And here's the sidebar, which I'll attempt to keep short because Contrivance invited some friends over and I've got to clean up before they get here: in my experience, it's often better to wait to sleep with a person that you care about and want a relationship with, because sex advances things to a whole new level, and sometimes, when you take that physical step before the emotions match, things get weird, and people feel pressure to act in a way that they don't feel. How. EVER. I don't like the implication that Anna "should have known better," or that she somehow let herself in for Drue treating her like crap, or that girls should only sleep with boys that they love or have a committed relationship with, because -- well, yes, that's ideal. Sex is more fulfilling on a variety of levels when you have an emotional bond with your partner. But that's not always the way the world works, particularly not in high school, and there's a judgmental fifties-ish "make them wait or they won't respect you" undertone here that I don't like at all.
The non-Studio 54 club. Bathed in scary neon-pink light, Dawson and the girls sit at a table. The girls continue the cat chat and introduce us to the concept of the loser list, i.e. all the schmucks who've broken their hearts and treated them bad, blah blah blah fishcakes; it seems that Jessica has just edged past Gretchen, who has six losers on her list. Dawson tries to clarify, asking if it's a list of all the dickheads they've dated, and Keira shrugs, "Only the ones we've slept with." Dawson practically gags on that. Gretchen tells him that he's "way too nice of a guy" to make the list, and Dawson starts to take comfort in that until Keira snorts that she's "heard that before," adding that, "for all of Gretchen's strong points, she's not the best judge of men." Thank you, Obvious Mahoney. Then Keira says patronizingly that she's sure that doesn't include Dawson: "You seem very nice." "Why does everyone keep saying that -- I'm not that nice!" Dawson splutters, trying to put a good-natured spin on it, and the girls all laugh at him.
Gretchen says that Keira just means he's not the kind of guy who would ditch her at a concert for another girl (apparently, Loser #2 did that to her), and then the other girls bring up various other losers on Gretchen's list. Gretchen says that she doesn't want to get into it, because she's "not drunk enough" to catalog her "life's most embarrassing choices" in front of Dawson, and it bears pointing out that most girls know better than to air their friend's laundry out in front of The New Guy anyway, but Keira and Jessica won't let it drop, and we find out that Gretchen had Lucky the leprechaun tattooed on her hip to impress Loser #5, a musician, and Gretchen slurs that at least it's there to remind her never to date a musician again, "no matter how hot or sexy he might be." Dawson looks like he's ingested a bug. Gretchen schmoops that she knows Dawson "won't shred my heart." Your corneas, on the other hand…the show starts. Gretchen snuggles up to Dawson as the pianeuse, who has Katie Couric hair, sings about how her life plays "like it's a movie" and sometimes she just thinks that she's afraid and other anvilicious sentiments of that sort.