Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dawson versus Pacey [You're The Expert]

Pacey & DawsonMy high school teen television drama was Dawson's Creek. For those of you unfamiliar with Dawson's, James Van Der Beek played the role of Dawson, best friend to Katie Holmes' character, Joey. Joey couldn't ever make up her mind between Dawson and Joshua Jackson's character, Pacey. In the end, she chose Pacey, which I will admit totally devastated me.

Since my activity schedule in high school was absolutely grueling, I was never home to watch Dawson's on Wednesday nights because I was too busy at some sort of sports practice. So, my totally rockin' mom recorded it for me. I watched it during Academic Decathlon period in the portable next door to our classroom with friends every Thursday. I think I was fortunate to be able to watch it with a group of friends every week instead of just watching it at home with my mom because it allowed me to see different perspectives, not just the ones my mom and I had. (which are altogether scarily similar) I had the opportunity to interact with Team Dawson folks and Team Pacey folks, both male and female, and the ability to discuss why they were on whoever's side they were on.

Reflecting back, I see that the reason people were either Team Dawson or Team Pacey had to do with their personal views on who would make the best mate for Joey. I see that those friends who were on Dawson's side eventually grew up to marry their best friends. Those who were Team Pacey are mostly still unmarried, though dated a lot of very-good-on-paper potential mates, they're still waiting for the right person. I am not saying that either of these perspectives is wrong, I merely find it interesting that there seems to be a recognizable pattern between my friends.

Additionally, today, I see similar themes in several books in the YA genre. Since love triangles abound, it's easy to take teams. You've got Peeta vs. Gale in The Hunger Games. Peeta:Gale::Pacey:Dawson. You've got Jacob vs. Edward in Twilight. Edward:Jacob::Pacey:Dawson. Eyes Like Stars. Ariel:Nate::Pacey:Dawson. The Life of Glass. Max:Ryan::Pacey:Dawson. The Forest of Hands And Teeth. Travis:Harry::Pacey:Dawson.

Though there is a consistent schematic for best friend vs. potential soulmate, I don't see a consistent outcome in which of the boys wins. Thank goodness for that! I was a Team Dawson girl through and through. I married my best friend. I'm Team Gale in an overwhelmingly amazingly omigoodness-how-could-you-not-be fashion. I'm totally Team Nate. The anomaly is my encampment with Team Edward. I was totally Team Edward. What I'm really curious about is whether or not which team you're on in any of these books follows the pattern that I've observed within my friends? Do your views on life and love determine which side you'll take?

10 comments:

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Lee Verday said...

Ha! I loved watching this show although I hate the way it ended. I always thought Pacey was the funner friend to have but I felt bad for Dawson.

Thuy said...

I like cheering for the underdog..the one who is always standing on the side. The one who like the girl, but 99% of the time doesn't get the girl. I love Pacey :)

Team Peeta all the way!

April (BooksandWine) said...

I was definitely Team Pacey. I thought Dawson was whiney and irritating. I feel like Pacey was a way better match for Joey, as he's funny, sweet, he's been through some things and so I think had a better understanding, whereas Dawson's worst problem was his parents divorcing, as far as I remember.

EVA SB said...

I watched Dawson's Creek as an adult ( and I didn't see many of the later episodes) but I saw the contrast differently.
For me Dawson was the idealised (fantasy) romance - finally getting the guy you've always been in love with from a far. But like with most ideals the dream rarely lives up to the reality and the result is often frustration.
Pacey was the stranger, the guy you'd never considered who actually turns out to be your soulmate and makes you a better person when you are with them.

I always though Pacey was a much better choice for Joey and so, not being a great Joey fan, I was sure she'd never be smart enough to choose him.

Personally I choose 'Pacey' - most of my friends were surprised when I started dating my husband but 20 years later I know taking a step 'outside the box' was the right thing to do.

I Heart Monster said...

So, EVA SB, you might agree then that your feelings about who you "rooted" for in this case were a reflection on your personal views about who you should date and fall in love with? The soulmate vs. the best friend?

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I watched Dawson in high school too, and was a Pacey team all the way. It wasn't their physical appearance, I didn't find either actor handsome to my taste, but Dawson's whining irritated the hell out of me (even when I was at my most sentimental-whiney teenager self!). I loved how caring, thoughtful and kind (and of course funny) Pacey was, what irritated me most was Dawson's self-centeredness: even when he claimed he loved Joey his world continued to revolve around himself, while Pacey did all those little thoughtful gestures, always putting Joey's happiness first.

But for me, my 'team Pacey' approach is the anomaly: usually I always root for the best guy freind to get together with the girl and for the girl to realise what a gem that guy is and to see him in another light (loved Chandler and Monica!).

stilettostorytime.wordpress.com said...

I have to say Pacey...I always felt that way but it might have been the actor choice...Dawson just never appealed to me and he so needy...I think your soul mate can be your best friend. Maybe Pacey was really her best friend and she just didn't know it b/c clingy Dawson wouldn't get a life...

chelleyreads said...

i was team dawson all the way. i was so disappointed when she picked pacey!

Jenna said...

I was Team Dawson. I rooted for the from the very beginning, and I fell in love with their story. I loved Pacey as a character, but just not with Joey.