Dawson's Creek
Pilot

Episode Report Card
4 USERS: A+
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Pilot

Cut to Dawson and Pacey -- who has his socks pulled way the hell up for some reason -- rushing up the lawn of the Nookie Hacienda. Pacey makes an incomprehensible comment about Dawson "nailing" Jen, and Dawson sort of says "whatever," and Pacey tells Dawson that "greater men would be nailing right now," and frankly I do not miss this element of The Old Pacey at all. As they walk in, we hear moans, and Dawson and Pacey interrupt Gail and Mitch "The Cuckold" Leery getting jiggy on the coffee table. A mortified Dawson gasps, "Oh god, Mom," and drops all his stuff, and Mitch dumps Gail unceremoniously onto the floor and says, "Oh, hi, son," as Pacey titters. The Leerys deal with their clothing while saying that they were just discussing whether or not they needed a new coffee table, and Dawson blushes as Pacey says "hi" to his parents, and Gail tells Dawson not to "look so red, it could be worse," and Pacey admires Gail’s new clown poof, and Gail thanks him as Mitch, exasperated, grumbles at Dawson, "I thought you had to work today." Dawson "running late" blah blah blah Gail "should get going" blah blah "Mr. Man Meat" blah blah blah Dawson gets embarrassed at his parents’ sex life blah blah blah fishcakes. "Mr. Man Meat"? Not enough man, or enough meat, evidently, but we’ll get to that later.

Joey ties up her rowboat and walks up her own dock to the Interracial House Of Pancakes. "Where In The World Is" Bodie "Sandiego" appears with saucepan in hand and asks Joey to try something he’s cooked, saying that "I’m being tested on this one" when she protests. She takes a nibble, deems it "orgasmic," and asks, "Where’s Bess?" Bessie "Don’t Make Me Come Over There" Potter waddles her extremely pregnant self over to Joey and tells her with a bitchy smile to put Bessie’s clothes "back where you found them, got it?" and adds, "I’m way too pregnant to be digging underneath your bed." Joey: "Then stay out of my room, ‘got it’?" Bessie threatens to "knock her silly" as Joey stomps into the house. Bodie offers Bessie some of the mystery dish, and she too finds it "orgasmic," and Bodie kisses her on the cheek and goes up the steps as she stands in the yard wiping her mouth, and the editor could have cut that transition a little better.

Anyway. Over at Screen Play Video, Dawson thanks a customer for returning videos as Pacey wonders aloud, "So, if your dad is Mr. Man Meat, does that make you Mr. Man Meat Junior or Mr. Man Meat The Second?" Well, it makes Sars really tired of typing the words "Mr. Man Meat," for one thing. Dawson threatens to kill Pacey. Then a girl with curly blonde hair asks if Forrest Gump goes in the comedy section or the drama section, and Pacey snaps, "How many times are you gonna ask that?" Dawson tells her it goes in the drama section, and she thanks him while glaring at Pacey, who then mutters under his breath, "Can you say ‘wetbrain’?" The blonde overhears him and calls him on it, asking him to refresh her memory as to who he is, and Pacey says that yes, he knows, her father owns the place, and the blonde says, "No, I’m talking about in the huge, rotating world of life." Pacey takes the bait: "And who am I, Nellie?" Nellie inculcates us into the finer points of Pacey’s status as Capeside’s leading loser: "Nobody. That’s the point. You’re not there; you don’t even exist, because if you did, I might have to respond to your pathetic little under-the-breath one-liners. But instead, I take comfort knowing you’re vapor -- fffff, fffff, non-existent, nothing." During this diatribe, Pacey nods and looks by turns saddened and resigned; as we all know by now, he’s heard this song before. Nellie winds it up just as an older woman in a negligee wanders in the front door. A saxophone wails longingly on the soundtrack as Tamara "TaMAHra" Jacobs vamps her way up to the counter and Pacey says things like "my god" and "look at her" while the camera pans up TaMAHra’s not-all-that legs. Dawson chides Pacey, "Show some respect, man, she’s somebody’s mother." Pacey indirectly gives Dawson guff by saying he has it "on pretty good authority that mothers have excellent sex lives." Ouch. When TaMAHra finally shimmies her way up to the counter, Pacey gets her signed up with a membership, and Dawson makes himself scarce, the better to let Pacey shoot his foot clean off with lines like, "You new in town? ‘Cause I haven’t seen you in here before." TaMAHra smiles, "Yes, I am," and they introduce themselves, and Pacey offers to help her "locate a video this afternoon." TaMAHra is "in the mood for romance," and when Pacey points to the new releases, TaMAHra says, "Oh, no -- I’m vintage, all the way." Pacey, nearly unable to speak by this point, starts to show her the classics section, but she asks all innocently, "Where would I find The Graduate?" Dawson sticks his head out from behind a shelf at this point as Pacey burbles, "The Graduate is the one . . ." and TaMAHra prompts him, "Where the older woman, Anne Bancroft, seduces the younger man, Dustin Hoffman?" You know, you’d think I’d get used to those iron-skillet blows to the head, but they still hurt just as much every time. Dawson appears with the film in hand, and after a little pay-when-you-return-it-don’t-forget-your-credit-card repartee, TaMAHra leaves, but not before turning as she goes and saying, "It was nice to meet you, Pacey." Pacey, all horndog: "Yeah." Dawson: "Wipe the drool, dude." Pacey insists, "Dude, she was flirting with me." Dawson corrects him, "She was laughing at you." Pacey, offended: "No, she wanted me!" Dawson, laughing: "She wanted Dustin Hoffman." Pacey sighs.

Dawson rounds the corner of the Nookie Hacienda with a handful of videos and spots Jen sitting on the dock and watching the sun set. In the three separate cuts we have between Dawson and Jen in the beginning of this scene, Dawson’s hair looks completely different -- but always terrible -- in each one. Dawson takes a seat next to Jen, gives her a big I-can’t-afford-to-have-these-capped-yet smile, and asks after her grandfather. Jen’s assessment of his status: "Uh, he’s breathing -- good sign." Dawson chuckles at this reasonably inappropriate gallows humor as Jen goes on, "It’s my Grams that presents a challenge. She’s got this praying mentality, which is really awkward ‘cause I don’t do the whole God thing." She reaches for Dawson’s videos, which include Creature From The Black Lagoon and Swamp Thing, and Dawson explains, "It’s research. I’m making a movie." "Really," Jen says, sounding impressed. "Kinda young to be so ambitious." Dawson responds with a worried look, "Fifteen. Spielberg started on eight-millimeter when he was thirteen." Yeah, and Spielberg still sucks rocks, Dawson -- and by the way, Ethan Hawke sent a runner over from the set of Reality Bites, and he wants his hair back. Jen asks, "Why movies? What’s the attraction?" Dawson responds, without a hint of irony, "I reject reality." Jen sort of laughs as if to say, "Whatever." Dawson invites her to see his studio. While they climb the stairs to Dawson’s lair, I sharpen a fondue fork in anticipation of the agony I know awaits me. Dawson and Jen walk into the Sanctum Dawsonorum. The camera yaws from one Spielberg poster to another as Jen takes a stab at humor: "Long shot here, ah -- Spielberg fan?" Dawson, whose hair has undergone yet another metamorphosis and now looks like he starred in the low-water-pressure episode of Seinfeld, nods quickly and quips, "I pretty much worship the man in a godlike way, yeah." Jen says, "How revealing." Indeed. Dawson launches into the guided tour: "I have his career chronicled up on my wall -- if you’ll notice, everything is arranged in receding box office order, starting with the blockbusters, Jurassic Park, E.T., Jaws, Indiana Jones series, and if you’ll follow it to my critically acclaimed wall, I have Schindler’s List and The Color Purple." Dawson throws open his closet doors (no comment) and continues, "Also, for humility purposes, I also [sic] keep his flops, 1941 and Always, in limited but accessible view." Jen inquires flirtatiously, "Are you familiar with obsessive reality disorder?" No such disorder exists, except on the part of the DC writers, but even if it did, Dawson wouldn’t notice, as we see when he babbles, "It’s beyond that. See, I believe that all the mysteries of the universe, all the answers to life’s questions, can be found in a Spielberg film." I bury the fondue fork firmly in my left eyeball as Dawson expounds on his theory: "Whenever I have a problem, all I have to do is look to the right Spielberg movie, and the answer is revealed." Jen skeptically suggests "a twelve-step program," to which Dawson responds, "Wit. We like that around here." As if Dawson would know wit if it attached itself to his panoramic forehead with a suction cup.

Anyway, cut to Joey storming across the Leerys’ lawn and heading up the ladder. As she nears the top, she hears Dawson and Jen talking; Jen says something like, "You are very smooth," and Joey stops to listen and gets all squidg

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Dawson's Creek

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