Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guilty Pleasures IV

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 14, you must've at least heard of this show. It was one of the most popular teenager tv shows ever. Instead of having an incestuous group of rich teens, you had an incestuous group of teenage small-towners – with a vocabulary range to put to shame a Nobel winner.
Place: Capeside. Your (so-called) protagonist: 15-year-old Dawson, an only child and movie buff; his best friends are Joey, a sulky girl whose dad is in jail, and Pacey, the local ne'er-do-well. And to disrupt this already disfunctional little group comes Jen, a large-breastedblonde from the big city – she's seen and done it all!

The story: Joey likes Dawson, Dawson likes Jen; Pacey likes the teacher; now Jen likes Dawson, but Dawson's dating Joey; they break up; Joey and Dawson are back together, and break up; the new character Jack finds out he's gay; Dawson finds out Joey and Pacey are together now and flips; their friendship's over; Dawson makes his infamous “crying face”; Pacey and Joey break up; they all go to college, except Pacey – he becomes a cook. (?)
Dawson's dad dies, and because of that he can't be with Joey (??); she dates a bunch of guys, including the one from One Tree Hill; somehow, Joey's become the protagonist of the series; Dawson sleeps with Jen; Pacey becomes a stock broker. (???); Pacey and Joey get back together, and break up again. Dawson and Joey finally sleep together, but it doesn't work.
Big finale: Dawson's the director of his own teenage series; Pacey goes back to being a cook, and gets back with Joey forever; Jen dies of a heart condition she's always had, but that no one had ever mentioned before. But that's fine, cause Jack's the guardian of her child (????).
That's the story of the entire 6 seasons.

One of the things that has always amazed me is this: Dawson was the hero, and it all boiled down to the big question: who will he choose? Jen or Joey? And then somehow, either because Dawson was annoying and vanilla or because the actor James Van Der Beek did a terrible job (and was too old to be playing a teenager), at some point along the way Joey became the protagonist, and the big question turned into: who will she choose? Pacey or Dawson?

But the something that bothers me above all else is the dialogs. Vocabulary worthy of an English Ph.D. in Formula 1 speed. Who the fuck talks like that?!
Ok, let me reiterate that: what teenager talks like that? Or: Who talks like that and is not a pretentious douchebag?
If you don't know what I'm talking about, let me illustrate it:

"DAWSON: In the best, most desirable way -- you scare me. But I love the way you scare me but it makes me nervous and then I say or do something really stupid so I spend all this energy coming up with ideas to be smart so that you don't think I'm stupid and those ideas inherently backfire therefore making me look more stupid. It's a vicious circle, Jen and I'm at the end of my rope because all I really want to do is kiss you and feel if I don't kiss you soon I'm gonna explode."

"JOEY: What you’re telling me is that you’re the innocent victim of some behavioral psychology experiment gone horribly awry?
JOEY: And you’re desperately in need of some able-bodied female to help you provoke some preconditioned, Pavlovian homework response?
PACEY: Yes."

"JOEY: Your girlfriend offers her lips to you in the spirit of teenage lust and you'd rather watch the "E! True Hollywood Story" on Danny Bonaduce for the fourth time?"

Yeah, 15-year-olds use words like “inherently”, “behavioral psychology”, “able-bodied female”, “preconditioned Pavlovian response”, “the spirit of teenage lust” all the time. C'mon, teenagers don't even know the meaning of those words, most of the time. Granted, I used to talk like that when I was 14, 15. But I was an extremely pedantic teen, so there you have it.

And still, whenever I catch it on TV, I watch it – wholeheartedly. Can't tell you exactly why. But I guess it's Pacey, I just find him so charming! No wonder Joey picked him in the end – who would wanna stay with whiny, annoying Dawson?! 

Not to mention that the actor who played Dawson, James Van Der Beek, did nothing worthy of notice after this show - while the others went on to do other stuff: 
- Joshua Jackson (Pacey) starred in those Duck movies about hockey (ok, perhaps that's not what success is about...), and now is one of the main characters in "Fringe"; 
- Michelle Williams (Jen) married Heath Ledger (it doesn't get better than that), and was nominated three times for an Oscar - man, she played Marilyn Monroe on the big screen! And she actually won a Golden Globe; 
- Katie Holmes (Joey)... well, we all know about her, right? She's Mrs. Cruise now, she appears in movies every now and then, and she's got the most annoying Hollywood child ever. She may not be the best actress nowadays, but she's definitely a celebrity;
- James Van Der Beek... meh.

Anyway, there you have them: my 7 guilty pleasures. They're so guilty they almost feel like the 7 deadly sins, really. And we know what the forbidden fruit tastes like!
But you know. God forbid I ever tell any of those things to one of my friends, face to face!

You gotta love the Internet.