magical adventure with a Gap ad named Anderson. Where to begin…
Pacey purposely flunks his class so Ms. Jacobs will have to tutor him one-on-one, which is some serious ’80s teen rom-com silliness, but it totally works. Hey, lady, your behavior is validating that horrible, condescending speech he gave you last week. This entire plot grosses me out, but thankfully Ms. Jacobs comes to her senses when she tries a little reverse psychology on Pacey and gets real direct and un-romantic about boning him on her desk… only to realize that he’s a virgin and she’s acting INSANE. But then, sigh, Pacey turns on that signature, humble Witter charm and you can tell she’s totally going to make out with him again next week.
Meanwhile, Dawson is losing his damn mind trying to engineer the perfect first kiss with Jen, as if his life is a movie and he’s the director, and to be fair, he’s a self-involved 15-year-old boy (ALLEGEDLY), so this particularly myopic worldview is expected. But Joey calls shenanigans and tries to explain that life is NOT From Here to Eternity and he cannot storyboard a kiss – things are more magical when they happen naturally, but also maybe Joey really doesn’t want Dawson to kiss Jen. Not that she could tell him that.
In an effort to win a spot in the film class, Dawson is acting as PA to Nellie (SHE IS THE WORST) on Helmets of Glory, which is no Friday Night Lights and actually feels more like they’re shooting an afterschool special about inappropriate locker room touching. Dawson tries to be a good PA, but Nellie and the incompetent crew and the terrible script make it impossible for him to keep his giant mouth shut – especially when Jen accepts a minor part as a cheerleader and Dawson turns into lime green jelly, cutting some seriously lame jealous glares at Cliff and anyone else in his general proximity. You can just see whiny all over his face – whyyyy can’t I direct the movie? Whyyyy doesn’t anyone listen to my good ideas? Whyyyy can’t I kiss the pretty girl? Ugh, Dawson, who cares.
Over at the diner, Joey encounters a yacht-loving trust fund baby who plays the violin and goes to boarding school, and she may think he’s a total babe but he looks like a Patrick Bateman situation waiting to happen. After Pacey rudely warns her that no yacht babe gets down with a waitress, gullible Joey lies to Patrick Bateman Jr., offering the name Deborah Kerr (the star of From Here to Eternity) and claiming that she’s from Manhattan and her dad is the CEO of a giant tampon company. Idiotic, senseless dishonesty to this bro aside, that’s the best lie ever.
He invites Joey out sailing/to film a J. Crew ad the next day, where he reveals himself as a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and she is inexplicably not horrified. Just when they’re about to – naturally and without storyboarding! – recreate the beach scene from From Here to Eternity, Joey chickens out. Given several opportunities to come clean, Joey continues to lie every time she sees Yacht Bro – and he is inexplicably none the wiser as Bessie basically gets up in her sister’s face like, “HEY JOEY! EARTH TO JOEY!” and this dude never stops to wonder why someone is yelling JOEY in this girl’s face. That boarding school is a serious waste of money.
Dawson avoids whining long enough to assert himself as a competent student filmmaker, getting in the good graces of his teacher and that nice dummy Cliff and convincing Jen to film a “magic hour” scene for his movie later like he’s Terrence Malick or something. When he finally admits to Jen that he wants to kiss her, he gets all neurotic and rambles on and on about how he’s scared… like he’s Woody Allen or something. OK, I can make these comparisons all day.
Anyway, Jen hears people approaching and ducks down with Dawson in the ruins, where they finally share their first kiss – it’s not the way he planned, but it’s p cute anyway.
Meanwhile, the people they heard approaching were… cue suspenseful music… Pacey and Ms. Jacobs. And they’re totally gonna bone. Ugh, dammit, Ms. Jacobs.
How many times did I have to drink?
12 (I added an extra to deal with that terrible theme song)
Most recognizable song
Meredith Brooks’ “What Would Happen” and Toad the Wet Sprocket’s “All I Want.” 1998 4 EVER.
Dawson’s dumbest line
To Joey, explaining how movies are realistic – “They’re images grounded in the reality of imagination.” How’s the weather in your butt, Dawson? Plan on climbing out of there anytime soon? Spoiler: if Dawson climbs out of his own ass, we get six more years of Spielberg.
Sick burn, Joey
Responding to Pacey’s reveal that he has a hot date later – “Who’s the lucky farm animal tonight?”
Dialogue most likely to be repeated by junior high me
Jen – “Sadness is my specialty.”
Dawson’s word of the day
Apotheosis. Try using it in a sentence today.
The last episode was all about romance and smooshy kissy faces, but “Discovery” is all jealousy and insecurity and confusion and immaturity. It doesn’t take long for Dawson to discover (DISCOVERY) that his mom is sleeping with Bbbbbob, which obviously sets his head spinning, but then Jen swoops in to make it spin just a little more by confessing that she’s not exactly a virgin – she’s actually had sex with a few guys, which is why her parents sent her to live with Grams. I’m not sure who’s more dismayed by her TOTALLY NORMAL TEENAGE BEHAVIOR – Dawson or Grams?
Grams’ reaction faces are epic.
The discovery (DISCOVERY) of his parents’ affair has Dawson angry at more than just his mom and her bafflingly constructed late ’90s hair – he’s also totally pissed at Joey for keeping this huge secret from him, so he declares their friendship dead and acts like a total wang, not just to Joey, but to Cool Jen.
Jen cannot seem to convince anyone that her intentions are pure and she’s not some city slicker trollop – not Grams and certainly not Dawson, who is so intimidated by her sexual experience that he compartmentalizes it as some desperate need for romance, when really it’s just that tired primitive male desire to colonize a woman’s body in the name of his penis. Pacey gives him a well-intentioned pep talk (which is also totally wrong-headed), suggesting that Jen is giving Dawson an “in” and her confession was a not-so-subtle way to say “hey, I’m totally into your leather necklace, whiny-face thing, let’s bang.” That is not what she is saying at all.
Cool Jen is way too cool for Dawson, and Joey finally understands how cool she is when Jen visits the diner after closing for a little advice from the world’s foremost Dawson Leery expert. Joey explains what we already know: Dawson is insecure and immature and has a very myopic view of the world thanks to being a spoiled only child. He is White Male Privilege. But he’s a good egg, and Joey councils Jen to be patient, and that if she were in Jen’s shoes (SHE TOTALLY IS), she’d probably wait forever.
Meanwhile, Pacey petulantly confronts Ms. Jacobs about her friend Mr. Gold, only to find out that Mr. Gold is hanging in The Birdcage and she’s so not his type. Later, Pacey inquires about Ms. Jacobs’ sexual history, and handles the information with way more maturity and acceptance than Dawson does with Jen.
And while Joey and Dawson are making up in the ruins (side note: what town has such gorgeous, Romanesque ruins just hanging out on the edge of town? These are hardly “ruins”), Jen has a sweet moment with her comatose gramps, spouting off statistics about teen sex like she’s clearly done her defensive homework. But she has a point, and now I remember why I loved Jen so much when this show first aired: I, too, lost my virginity at a young age, and yeah, I probably should have waited, but what’s the big deal? She’s right: in a few years, ALL of her peers will have had sex and no one will care that she did it a couple of years early.
Seriously, why does everyone care so much that Jen has had sex? It’s seriously insane that they’re defining her by this one area of her life, when she has so much more to offer. Honestly I think Jen should leave Capeside and all these prude white folks behind and go be cool somewhere else.
How many times did I have to drink?
Best pop culture reference
Dawson owns a copy of The Craft on VHS!
He also has posters from Misery and Needful Things, so in addition to having a total boner for Spielberg, Dawson also apparently loves Stephen King just as much as Meredith and I do! (OK, not as much because no one loves King like us and Dawson is not cool enough.)
Pacey Witter’s worst shirt
Oh, Pacey. Pacey, no.
Ms. Jacobs, to Pacey: “You’re so disarming when you act your age.” Someone call the burn unit.
Grams’ best reaction face
That’s it for this week! Here’s my question for Meredith to answer next week: if you were Joey, would you have told Dawson about his parents having an affair? Also are you as grossed out by Pacey and Ms. Jacobs as I am
Be sure to check back next week when Meredith covers “Hurricane” and “Baby”!
About the Contributor:
Bio; link author name to FYA writer page if available.