m4tv: 20-year-old Seeks One-Night Stand

My name’s Mike. I’m twenty years old, bearded, tall, robust, generally afraid of animals. I’m looking for a non-committal, total one night stand of the first season of a tv show. I’d really prefer it to be an established show in the recent history of television; I’m thinking drama. I’m particularly looking for a show that’s going to force me to confront the memories of my high school years, and whelm me with regret over decisions I don’t remember making.

I’m looking for a middle aged, steadfast, popular show – but popular in a sort of off the beaten path kind of way; like in the right local coffee shop you might over hear a conversation about it, but it’s just two college kids laughing, trying to remember characters’ names. I’m looking for a show with an extensive cast of convincing 15 year olds, but give them a script from a mid-2000s Woody Allen movie; not his best work – the dialogue feels much more like lines than the latter, but the timing always gets you. The lines should fly by and be passed under breath and behind backs. I don’t know if it’s the speech I want complicated and the ideas simple, or the reverse. I’d love to see it touch on every possible subject that could come up in the relations between four sexually frustrated teens. I would prefer if for the first half of the season, the healthiest relationship in the show were between a fifteen-year-old virgin and his English teacher.

I wonder if we could meet up somewhere, possibly my bedroom, stocked to the ceiling with Doritos and cheap wine. With a dozen or so hours of free time, we could really get to know each other. I’ve seen seasons of other tv shows in one night; I have no definite type. I like all shapes and sizes, but nostalgia always makes me turn my head. I wonder if there’s a show out there for me, in this giant scrolling ocean with the red and white background and recommendations based on my interest in Sherlock and Raising Arizona. Will I ever find a show that blows my expectations out of the water when it comes to substance, but completely meets them in the number of khaki shorts, high socks, and long sleeve shirt combinations? Will I die never knowing what it’s like to watch a boom mic fall into an emotionally pivotal scene? I don’t know if I’ll sleep at night knowing I’m not watching a show where a violin playing ginger sails a young, strange girl out to a beach and they toss a Frisbee, only to delve into the subject of the conflicting evidence involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.

I never thought a guy like me could fall for a tv show like Dawson’s Creek. We were never meant to be, but somewhere in the middle of the most self-aware Breakfast Club parody episode I’ve ever seen, I realized this show was for me.  It’s for anyone, really – anyone that went to high school. I went to three; for five years in two countries. I spent a quarter of my life in that strange standardized society of foundation setting, and moral improving, and people building – that factory that printed us out on the other end ready to be passed between the hands of our superiors. Dawson’s Creek knows me; it knows high school. I was almost convinced to start the second season, but I guess it’s morning now and I should go do that other thing I do now; college. Watching Dawson’s Creek in college was like a wet towel slap across the face, as I realized I’m still doing all the same things I did back then, but now I pay for the privilege of reminiscing about when it was who I was sitting next to on the school band trip to Boston that mattered, not who I owed money to or needed to see about finishing a project. I don’t know exactly what I want, but I think Dawson’s Creek set a pretty high bar for the next Netflix marathon of a random television series. So please, Dawson’s Creek, don’t take it personally if I don’t call back. I knew I had to meet you, and we shared a beautiful night together – let’s not ruin the memory with things like Joey growing into her lanky form, or Pacey falling in love with someone his own age. I know you’ll find someone else, someone with just as much of a skewed retrospective on their high school years, a groping attraction to nostalgia, and someone that will get all your Spielberg references. It’s not a goodbye, it’s an I’ll see you later when my roommate asks about the Netflix viewing history.

– Mike Kerr, Staff Writer

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