Friday, April 25, 2014

Fun Friday: Dawson's Creek's Promicide

If you follow along on Twitter, you know that I spend my lunch breaks and my creative blocks watching old television shows, thanks to Netflix and Amazon Prime Streaming. That's how I caught up on The Middle and Rules of Engagement, how I came to see every episode of Frasier and Cheers, and how I am now familiar with other fan favorites like Felicity, Friday Night Lights, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Well, Dawson's Creek is another show on that list, and it's a series that I struggled to enjoy, despite the fact that the characters were about my age when the series originally aired. One of my biggest problems was relating to their issues and actions, but one episode in particular really troubled me from start to finish... Season 4, Episode 20's "Promicide." And, with Prom season upon us again, I thought it would be interesting to look at in more detail.
Fred Norris/Warner Bros./The Kobal Collection
This episode is so fraught with disaster that it's hard to believe that there was a happy moment in it at all, and that's the one seen above between Dawson and Joey. It's hard to tell where to start, but I'm going to jump in with Jen and Jack, whose best-friendship I've never cared for. She tricks him into attending with Tobey, and although the two later date, it was a conniving move at the time and I was probably more upset than Jack about it. Jack's chosen revenge was to get Drue to go with Jen to Prom, with a bonus of fifty dollars if he annoys her all night. In the end, the bad boy doesn't take the bribe, but he does have his hands full with Miss Lindley all night, as she gets tanked, having brought about a dozen min-bottles. Where was she keeping them all and why wasn't anyone searched before boarding the boat? ESPECIALLY someone who got in trouble for drinking at a previous school function?? Plus, Drue's comment about going to Boston for college messes with future continuity... he's never seen in the college episodes! And neither is Gretchen, for that matter, who winds up moving to Boston just a few episodes later...

Gretchen was never a favorite character of mine, and I had completely forgotten about her and Dawson ever dating about three months after I finished this series. She spends the episode wavering back and forth between being beyond high school (she doesn't get her hair done for Prom), yet not being able to grow up (lamenting over always falling short when it counts). The kicker is when she decides that Dawson isn't really over Joey, at the same time that Dawson thinks he's ready to sleep with Gretchen. Relationship: over.

Pacey and Joey's drama starts in the opening scene when he accidentally rips her dress (which was really Bess's fault for leaving him to finish the alterations). Joey gets whiny that Pacey won't touch her (though, in his defense, he's probably more cautious after she feared pregnancy), then wears a PONYTAIL to the Prom. I get that the character would go for simplicity, but why not something slightly more sophisticated? Prom being on a boat is asking for trouble, as you can't even go somewhere and argue in private, so a good portion of the school hears Pacey's public declaration that he's not good enough for Joey, never will be, and is angry that she doesn't want more out of him, as that shows she knows he's not actually good enough for her. This series was always big on romanticizing the articulation abilities of the teens, as the conversation Joey has with Dawson about how they'll never love someone in the way that they loved one another is beyond awkward and totally odd for a couple of eighteen-year-olds.

And a couple of group notes... why wouldn't Grams have walked next door to take some pictures with everyone? Why didn't she encourage Jen to have her hair different for the occasion? How weird is it to have your Prom photo taken with you holding your infant sister?? I actually thought it was downright creepy. How did Pacey forget the limo?? After everyone leaves the Leery home, why do they stop at a convenience store on the way to Prom?? Who does that??

Oh, and another gripe: Andie isn't even present. I understand that she's making the most of her time in Italy and all, but not bringing her back for this was a miss.

Did I miss anything? Can you think of a series that had a worse Prom episode?
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