Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dawson's Creek: A Weekend in the Country (3.12)

Oh God, the corn! While Dawson's Creek is superficially all about over-angsty teenagers who obsess over every little detail of their lives and talk like the televisual equivalent of being beaten over the head with a thesaurus, it only rarely exploits the sentimentality which is so readily at hand. A Weekend in the Country unfortunately overdoses on the maudlin, whole rafts of embarrassing dialogue handed to the ensemble as they reminisce about their favorite smells (??) and remember the good times. There's then a horrible Big Chill pastiche with everybody dancing in the kitchen, which is about as fun as being flayed alive. Granted, this episode isn't a total crock but, boy, is it hard to love.

I normally enjoy episodes in which the cast are tossed together in one environment, the interactions creating the sparkage instead of the narrative, but this story didn't work at all. It's the grand opening of the Potter B&B, and contrivance leads to the ensemble pretending to be guests in order to impress a snooty critic who, I may add, has the perfect face for an SVU necrophiliac.

It quickly becomes one of those Lifetime-ish 'moral' stories, with everybody learning true warmth and tenderness and realizing that (I suppose) hotel cleanliness and abject crumminess are irrelevant when you have real heart. Gag. It's all pretty lame.

However, A Weekend in the Country does sow the seeds for the future, every character getting a new direction of sorts. Dawson confesses his admiration for Pacey's personal growth (in a very 'Dawson-ish' condescending-to-all-hell sort of way), Jen creates a clean slate in her relationship with Henry by telling him about her sexy-dangerous/dangerous-sexy past, Jack moves back in with his family (aww), Gale finally pursues something other than local TV, and Pacey is left watching Joey sleep... which isn't actually as creepy as it could have been. He really digs the girl! Oh, and Bodie finally escaped the contrivance monster that had been holding him captive for the last two years! Yay for Bodie!

This is all sorts of dumb, but the last ten minutes seems to close a chapter on the opening stretch of the season and look to the future. The momentum is back, and the characters are once again recognizable. Let's just ease up on the corn next time, show. C-

Guest stars
Michael Pitt (Henry Parker); Obi Ndefo (Bodie Wells)
Writer Jeffrey Stepakoff Director Michael Katleman

1 comment:

  1. When they started talking about smells my eyes just rolled back in my head