Dawson's Creek spawned a new generation of teen drama when it was first broadcast in 1998. Six successful seasons resulted and it launched the careers of its 4 main stars.
Set in the fictional town of Capeside, MA, it is loosely based on the life of its creator, Kevin Williamson.
The show begins as three life-long friends - Dawson, Joey and Pacey - get set to begin high-school. Their lives are changed when a new girl, Jen Lindly, moves in with her gran next door to Dawson and the group dynamic shifts.
Dawson is an avid director, who dreams of making his own movies one day. He idolises Steven Spielberg and is constantly searching for the perfect camera angle or defining clip. His parents' relationship and divorce provided much drama in the earlier seasons.
Joey Potter is a girl from the “wrong side of the creek” - she is poor and has to work extremely hard to achieve in school, as a way of keeping her there.
Joey is Dawson’s best friend when the series begins, not fully understanding her attachment to him initially. It is only as Jen starts using her ladder staircase into Dawson’s room, and she analyses the jealousy she feels, that she realises she is in love with Dawson.
Her relationship with Dawson was a feature of earlier seasons, but the relationship between Joey and Pacey evolved into something stronger in later seasons.
Pacey Witter is a bit of a misfit. His dad is chief-of-police in the small hamlet of Capeside, assisted by the deputy, who just happens to be his brother! In their eyes he is always screwing up and not capable of proving himself. His constant need to distinguish and distance himself from his family places him in many of his unfortunate situations.
Pacey initially dated Andie (Meredith Monroe), but her psychological problems put strain on their relationship, which eventually fell apart. His love for Joey blooms and they are unable to deny their attraction, even if it threatens his relationship with Dawson.
Jennifer “Jen” Lindley is expelled to Capeside by her parents from New York, when she falls in with the wrong crowd and gets mixed up in activities far too grown up for someone her age.
She stays with her gran, Evelyn, whom she hates initially, but a very strong bond is formed between them when they decide to work together to get their strange arrangement to work.
Her relationship with Dawson fizzles out when he is unable to deny his feelings for Joey and she eventually becomes the gal-pal to gay high-school student, Jack McPhee.
As they move through high school they experience all the angst and terror that being a teenager encapsulates.
The refreshing take on teens and the intelligent examination they provided into these years left viewers either ecstatic that someone was portraying teens in a new light, or frustrated and unable to believe any kid would express themselves in such an adult way.
Dawson's Creek was one of the first shows to have at its core a defining soundtrack: Paula Cole’s "I Don’t Want To Wait" as the theme song was a hit after the show aired and two soundtrack CD’s followed.
In an unfortunate twist of fate, the show that catapulted these young stars into the international limelight should have resulted in them becoming major stars, but they’ve become more famous for their celebrity lives rather than their careers.
Katie Holmes is probably the biggest star, as a result of her extremely weird and twisted relationship with Tom Cruise, Michelle Williams isn’t far behind as the post-gay flick (Brokeback Mountain) bride of Heath Ledger, in what many have seen as a bid for him to affirm his manhood and straightness.