Transition is in the air in this Dawson’s Creek - The Complete Fifth Season. Some people are attending college in Boston, others stay home in Capeside and Dawson, our hero and lead character, has gone to Los Angeles to attend Film School. As usual, the episodes are freighted with the typical highs and lows of being a teenager going into the real world. As someone who is a bit older now(31), I remember going through these similar times, and I have to give this show a lot of credit for what they got right. So many times it seems we write off TV as not being able to give us anything of merit or value, but this is not the case here.
I remember how I felt when I started college. I remember what my thoughts were as I walked around my high school before I graduated. I had a a decent amount of High School friends, but truthfully, I didn’t have a tight knit group like Dawson and the gang. These are people who really define what it means to be friends. Yes, they have differences, and it seems like in every episode they are steps away from testing the fires of the friendships, but yet these characters boldly soldier on. They do not close-up and withdraw when the weights and pressures of the “real world” start to bare down on them. In fact, I really like how this show genuinely explores relationships. It looks at them in a very real way. I also like how Dawson went away from the pack and ventured out on his own. I mean, that is a huge step for someone to take in their life. He certainly could have stayed in Capeside, he could have gone to college in Boston but instead he bravely chose to head out on his own. I really have to applaud the shows creators for having the faith in the character for him to do this. The show is called Dawson’s Creek, right?
Also, until I had screened Dawson’s Creek - The Complete Fifth Season, I had never seen a moment of this show, other then in previews and commercials. So I am basically coming into this at a four season deficit. I had a general idea of what this show was about before I screened it, so it wasn’t like it came on and I was totally blind sided. I knew a bit about the previous relationships, and I had a working knowledge of what happened between the Dawson, Joey and Pacey characters. That is about all and as it turns out, I think that basically that is all that I needed to be able to get into this show. Seeing the other characters like Jack and Jen, I sort of had to do some guesswork, but on the whole I feel that my thoughts and opinions are as informed as they can be by someone who has come in at such a late place in the game.
No extras came with this DVD box set. However, there is “new music chosen by the show’s Executive Producer”. As someone who had never watched this show until they cracked open this DVD box set, the new music really doesn’t mean that much to me. Not having extras is kind of a bummer but I have come to realize that with 4 discs and 23 episodes, that is just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
1.33:1 Full Screen. Again, another show that started in the 1990s that is in the full screen format. I always thought that this show was in widescreen but I guess that is a misperception on my part. The look of this show doesn’t seem that dated. The 1990s seemed, in the first half anyway, to be a real mix of the 1980’s and the 1990s. It seems as if the styles on this show have carried over all the way into 2005. Which makes sense as I believe this season aired in the 2001-2002. I really didn’t watch this show and think, ”Man, that is so early 2000”. In fact, the only show that I have seen that really captured the “stuck in the middle” look that the 1990s had was Saved By the Bell - The College Years. I have heard that the first 3 years of any new decade are basically a carry over from the previous decade. Dawson’s Creek - The Complete Fifth Season doesn’t look like that all. The transfers of this show are very sharp and clear. In fact, I truly think you could run this show now and you really wouldn’t have to update the clothing too much. I know that there are some people that might disagree with me, but as I said, this show doesn’t look like it has been in a time capsule for the past few years. In fact, it still seems both fresh and vibrant.
Dolby Digital Sound. As far as TV shows go, this is one of the first in my mind to really capture the pre and post “Nirvana” vibe. It was the first show that I remembered that really seemed to be trying to speak to my generation. This might have been why I turned so heavily away from it. Why I wasn’t able to get into it and let it represent me. Looking back on it now, as the show is done and it’s safe, I can say that while this show isn’t 100% right, it certainly isn’t that off the mark. The thing is, musically, I could never be on the same page as a show like this, but that is a whole other story. Everything sounded very good on all these discs. In fact, I just had to turn the volume up to an acceptable level(which wasn’t that high at all) and I could just leave it at that. It is so interesting watching a show like this, simply because so many of the shows that I watch have been recorded in mono. One thing Dawson’s Creek did have, and I think that this set it apart, was a charged look and feel. You could tell that the shows creators knew that they had something special, and they went out of their way to exploit that.
If I didn’t have to review this box set, I never would have given it a second look. One glance at the front cover and I would have walked away. All it is is the gorgeous people. People who you never in a million years would deem have any problems at all. Everyone just looks perfect. The back of this DVD features some tech specs and a description of what this box set is all about. While it may have initially turned me off(as I have stated, I was won over by this show like I have been by so many others), I am sure that people who are fans are going to love the look of this. While it isn’t anything too special, as a piece of TV on DVD, it really doesn’t have to be. In fact, all that it does have to do is just play the shows correctly and the consumer will be satisfied. I feel this way because I love getting my favorite shows on DVD. If they come with a ton of bells and whistles that is great, if they don’t, that is fine too. Dawson’s Creek - The Complete Fifth Season is just fine.
I really was able to get into this show. I started off not wanting to like Dawson’s Creek - The Complete Fifth Season, simply because all that I had ever seen of it made me think it was a syrupy teen show with nothing to it whatsoever. After screening this 4 disc set I will concede that I think I dismissed this show(when it first aired) a bit because of my age. I was a good 6 years older then these characters when they started down the very journey that I had undertaken, and I think that that played into my “writing off” of their characters. I looked at this show much like I look at The OC today. I just don’t see anything in it for me. This, I think, has more to do with my personal feelings and thoughts then it does about anything that is ingrained in hard reality. Dawson’s Creek is an ably crafted show that makes every effort to show us what young people are going through. In fact, I think I need to reassess many of the my thoughts about the current state of television, because the truth of the matter is that no audience is going to get so heavily into these shows as they do, if they didn’t directly speak to them.
In closing, I would like to say that I think fans of the show will be more then happy with Dawson’s Creek - The Complete Fifth Season. Sure, there are no extras(and I know that that is going to be a bugaboo with the diehard fans), but with 23 episodes clocking in at 986 minutes, there is certainly enough content to satisfy those who want to relive the show and those, like myself, that had never seen it before.
Dawson's Creek was released .