on relationships and the Dawson's Creek effect

Wednesday, December 15, 1999, at 09:50AM

By Eric Richardson

I don't really plan for this to make much sense, but I've been pondering it some lately and it seems half-way sensible. As such, I'll post it. Don't expect a fully developed essay, though... This is more like a collection of thoughts.

Anyway, without further ado I present my little rant entitled:

On Relationships and the Dawson's Creek Effect


Living the Movie, Starring You

Is it a good thing to find that your relationships look a lot like the relationships on shows such as Dawson's Creek? If you can watch an episode and see yourself in the characters' shoes, should you fell good about that? I think not. On the contrary, relationships modelled after those on shows such as Dawson's Creek will most likely never succeed.

There are basically two formulas for a Dawson relationship. 1) Two people who don't really know each other find themselves stuck together for whatever reason, and end of quickly falling in "love". 2) Two people who've known each other for a really long time are going after other people, confide their thoughts in each other, and end up coming together when the relationships they're pursuing nose-dive or fall through. Despite the fact that no one ever seems to have a normal get together on TV, this is not the interesting part.

The Dawson effect presents itself during a relationship. Instead of the normal, fairly constant / mild bumps of a normal relationship, Dawson relationships look like jagged amplified waves. People go from great to fall-out, all with these morally uplifting times of self-introspection mingled in between.

You can't model real life off that. There's a big difference between TV and real-life. One's on TV, and the other is real life. For those of you that haven't noticed, TV ISN'T REAL. When the people on TV do their little ignore-the-person-and-be-morally-indignant dance, that doesn't really solve things. Sure, it does on the script, but this doesn't actual come out so well in the jungle of the real world outside.

People who think they know the answers from TV might as well be the kid going to save the world using tricks he learned on Batman. It just ain't happening.