Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dawson's Creek: Psychic Friends (2.17)

"It's a preposterous soap opera about a bunch of teenagers who talk too much". Yikes. Everything that's been pretty clear for a while, that Dawson's film is self-indulgent goop that nobody outside of the DC ensemble would ever give a damn about, is actually stated here, in a gloriously blunt plot twist in which Dawson's hot film class teacher tears his work to pieces. It's harsh and brutal, but damn does it feel earned. Like she says, the industry is a gargantuan bitch-monster, and Dawson's hacky teen melodrama-fest isn't going to get some important producer to jump on the Leery train. It's a ballsy move for the show to completely undermine his entire life's focus, and for that the writers deserve a ton of credit.

At the same time, it's also revealed that Dawson has changed the film's title from Creek Times to Creek Daze, and we of course all know that anybody casually dropping puns into titles deserves to get shot in the face with a musket. So Dawson should probably consider himself lucky that Madchen only shot him down metaphorically.

Psychic Friends, away from the Dawson story, is the filleriest of filler episodes that ever fillered. The locale is the Capeside carnival, and Dana Baratta struggles to source any new material from the concept. Andie is left worrying again about her psychological future after a visit to a medium, Joey cluelessly flirts with a gay photographer and plays dress-up in a horrible fashion montage, and Grams' romantic hopes are dashed. Eh. It's all pretty mundane. And the dream sequence teaser, full of hammy double-bluffs and capped by one of those awful 'zoom-out from a screaming mouth' wake-up shots, feels more at home in a bad '80s teen movie than Dawson's Creek. Finally, could anybody become a teacher in 1999? I know TV is always bending fast and loose with unqualified characters getting handed major high school responsibilities ("Sure, let's have Willow Rosenberg teach computer class for a couple of weeks!"), but when did Mitch ever exhibit any kind of nurturing, teacher-y sensibility? Ugh.

This is all pretty bland, but Dawson's crushing blow is ridiculously effective. Not only does it throw his character for a loop, but it's also a daring piece of knowing meta commentary about Dawson's Creek itself, and how the romantic tribulations and whiny teen dialogue that rapidly became this show's trademark could so easily have become totally insufferable by now in the hands of lesser writers. C

Guest stars Meredith Monroe (Andie McPhee); Kerr Smith (Jack McPhee); Rachael Leigh Cook (Devon); Madchen Amick (Nicole Kennedy); Nick Stabile (Colin Manchester); Gareth Williams (Mike Potter)
Writer Dana Baratta Director Patrick Norris

No comments:

Post a Comment