When I look back at Dawson’s Creek, it’s not Dawson that stands out positively. I was one of the multitude that despised the lead character, but adored the often angry, always snarky and clearly intelligent girl living across the creek.
She, Jen, Jack and Pacey were the most interesting ones in the main cast. I particularly loved Joey though. Not because she managed to come through a welter of tragic back story, (mother passes away from cancer, father goes to prison, raised by her sister who happens to have been a teenage mother) and still succeed in a high profile career. But because she was funny.
It’s as simple as that. I loved Joey because she was so funny, bitchy too, but it was the humour that I adored. Well that and the fact even in season one, she wasn’t afraid to take boys on physically. One of my favourite scenes is the one when she takes out a sexist jock with her lunch tray, in the breakfast club homage episode.
She never let anyone belittle her, or dismiss her, and would stand up for others regardless of the cost. That snarky humour is still evident in season six, when she delivers this line ‘drunk guy with his fly open, what are you looking at?’, and impresses a waitress enough to get a bar job.
To me it seemed like the heart of the show was Joey. She was the one who I was interested in following, and the relationships that she had with the other characters were interesting.
I didn’t like the fact that she would cling so fiercely to Dawson, but can understand it. If I had been forced into so many life changing events before even hitting high school, then I would cling to anything that was solid. It did seem that the friendship between Dawson and Joey was solid, keeping her going through the trauma of losing both of her parents, and it’s even understandable that she would develop some romantic feelings for him.
I didn’t however understand why at the end of the fourth season, and for a large chunk of the fifth season, the writers chose to have Joey revisit her feelings for him. It didn’t make sense to me that she would be more upset about the fact that Dawson was moving on with Jen, rather that Pacey was moving on with her roommate Audrey.
Personally I would feel more hurt that the bloke I lost my virginity to, and who claimed that he couldn’t be with me because our lives were heading in different directions, was moving on with my college roommate, than someone that I had shared one kiss with, in two years was reconnecting with a old girlfriend in the wake of his grief.
I think that she had the most chemistry, both romantic and otherwise with characters who were given snappy dialogue, to match hers. The most interesting connections that she seemed to have were Jen, Pacey and Audrey.
I keep trying to write a character possessing Joey’s snappy wit, as that is the characteristic that I most liked about her. Well actually her ability to deal with overwhelming tragedy and still keep functioning is also something to be admired.