Monday, January 21, 2013

Dawson's Creek: Living Dead Girl (6.6)

I can't be the only one who wanted Audrey to just shut the hell up and get dumped this week. I don't think I've ever seen such an exaggerated turnaround in personality outside of bad slasher movies with an inexplicable whodunnit mystery at their center. What makes it even sadder is that Audrey's presumed breakdown is being really well performed by Busy Philipps. The girl's become this huge walking car wreck; ditching classes, boozing and slapping Pacey around the head. But away from Philipps' enthusiasm, what makes all of it so inauthentic is that we've never seen this kind of behavior from Audrey before, or even some indication that she's prone to this kind of thing. Last season depicted her as this fun comedic relief character with real perspectives on things, despite her wonky history with her parents. But seeing her become judgmental, obnoxious and prone to making day-to-day relationship trials into enormous slights on her... gah, it's just ugly to watch.

The worst thing was her declaration that Pacey seems to love his job more than he loves her. Coming from a girl who last year seemed to have this really easy and carefree vibe when it came to sex and relationships, it's disappointing to see the show writing her as this overly needy, attention-seeking drama queen. Who is she? Joey Potter? Right now I just want Audrey off the show. She's become that annoying. Run for the hills, Pacey.

Living Dead Girl is otherwise a generally fine Halloween episode. The spookiness is derived from Dawson's movie set, where he's seemingly stalked by the ghost of a dead movie starlet who's been haunting the studio for years. It's instantly clear where all this is going, primarily because the starlet herself is obviously Bianca Kajlich in a blonde wig and shades. But... at least it's not exactly boring, unlike most of the other Dawson stuff this year.

I also continue to like Jen. While Pacey is the character more likely to get dumped in horribly tedious storylines, Jen is the character most prone to being left out all-together. Which is ridiculous considering Michelle Williams is so adorable and talented. She's still pursuing a relationship with Jensen Ackles' character, who seems to have a shady romantic history that is preventing him from actually dating her. Or something. It's pretty vague, but Jen's tribulations are cute, particularly her initial belief that C.J. is actually gay, and that she's become this unstoppable magnet for gay men. Aww.

Finally, Joey and Eddie had to babysit Professor Hetson's bratty teenage daughter Harley. She's one of those precocious kid characters who I guess is supposed to be cute, but only really comes off like a worthless shit. Blah. There are some lame attempts at trying to parallel Harley and Joey, both with the daddy issues, but it's never that interesting. At least Joey and Eddie are making out now, and not just repetitively yelling at each other like they're in Act One of a bad Meg Ryan movie.

This is frequently annoying, but Living Dead Girl at least has a sense of fun with the Halloween hoodoo and doesn't feel as tonally scattered as the rest of the season so far. The big arcs are still dragging something fierce, though. I'm not sure the movie set stuff or the Audrey meltdown are working successfully at all... C+

Guest stars
Oliver Hudson (Eddie Doling); Jensen Ackles (C.J.); Megan Gray (Emma Jones); Roger Howarth (Principal Greg Hetson); Hal Ozsan (Todd Carr); Mika Boorem (Harley Hetson); Greg Rikaart (David); Bianca Kajlich (Natasha Kelly)
Writer Tom Kapinos Director Les Sheldon

1 comment:

  1. Kiss of death jump the shark: introduce precocious younger character! Season 6 is painful to watch.