Friday, December 21, 2012

Dawson's Creek: 100 Light Years from Home (5.19)

It comes as a surprise to learn that this is the one-hundreth episode of Dawson's Creek, since nothing particularly special happens, even if most of the hour implies that a game-changer is right around the corner. It's particularly evident with Dawson and Joey; Dawson pining over her for most of the hour and coming to some kind of major epiphany wherein he realizes how much he loves her, all accompanied by sepia-colored flashbacks to their mighty (and mighty annoying) courtship. But the episode ends with Dawson standing in the sand, looking out to sea, pining over his lost love, who he assumes spent the last night boning Chad Michael Murray. For shame. Meh.

There's a fantastic Simpsons gag in which a pretentious English boy tries to encourage Lisa to join him at his parents' country house for the weekend, wherein they'll doubtlessly experience a bunch of "delightful romantic misunderstandings". 100 Light Years from Home seems inspired by that same idea, all the cast thrown together during Spring Break at a beach house rented by Audrey's parents, and all of them thrown off in their little subplots. Being 2002 and the WB, naturally along for the ride include a half-dozen awkward MTV references, cameos from real-life VJs (remember them?), and an overlong musical performance from some Eurotrash pop twosome called M2M (who I thought I wasn't aware of, until I YouTube'd this, and they came screaming back to me in all their one-hit-wonder horror).

Rina Mimoun's episode spins through a variety of different subplots this week, few of them linked in terms of tone or approach. There are some half-assed romantic tribulations between Pacey and Audrey, Audrey tempted by the reappearance of her movie star ex, played with a shocking lack of charisma by Tac Fitzgerald, and Pacey being all perturbed. Considering how cute these two have been of late, there's little drama here, especially when the movie star character reeks of a one-shot guest star gig.

Joey and Charlie's relationship was so well explored last week, particularly when Jen offered her own insight into dumb guys and the annoying attraction she has to them, that it's rough seeing this episode dovetail into Jen/Joey feuding, full of cries of petty jealousy. Gah. It feels regressive.

Jack, the writers having presumably realized they've given him nothing but filler lines over the last couple of episodes, has suddenly developed a drinking problem -- so much that he ends up hurling himself off the roof of the beach house into the pool below. Kerr Smith convinces in his weepy monologue soon after, talking about lost love and personal emptiness and wanting to rewind time, but I just wish the build-up to this was a little more interesting. Jack's become such a drag that it's hard to muster up a ton of enthusiasm for him anymore.

This is generally pretty underwhelming. Dawson's presence seems like an after-thought, especially when his showing up at the beach house doesn't result in anything sparkly or attention-grabbing, and most of the other characters seem to be going through the motions. For such a landmark episode, this couldn't have been less unassuming. D+

Guest stars
Busy Philipps (Audrey Liddell); Chad Michael Murray (Charlie Todd); Jordan Bridges (Oliver Chirchick); Tac Fitzgerald (Chris Hartford)
Writer Rina Mimoun Director David Petrarca

1 comment:

  1. I have too many logistic questions like how did they all get to Florida? Audrey is from LA but her parents rent a house in Florida? And her ex is there? Huh???