Verbose and seriously flawed: these words describe both Dawson Leery and Pacey Witter of the famed nineties teen drama, Dawson’s Creek. As a sixth grader, with no life clearly, watching Dawson’s Creek every weekday during the summertime for a whopping two-hour block of drama dripping with overly loquacious teens instilled in me the idea that people actually spoke like that. Maybe I’ve just always been drawn to the rapid-fire banter that used to pervade television in the nineties (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and later the West Wing and Gilmore Girls), but nothing was more entertaining to me than the friendship between the obnoxiously witty Pacey Witter, and the obsessively analytical Dawson Leery. Though most girls would want to emulate the female characters in a show, I always admired these dysfunctional male protagonists most.
Let’s start with Dawson, for whom this classic is named. Dawson Leery starts out as a fledgling sophomore in a small coastal town in Massachusetts. Oh so sweet and blonde with a golden retriever look to him, poor Dawson lives with his head in movie mode. You see, Dawson is an aspiring filmmaker who idolizes Steven Spielberg above anyone else. Though he may have his head in the clouds a lot – okay most of the time – our protagonist here has ambition (a quality that in a sophomore is admirable in its own right). He also has a vocabulary that could rival a grad student, which is the appeal of his character despite his naiveté. There are several times throughout the series you just wanna bash his floppy blonde bowl cut with his huge camera because he is just so idealistic. Still, Dawson taught me to have aspirations, to read the dictionary, and to slowly but surely, become a walking IMDb.
But my favorite, without a doubt, is the affable sidekick with an extra kick, Pacey Witter. Pacey is snark and sloth personified and is, without question, the underdog of the show. Always overshadowed by Dawson, the literal golden boy, Pacey compensates for his lack of judgment with biting wit and sarcasm. I felt like the writers were constantly throwing hurdles Pacey’s way: his girlfriend had a mental disorder, he lost his virginity to his English teacher and was promptly beat up by her boyfriend, he almost flunked out of high school, he didn’t get into college, Dawson started dating Joey (Katie Holmes by the way, not a dude) just when he realized his love for her…the list goes on and on. Poor Pacey. But he always kept fighting anyway. I think that’s what I took from his troubles – the idea that whatever the great cosmic writers of the world throw your way this week, you can get through with wit and determination.
These two misfits helped shape my attitude from middle school age, and I owe them a great deal because of that. Also, as a result of watching this show religiously, I always wanted to live in a cozy New England town, but that’s another TV story… Really though, combine Pacey and Dawson and you get the perfect man: romantic and sarcastic with an extensive knowledge of directors and film history *swoons*. For first-time watchers of ‘The Creek,’ just root for these boys through their #whitepeopleproblems and enjoy the banter that inevitably follows. You might be surprised just how much you love this dynamic bromance.
– Alejandra Buitrago, Staff Writer