Why 'Dawson's Creek' Has the Most Successful TV Teen Cast Ever
It's been 10 years since Joey chose Pacey, since Jen passed away, since Dawson made a TV show about them all — since "Dawson's Creek" wrapped everything up in a satisfying, sentimental bow.
If the 2003 series finale, a flash-forward that let the teens of Capeside grow up and make adult decisions, has held up well — except to those still aggrieved that Joey didn't choose Dawson — then so has its cast.
James Van Der Beek, the Spielberg-aspiring Dawson Leery, just wrapped up a fine, ironic turn as uber-James Van Der Beek on "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23." Joshua Jackson, the cougar-admiring, ultimately steadfast Pacey Witter, will never want for an invite to Comic-Con thanks to the recently concluded cult favorite "Fringe." Michelle Williams, the tragic Jen Lindley, is a three-time Oscar nominee ("Brokeback Mountain," "Blue Valentine," "My Week With Marilyn"). Katie Holmes, our dear Joey Potter, has starred in film ("Batman Begins"), on Broadway ("Dead Accounts") and, yes, in a six-year marriage to Tom Cruise. (And, yes, Williams had a child with the late Heath Ledger.)
Has another cast of a teen drama series managed to amass as many credentials?
A look at how some of the 1990s-era contemporaries of the "Dawson's Creek" alumni stack up:
"Dawson's Creek" vs. "Beverly Hills, 90210":
Advantage: "Dawson's Creek." Even though Priestley earns the "90210"-ers bonus points for directing a feature documentary on the Barenaked Ladies, Doherty gets personal bonus points for staying out of the tabloids in recent years, and Green sees Holmes's Cruise trump card with Megan Fox, collectively the West Beverly group just hasn't stayed as high-flying as the Capeside crew (not that there's anything wrong with that).
"Dawson's Creek" vs. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer":
Like "Dawson's," "Buffy" ended its primetime run 10 years ago this May. And like "Dawson's," its core cast, including Charisma Carpenter, Eliza Dushku, Seth Green, and Michelle Trachtenberg, remains visible. And then there's Sarah Michelle Gellar, who despite the one-and-done run of "Ringer" looks as if she'll continue to be a TV fixture, and Alyson Hannigan, who will live on forever, "I Love Lucy"-style, through "How I Met Your Mother."