Nominated for 12 Teen Choice Awards in its five-year (six season) run, including Best Drama Series, Dawson’s Creek quickly built an extensive cult following. A surprise smash hit for the enterprising WB network, the show initiated a successful string of numerous original series for WB such as Angel (1999), Gilmore Girls (2000), and Smallville (2001). 

Set in the fictional township of Capeside, Massachusetts, the series was nonetheless filmed almost entirely on location in Wilmington, North Carolina (although the opening theme song, “I Don’t Want To Wait,” is written and performed by Massachusetts native Paula Cole). 

Creator Kevin Williamson (writer for the blockbuster movie Scream) is said to have modeled the characters on Dawson’s Creek after various aspects of his own self from his adolescent years…

Dawson’s Creek follows the lives of several teenagers, some of whom grew up together, as they struggle through the tempestuous and volatile years of pre-adulthood. The title character is Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), an introspective and intelligent dreamer who lives nearby lifelong best friend Josephine “Joey” Potter (Katie Holmes), a tomboy unaware of how truly beautiful she is. 

Mutual friend Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) is part of their clique, as are newcomers Jennifer “Jen” Lindley (Michelle Williams), Andrea “Andie” McPhee (Meredith Monroe), and Jack McPhee (Kerr Smith). 

Together, the friends form the basis of a teen soap opera, complete with high drama, curiosity, and bits of comic relief. Know for its intelligent subject matter, clever dialogue, and no-holds-barred tackling of issues, Dawson’s Creek made most of its cast overnight celebrities…

The Dawson’s Creek DVD (Season 1) features a number of dramatic episodes including the series premiere in which longtime friends Dawson, Joey, Pacey, and new friend Jen attend their first day of tenth grade. 

Meanwhile, Dawson notices that Joey is growing jealous of his attraction to the new girl in town, and Pacey develops a crush on an unknown woman who just happens to be a teacher at Capeside High.

Other notable episodes from Season 1 include “Discovery” in which Dawson discovers his mother’s affair, Joey’s knowledge of it, and some personal information about Jen, and “The Scare” in which Dawson and company scare themselves for real when a serial killer heads toward Capeside during their Friday the 13th séance.

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