Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dawson's Creek & Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Day 4: "All Good Things..." & "Hush"

“All Good Things…”

-I’m 28. I’m a male. I’m oft bearded. The Jen/Jack scene killed me at 16. It kills me at 28. Yes, I’m an oft bearded 28 year old male and my eyes well with tears during that scene. I feel a sob rise and catch in my throat. My eyes also well up during any Jen scene in “All Good Things…” Kevin Williamson wanted his characters to experience the death of a friend in the series finale because it was the last big event they hadn’t experienced. They all loved for the first time, had sex for the first time, went to prom, graduated high school, attended college, and achieved their dreams. Dawson’s the head writer and show-runner of a melodramatic teen soap titled The Creek. Joey edits books in New York and lives with a handsome writer in a posh NYC apartment. Pacey re-opened The Ice House, re-dedicated his life to the culinary arts after the finance career went bad, Jack teaches English at Capeside and dates Doug, and Jen, well…. Poor Jen will die. Jensen Ackles’ character left after she became pregnant. Jen achieves an impossible reality for her, though: responsible motherhood. Her mother sent her to Capeside, MA because she couldn’t raise and wean her daughter. Jen can and does. She became what she lacked, which caused the sadness and misdirection she experienced during seasons one and two of the series. She’s the tragic character in Dawson’s Creek. “You know me and odds, Jack,” she says before telling him the saddest thing she says in the entire series, “Because I am going to die, Jack.”

-Williamson moved time ahead five years because he knew what dreck season six was. Of course, I think #622 is a good episode to wrap up the sixth season of the show before the merciful time jump and return of Kevin Williamson.

-I watched the uncut finale in fall 2003. ABC Family further cut the network version by cutting the gang remembering Eve. Kevin Williamson took another shot at the season 3 premiere in the wedding dream scene. Dawson doesn’t remember why he turned down Joey’s advances in “Like A Virgin.” I would’ve liked Williamson to have chosen an extreme meta path. He already wrote a scene involving a writer’s room wherein the writer’s, and Dawson’s line producer, discussed the behind-the-scenes drama of season one and the season one finale. Williamson lifted the masturbation dialogue from his experience, and he always thought putting Joey and Dawson together in “Decisions” broke genre conventions. His fictional writing staff, one half of it, argues the story will hit an endpoint if Colby and Sam get together. Yeah, it did. That was the story of the first season. The writers made the mistake of driving it into Hades. Jeremy Sisto’s disposable characters makes a worthwhile point about the endless cycle of the triangle—perhaps Sisto’s Christopers speaks for Williamson. The teaser and first act consists of postmodern self-awareness and meta commentary, and the scene Joey watches is a fun parody of the first season.

-Williamson wrote the best Jack McPhee story since the second season. The writers seemed skittish about writing a gay character in a show that aired during the family-friendly hour of 8PM. Kerr Smith didn’t feel comfortable playing a gay character either. Kerr Smith’s the star of the series finale. Jack’s the heart. He breaks the news to everyone. That scene with Jen….Seven hells. Who doesn’t feel stabbing sadness watching Jack laying in his soul mate’s arms as he tells her about the male nurse he flirted with?

-Triangle drama is light throughout the finale. They laugh about it on the drive home from the hospital. Dawson makes the ‘And the triangle becomes a square’ joke, which Pacey loves. The story turns triangle way at the end of the episode, turning Jen’s death into a “Who will Joey go to for comfort?” She chose Dawson. The 88 minute finale needed to hit the important beats, though Jen’s health isn’t a point until the third act of the episode. Jen fainting gets the coveted second act cliffhanger act break.

-The gang dealt with the death of Abby Morgan. None of them, except for Jen, liked her. Dawson and Joey agree in #220 that her death is like the wicked west of east melting and resolving into a dew.

-Lily’s role in the finale leads to excellent aging nonsense in part 2. The movie she chose to watch with Dawson is Annie Hall.

-Dawson’s an unapologetic autobiographical writer, a Jack Kerouac of the teen soap kind. He changed the names and nothing else. Petey is a golden name for Pacey. Of Pacey’s story, Williamson wanted to return characters to their roots. Pacey outgrew adulterous/scandalous relationships.

-The Creek aired on TheWB, which did not exist five years in the future.

-More tears in the eyes and sobs in the throat tomorrow.

“Hush”

-Yeah, I definitely wrote about “Hush” before in the foot. Brief notes, though:

“Hush” involves Buffy’s nifty prophetic dreams. She dreamt of The Gentlemae. The Gentlemen appear that night and take the voices away from Sunnydale residents. Giles attempts to interpret the dreams, but to no avail.

-Several things I love in the spoken dialogue portion: Giles’ reaction to Anya’s orgasm line, Spike’s imitation of Xander and Anya, Buffy and Riley talking about the thing they don’t want to talk about, which sets up their kiss once they’re voiceless. Joss said in his commentary of the episode that people start communicating once they stop talking. Joss further twists it by ending “Hush” with the discovery by Riley and Buffy of each other’s extracurricular activities. “Doomed” follows “Hush.” It’s tough to follow “Hush.” “Doomed” is a disappointment. Three writers received credit, meaning the script must’ve came in after deadline after furious rewrites.

-Anya and Xander resolve their miscommunication after Xander beats Spike up. Xander thought Spike killed Anya. The two then leave to make whoopee. Tony Head’s reaction to that still delights me. James Marsters’ reacted great to it, grimacing while in vampface. He’s not the lone vamp that grimaced in vampface, though. Grimace and confused brow are the same. Many vampires have been confused by their leader’s plan, a Buffy pun, or a fighting style by a Scooby.

-The projector scene still delights me. Buffy’s handjob motion is a cheap gag, but it’s a good one. My favorite part of the projector scene is a forgotten aspect of it. I love Anya eating the popcorn. I love Joss cutting to her for reaction shots, whether it’s her raising her eyebrows at the new piece of info, or pouring popcorn into her mouth.


-“Hush” is a remarkable episode and also the last before a run of unremarkable episodes revolving around The Initiative. “This Year’s Girl” and “Who Are You?” end the rut. The end of the season is strong, despite Adam. The writers couldn’t magically make Lindsay Crouse available. ANGEL season two lost Julie Benz for May sweeps; instead of an epic resolution to the main arc of the season, Angels Investigations portals Pylea way to help Lorne and to retrieve Cordy. I like the Pylea arc. I love and revere Lorne.

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.