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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Dawson's Creek: The Complete Second Season (1998)

"But how could it be over? We can't just say 'I love you' for the first time and have it be over."
- Dawson (James VanDerBeek)

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: February 03, 2004

Stars: James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Willaims, Joshua Jackson
Other Stars: Kerr Smith, Mary Beht Peil, Michelle Monroe
Director: various

Manufacturer: DVDl
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing offensive)
Run Time: 18h:32m:14s
Release Date: December 16, 2003
UPC: 043396013377
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- A-BB- C

DVD Review

When you are a teenager everything in your life is a matter of incredible dramatic presence. It is a terrible and sort of pathetic thing, but it sadly is a staple of young American life. And perhaps the reason for this is that numerous television shows and films often portray teenagers who are filled with melodrama and conflict, and Dawson's Creekis a perfect example. Created by Scream scribe Kevin Williamson, the series ran for a solid six years before going off the air and putting one of the last nails in the coffin of the original grouping of shows that once made the WB so popular.

While not exactly the most groundbreaking work of television, there are moments throughout the second season of the immensely popular show where it becomes somewhat clear that the writing and acting are on another level compared to the countless imitators that have come down the pipeline. Williamson offers his trademark banter at a rapid rate here, which, at times, is a detriment, as the lines of dialogue spoken sound somewhat out of place in any high school I know of. Seriously, when was the last time normal cafeteria dialogue included ruminations on death and love in such a serious and melodramatic manner?

For the uninformed, Dawson's Creek follows the lives of four residents of the picturesque Massachusetts town of Capeside, and the events that occur over the course of their school year. There is Dawson (Van Der Beek) the general leader of the group who pines for Joey (Holmes), a sweet-natured girl who may share Dawson's feelings. Pacey (Jackson) is a sarcastic student with no real interest in school, and Jen (Williams) is a former New Yorker who has moved to Capeside to slow her life down, and she is also getting over a first season relationship with Dawson.

Season Two dealt with numerous plot lines, most notably the budding relationship between Joey and Dawson that would eventually take over the series. The sophomore season also introduced two new characters that would see their roles expanded significantly as the seasons went on: Andie (Monroe) and Jack (Smith), two transplants from Rhode Island with a less than perfect home life. The inclusion of two new characters into a series in only the second season would normally spell trouble, but in their performances, Smith and Monroe offer enough justification for their presence and plot lines in the already crowded cast.

Throughout Season Two there are new developments occurring in each and every episode, but for the most part there are only a few plot lines that continue throughout the season. The most important is the on again/off again romance between Joey and Dawson, and what happens when their relationship is threatened by Jack. Another begins at the midway point of the season when Andie decides to run for student council only to have the issues that are occurring in her home life brought to the public front by her competition. Andie seeks solace in Pacey and a relationship begins to bloom.

One thing that I found disconcerting in this season's DVD set is that the music that originally aired with the episodes has been replaced due to copyright issues. While this is a small issue given that the shows themselves are still intact, this omission lessens the appeal of the series.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a full-frame transfer, each episode looks better than it did when it was first aired on television, but the results are still a little dissatisfying. Colors are done nicely, though fleshtones seem just a slight bit off in some of the episodes. Basically, the presentation fits the material, so there is little room for disappointment.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The sound is Dolby Surround 2.0 and, for the most part, it is adequate given the subject matter. Dialogue sounds fine coming from the center channel with no distortion, while the left and right speakers add nice ambiance throughout, giving the mix a very nice sound across the front speakers. The surround speakers are largely quiet with only a small amount of activity.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Producer Paul Stupin
Packaging: Scanavo 4-pack gatefold
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: A commentary track by producer Paul Stupin on the episodes The Kiss and Parental Discretion Advised are included. Stupin is very open to the flaws of the series while also dishing out numerous anecdotes on various behind-the-scenes moments. The tracks are informative and fun, but more participants, including the cast or Williamson, would have been much more enjoyable.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

Over the course of its second season, Dawson's Creek began to fall into a rhythm that would not be matched in upcoming runs. Sure, the general arc of the season was melodrama, but it was good melodrama.


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