Adolescence and alternate universes

March 25, 2011 by Brad McElhinny
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Pacey Witter

Forgive me, Joshua Jackson, for I thought you were Pacey Witter.

And for that reason, I did not give your current show, Fringe, a fair chance.

I judged you for Dawson’s Creek, and I am sorry.

On that show, you were Dawson’s pal, Pacey, and also his rival. You both pined for the affections of a girl named Joey. You all lived in a fictionalized version of Wilmington, N.C., and in Season 1, you made waves in your school because of your success with the English teacher, if you know what I’m sayin’.

It was on the WB network, and long ago — a distant dream. Your show begat One Tree Hill, which begat Gossip Girl, which begat … not me anywhere near that demographic.

Believe it or not, Dawson’s Creek is now kind of a grandpa of teen melodramas. And, my friend, teen melodramas do not age gracefully.

So a couple of years ago, when I saw you were going to be on a new show called Fringe, not interested was I.

Peter Bishop

Then I started reading here and there about how good Fringe is.

I decided to tune in.

On that show, you are Peter Bishop.Your sidekick is your father, Walter Bishop, a scientist. Walter’s rival for your attentions is also Walter Bishop — one from a parallel universe and the one who is actually your father. And you pine for Olivia, a federal agent with issues — like the fact that, currently, she’s been possessed by another, deceased scientist formerly played by Leonard Nimoy and thus talks like Spock, which is truly not sexy at all. You love her still.

It all sounds more complicated than a Dawson-Joey-Jen-Pacey love quadrangle, yet somehow it’s not.

Somehow it’s awesome.

After a lot of hand-wringing, your show just got picked up for next season on Fox even though it’s got a “death time slot” on Friday nights (tonight!) And I’m a little worried about your character because he seems to have some sort of date with destiny in the form of a big piece of heavy machinery that might or might not have the power to rip apart entire worlds — not unlike Pacey’s ill-advised relationship with that English teacher all those years ago.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a line to say I’m sorry.

I judged you by a teen drama. Your career — and your life — haven’t been stuck in amber like the citizens of an unstable Fringe universe.

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3 Responses to “Adolescence and alternate universes”

  1. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    OH, how I loved Dawson’s Creek!! The smartest words every put into teenage mouths! It was like watching The Social Network Jr. back then!

    PLUS, Dawson’s dad played “Kelly” on Guiding Light many moons ago. I LOVED him!

  2. Karan I.No Gravatar says:

    I love this blog. How have I not seen it? I need to get down with this technology business…

  3. bradmcNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Karan. This was its debut week. It’s had a soft opening, like a restaurant.

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