TV There is something of a stigma attached to admitting that you’re a 28-year-old male who likes ‘Dawson’s Creek’. I can’t remember how I began watching it – I usually end up watching the first episode of any new American import. I think I was drawn in by that very first scene of the very first episode. Dawson is about to settle down for bed after watching ET and for the first time since they were kids Joey refuses to join him, she’s trying to limit the fallout from their raging hormones getting in the way. It was sweet a scene and I think I was sold in that moment. This was the substitute I was looking for what with there being no new My So-Called Life. As the pilot progressed we had something which was smart, funny and had all of it’s film references in the right place. Plus I liked the way Katie Holmes talked out of the corner of her mouth all the time.

Like ‘Friends’ I suppose it can never be the show it once was. These things are like relationships or friendships, once the initial spark goes something incredible has to happen before it comes back. Like friendships in particular you’re often there out of habit sometimes and not because you really want to (see The X-Files). Certainly in The Creek there have been times I’ve wanted to turn off and watch ‘The Breakfast Club’ again instead. Even old friendships have their moments you see. Sometimes it’s been really hard though. The time Andi McPhee took ecstasy to point up that drugs are bad being one. The dip in the quality of musical choice for another (at one point a scene was accompanied by C’est La Vie by B’witched … stretching product placement for the record company to the limit somewhat).

But I’m still here. And in this new series, three episodes in, the watchablilty has shot back up again. The cinematic qualities I loved at the outset have returned. Adulthood is wearing well upon the characters – everyone is now the age they’ve always looked.

[For American viewers, in this lunchtime’s episode, the man who used to play The Flash was abducted by aliens – at least that’s what it looked like with all the white light and whatnot. Actually I think it was supposed to be a horrific car accident, the repercussions of which will probably filter through a few episodes to come which means, if the quality of the writing continues to improve, there will also be a return to the things ‘The Creek’ does best – heartbreak, misery and hope. This show has always done conflict very well.]

Today’s episode wasn’t particularly ‘special’ I suppose. It was just filled with those nice details which I’ve always loved. When Dawson returned to Capeside it no longer felt like his home – rather the magical place we return to when we need a reminder of who we are; Pacey being a wiseass for thirty minutes until he’s reminded that actually the entire world isn’t against him and that people will put their faith in him, even if it is just to slice truffles; Joey still not believing her potential either, even when her room mate (great new character by the way) sits down and tells her; Jack not quite believing that everyone isn’t homophobic – it was him who had a problem with his sexuality not them; Jen enjoying a typical student sex life – coloured by her previous exploits – she wants to know more about this guy so that knows that she’s making a considered choice; and that final moment when it becomes clear that Dawson still had time to go to the cinema while he was at home, only to find it had been demolished to make way for a multiplex. So real.

So despite all the odds I’m still here. I’ve lost count of which Season we are in, I don’t really know what the future holds in the story (unlike Buffy were I know everything which is going to happen) and I’m really looking forward to it. I think above it all this is a show which does allow me to forget the world for forty-two minutes which in times like these is the best thing you can hope for.

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