Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dawson's Creek: Instant Karma! (6.4)

You have to feel for the actors contractually stuck on a TV show and experiencing out-of-nowhere character assassination that entirely undermines all the work they had done to create said character in the first place. Busy Philipps recently spoke about feeling like a "talking prop" on Dawson's Creek, I guess like an object that moves from point A to point B with little discernible motivation. It's something that's particularly evident here, an episode in which Audrey displays behavior that seems to go entirely against her character as we knew her, and only winds up making her seem petty, irrational and obnoxious. If it's jarring for the audience at home, I can't imagine how hurtful it must be for the actor themselves.

As soon as Pacey canceled a date with Audrey and was later dragged out of the office by his stockbroker bosses, it was clear the two parties would cross paths eventually. What wasn't expected was Audrey's hysterical volatility straight after, cursing Pacey, telling him that she no longer recognizes him, and essentially ordering him away from her. Soon after, she gets drunk and almost raped by some frat douche, and Audrey is left sad and weepy in her bedroom. Not only is all of this absurd, but it seems like a crazily overblown reaction to something that is obviously a little annoying, but hardly grounds for tearing up the joint and going batshit. Poor Busy Philipps. I now get what she means.

Instant Karma! takes a page from Pacey's tedious new subplot and makes everything that surrounds it just as irritating. Dawson's movie adventure sees the introduction of primadonna leading lady Natasha Kelly (played by the Mary Cherry-lookin' Bianca Kajlich -- is it just me?), who turns out to be the actress Dawson recently dumped over the phone after his night with Joey. Ridiculousness occurs, Natasha gets confrontational and pursues revenge, Joey shows up on set and angst ensues. It's all crazily formulaic and not even a little bit interesting.

It's also interesting to analyze that last scene between Joey and Eddie, Joey kissing him and having Eddie immediately tell her that he wants them to kiss because she wants to kiss him, not merely to get back at her ex. It's a scene that instantly brought to mind a near-identical moment between Willow and Oz over on Buffy, and it's awkward that it was so heartfelt and moving on that other show, a wonderful introduction to a new love interest character and a profoundly romantic gesture. Here, we barely know Eddie beyond 'surface level banter', and there's zero fun to be had seeing Joey making her first tentative steps in what's likely to become a serious relationship. It's all just pretty lacking.

The one beacon of mild interest is Jack's strange friendship with Professor Freeman, Freeman married with a baby on the way but romantically interested in Jack. I'm not sure where it's going, and there's already so much wrong with it (do we really need another student/teacher fling on this show? Must every romantic Jack subplot be filled with sexual dysfunction?), but it at least creates some sparkage in a way that every other storyline on the show isn't doing at all.

Instant Karma! is probably the worst episode this season so far. While it's just as boring as last week, it adds insult to injury by being wackadoo in terms of characterization -- Audrey a pain, Joey, Pacey and Dawson bores and Natasha nutty in a bad way. What's happening to this show? D

Guest stars
Oliver Hudson (Eddie Doling); Jensen Ackles (C.J.); Sebastian Spence (Professor Matt Freeman); Hal Ozsan (Todd Carr); Dana Ashbrook (Rich Rinaldi); Biana Kajlich (Natasha Kelly)
Writer Maggie Friedman Director Robert Duncan McNeill

No comments:

Post a Comment