I finished Season 1 two nights ago and watched the first ep of Season 2 last night.
I'm not sure why I didn't want to rewatch it. I think partly it was because I always bought into the Joey-Dawson thing. I tend to buy the canon in a show and not look for subtext or pair up the nonpairings of the show. I guess if I don't like the pairings of a show, I'll just go and watch something else? I dunno. So maybe that was why I was never really comfortable with the Joey-Pacey ending? Because the premise was set up for this to all go another way, traditionally? Or maybe it was because I watched this show through Joey's eyes the first time, and I was romantically naive at the time?
Because now, I can see that whilst the filming and lighting of this show is nostalgic, there is also quite an underlying cynicism, beneath the innocence and wishful thinking. The set up of the cliffhanger for Season 1 and the way the fourth wall is almost broken in the first episode of season 2 do that - they tell you that this show isn't going to go the way you think it will. And maybe when I first watched it, I so badly wanted Joey to have Dawson and get to keep him, that I didn't see past that. I didn't see that a show could not be sustained 5 seasons if she did (well I did at the time and wondered what they would do with that), and I didn't see how 2D Dawson is and could never be enough for Joey plus, my sister aside, noone ends up with their highschool sweetheart, and the biggest thing that perhaps I ignored, or maybe I was intrigued by and then got dustracted by the final Joey-Dawson shebang, Pacey understands Joey more than Dawson ever could. Dawson's friendship with Joey is openminded and crosses expected cliques and so on, but even though he is so close to her, I don't think he ever really understands her life, what happens to her and what she deals with when she climbs out of his window. Whereas Pacey also has a life that Dawson doesn't and almost could not ever understand. It makes sense that in the end, Dawson would not be enough for either of them. Particularly as he seems to be the one character in the show who never grows - stuff happens to him but it never impacts on him enough to change him.
I don't understand how the friendships work - I don't understand how Dawson can spend all his time with Joey and be this Dawson/Joey thing, and yet Pacey is his best friend. And if Pacey is so prominent in Dawson's life, I do not understand how Pacey and Joey could have gone so long without ever actually developing their own friendship, that doesn't involve Dawson directly.
And all this "our friendship has always been complicated" business with Joey and Dawson - do they mean "always" as in for Season 1, or before that? Because I also don't understand how that underlying tension could have been there and yet Dawson remain so blind and clueless?
This time through I am not watching the show through Joey's eyes. And I don't buy the chemistry between Dawson and Joey. And I know where Joey ends up. So I am far more interested in the set up of Pacey and Joey which is subtle and takes a long time to pick up speed. I'm not sure if that just means I am not a savvy TV viewer and need to watch things more than once through? (Though I did in fact watch this show a lot when I had it taped)
As for Jen. She is nowhere near as obnoxious in season 1, as I once thought. UNTIL Dawson hooks up with Joey and all of a sudden her character seems to dramatically become someone else. Suddenly, as her grandfather dies, a man who was in a coma the entire time she was there so actually did not ever interact with her, she falls off the rails. Now she wants Dawson even though she dumped him and tried the "I just want to be friends" long before he does on her, causing her much offence. I dunno, I don't buy her flipout into bad girl mode. I think it's a convenient plot device and it doesn't ring true for me at all.
Also, is it just me or do they not make as many good, decent teen shows as they did in the late nineties? I've been catching a few on Foxtel and they are awful.