Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dawson's Creek: Lovelines (6.19)

I remember it being around, but I never actually saw Loveline, MTV's half-hearted teen advice show that birthed the opportunistic fame-whore that is Dr. Drew Pinsky. Based on this episode, the second commercial endorsement disguised as a regular Dawson's Creek hour this season, I'm glad it stayed off my radar. Dr. Drew is all about the inappropriate questions, fine with casually asking young women if they were abused as kids, while his unfunny co-hort, hideous Man Show relic Adam Carolla, sticks around to throw in lightweight barbs, generally involving offensive commentary that entirely undermines what is supposed to be a legit source for guidance. Ugh.

Lovelines takes place mostly in one of the lecture halls at college, Carolla and Dr. Drew answering questions in a public appearance moderated by Jen. In the audience are some of the show's couples, all of whom are at one point or another dragged up to dissect their personal lives. In the process, Joey and Eddie whine over their lack of physical intimacy of late, and Jen and C.J. address their own intimacy issues. But it's all very boring, winding up presumably inconsequential long-term, particularly with Joey and Eddie.

Where the episode really bugs is in the appalling break-up between Jack and David, a couple given a sliver of the screentime devoted to the other new romances introduced this year, but far more entertaining nonetheless. Here, Jack openly flirts with some other guy, leaving David all jealous. Jack protests, David yells, and they end things. Not only does this waste an absorbing guy and leave Jack barren as a romantic lead, the writers have seemingly tossed together some lazy subplot that ensures David's departure, a story that makes little sense and leaves you generally unsatisfied. Snore.

Lovelines taks its page from early season six, aggravatingly distracted by the romantic tribulations of uninteresting newbies and dropping in low-rent guest stars with all the finesse of a latter-day Simpsons episode. Coming on the heels of a bunch of strong, intelligent episodes about people we actually care about, this is a major step back. D

Guest stars
Oliver Hudson (Eddie Doling); Jensen Ackles (C.J.); Greg Rikaart (David); Matt Funke (Fred); Adam Carolla (Himself); Dr. Drew Pinsky (Himself)
Writer Jason M. Palmer Director Joshua Jackson


  1. The radio version of Loveline was a huge part of my life from 2001-2005. I listened every night, and when Adam left the show in November of 05, I began relistening to episodes that I'd find online, something of which I still do to this day.

    I remember when I picked up the DVD set a few years ago, I was excited because I'd missed this episode when it first aired and being such a huge fan of Adam & Drew, I really wanted to see them in action. But the episode is awful, and one of the biggest problems is that they're playing caricatures of themselves. Everything they do and say sounds so out of place. I started relistening to episodes from 2003 and I'm around the time when they received the script and they laughed about how bad it was written because they wouldn't say the things that were on it. They never seemed to have anything good to say about the entire situation.

  2. That's hugely interesting. I guess I sort of assumed that they were improvising or whatever, especially as I'd never watched/listened to the original show. But the fact that they were written in that way would make me pretty pissed if I were in their position. Heh. Shitty episode, anyway.

    Thanks for the great comment, Nick.

  3. This is funny since I remember Loveline well (this whole show is a time capsule for me.) I would say why did they do it if it was so silly but hi- money $$$$ exposure. I get it.