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"Dawson's Creek" The Dance (1998)

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Trapped in a Corner

7/10
Author: ttapola from Finland
9 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And then there were three. "Special Guest Stars", that is, after Leann Hunley's exit from the series. Logically, that should have improved Monica Keena's chances for more screen-time as Abby, but no. We don't get a chance to see whether she is "just" an actress or possibly a great actress. Meanwhile, Meredith Monroe has claimed the role of Andie so completely it will probably forever be associated with her, regardless of whatever role she plays. Her take on the easily excitable character is really infectious - in a good way.

So, how does Dawson's Creek do the unavoidable "School Dance Episode"? Considering this was made in 1998, very well, actually. A surprise appearance by the sultry Ali Larter results in a great scene with the show's regular scene stealer, especially in scenes involving actresses, Joshua Jackson. And it's because of the way the scene is written - elsewhere, the lack of more memorable scenes proves this, leading to a 7/10 overall. The relationships of the various characters are rather clumsily thrown into disorder *simultaneously* - what are the odds? Thankfully they are different states of disorder, some passing, some lasting. Still, Dawson's Creek has, like many shows before and after it, already at this point, painted itself in the corner where the writers don't have faith in their ability to sustain the show's central relationship and start an irritating "Can't they just make up?" drama, that can, in the worst case, like in the otherwise classic Friends between Ross and Rachel, last a *decade* . Even over a decade since this episode was made, writers still wrestle with the same problem. Sadly, most still haven't figured out how not to paint themselves in a corner.

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