AshbyDodd

Dawson’s Creek: Why We’re Still Obsessed Over 20 Years Later

When it comes to comfort TV, there’s nothing quite like Dawson’s Creek. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or just in need of a good cry, this teen drama has got you covered.

When Dawson’s Creek first premiered on The WB in 1998, it was just another teen drama trying to ride the wave of success set by shows like Beverly Hills, 90210, and My So-Called Life. But over the course of its six-season run, the show established itself as one of the most influential series of its time.

The characters…

At its core, Dawson’s Creek was a coming-of-age story about a group of friends navigating the complicated waters of adolescence in the fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts. But what set the show apart was its complex characters, particularly Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams), and Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson). These characters were not just caricatures but relatable individuals with their own hopes, fears, and flaws.

Notable guest stars include Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), Jane Lynch (Glee), Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), Ken Marino (Party Down), Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon a Time), Seth Rogen (Pam & Tommy), Scott Foley (Scandal), Rachael Leigh Cook (Perception), Tony Hale (Veep), Melissa McBride (The Walking Dead), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Alexandra Breckenridge (Virgin River), Meredith Salenger (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jeremy Sisto (FBI), Oliver Hudson (The Cleaning Lady), Hilarie Burton (White Collar), M├Ądchen Amick (Riverdale), Ali Larter (Heroes), Bianca Lawson (Queen Sugar), Sasha Alexander (Rizzoli & Isles), Jack Osbourne (The Osbournes), Taylor Handley (Mayor of Kingstown), and more.

The writing…

The show’s writing, led by series creator Kevin Williamson, was unique for a teen drama. Williamson’s clever and witty dialogue may not have been totally realistic to the way teens communicated, but it portrayed how teens wanted to communicate. The show also tackled controversial themes such as sexuality, mental health, and social issues, often years before they would become a mainstream conversation.

The impact…

The show was a massive hit, with its finale being watched by over 3.5 million viewers. It also spawned a generation of imitators and helped pave the way for the current golden age of television. It’s hard to imagine shows like The OC, Gossip Girl, and Riverdale existing without the groundbreaking work done by Dawson’s Creek.

Not just another teen drama…

Dawson’s Creek may have been just another teen drama on the surface, but its influence and impact on television and popular culture cannot be denied. Watch the 20th reunion from 2018 with James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Mary Beth Peil, Kerr Smith, Michelle Williams, Meredith Monroe and Busy Philipps, and creator Kevin Williamson: