Dawson’s Creek is Unbearable, and so is Being a Teenager.

So the other night I couldn’t sleep and I started watching Dawson’s Creek episodes on Netflix thinking, “Gee I’ll have a fun stroll down memory lane and watch the show I used to watch in junior high/high school.” The show started in 1998 and I was in 8th grade at the time. All of my friends watched it from the first season. I stopped after a few seasons, and then took it up again in the last season when we knew it was going off the air.

I really didn’t remember much about the context of the show, I thought it would just be fun to watch. I had to stop after a few episodes because I couldn’t stand it anymore. Here are my observations:

1. Holy Moly are they the whiniest bunch of teenagers I ever saw. Was I like that? I hope not. Dawson is the worst. To be fair, I actually couldn’t stand him the first time around. Even in 9th grade I found him annoying, which I think is a good thing. But honestly, he’s so annoying. If he’s not moping about one thing, it’s another.

2. The subject matter is seriously mature. Pacy has an affair with his English teacher?!?!?! Forgot about that one. I mean, talk about risque not to mention illegal. Dawson’s mother has an affair with her coworker? Joey’s dad is in jail for dealing drugs and is living with her unmarried pregnant sister??? And this is supposed to be a show for jr high/highschool kids?

3. All they talk about it sex. I mean, it’s a show for teenagers. Teenagers think/talk about sex a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I know these things. But pretty much the entirety of the show is about sex. Sex with teachers, sex with friends, sex between your parents, sex between your parent and someone else, etc. Teenagers do in fact talk about other things sometimes. I know I did. And at least I hope boys do. 🙂

4. No kids talk like that. Everyone who watched it said it then, and it hasn’t changed. Not even the kids in fancy boarding schools talked like that. (I think the dialogue was an attempt to mask the subject matter- if they talk like fancy adults then we can make them do fancy adult things even though they’re just kids.)

An interesting aside: my husband watched the show with me a little one day, and he thought it was ridiculous. He watched the show when it originally aired too, he was in high school. But he said that it was totally unrealistic. Not because of the language they use when they talk, but because of the subject matter. “She’s 15 and she’s talking about all the guys she had sex with, come on” was his comment. I first wanted to ask what he was talking about because the depiction was pretty realistic to most of my peers in high school (minus the sex with teacher part, we pretty much knew someone dealing with these issues. Yes parents having affairs, yes drug dealing father, yes sex-obsessed teens, etc.) Then I remembered that he didn’t go to high school in the US and his experience was completely unlike mine. His high school experience was totally tame in comparison. The worst thing someone did once was to smoke a cigarette in the bathroom!!!!! LOL. Then I worried about how his head will explode when our daughter is in high school.

Mostly I stopped watching the show because I couldn’t stand Dawson’s whining and all the sex talk. But I wonder, why am I so annoyed with TV for young adults. The subject matter seems to mature with all this sex & baby talk (I’m thinking about the show on the family channel about the teenager who has a baby, can’t remember the show’s name.) But then I realized that most teenagers today are dealing with these issues. These shows seem to be reflecting what’s going on in the lives of teenagers today, and that makes me really sad. I suppose it makes these teens feel good to see others like them on tv, but it’s hard because they shouldn’t be dealing with these things. They shouldn’t have to worry about their parents cheating on each other, about having a baby at 16, about their dad being in jail, about waking up at 3 am to a screaming baby when they have a math test in the morning.

Being a teenager has always sucked, but these days I think it sucks even more. They are faced with adult issues although they have kid bodies with kid brains and that’s scary. Don’t know why I got all this from Dawson’s, but whatever. If you feel so inclined to watch an episode, let me know what you think!!!! I might give Felicity a try,  I LOVED that show, but I recall that she was quite whiney too and I might not be able to deal.



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