A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The characters' talky nature promotes communication about the complications of adolescence. The teens' families also play important roles in helping them solve their problems, when needed.
Positive Role Models
Although teen characters make mistakes, overall, they're responsible and conscientious and strive to have good relationships. Rebellion and teen angst (ie., a teen has an affair with his teacher) is left to specific characters.
Violence & Scariness
The rare fist-fght or car crash is used to teach an overall lesson.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex is an ongoing, central issue throughout the series, and in its original run, the show had a bit of a racy reputation. Jen has a promiscuous past, and sex is taken seriously by all of the characters. Some episodes deal with teens losing their virginity. Both heterosexual and homosexual relationships are dealt with.
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Relatively mild on the swearing front: "damn," "hell," "bitch," "ass," etc. More significant is the constant dialogue among the characters to work out issues or express feelings in a mature, articulate manner.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional teen drinking, but consequences and/or discipline is usually the result.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series is all about teens who have a mature/adult vocabulary and general worldview (and quite the knack for pop culture references). As it follows them through high school and into college, the show deals with "typical" teen issues like sex, first loves, drinking, sexual orientation, depression, cheating in school, and parents' divorce. Of those, sex is probably one of the biggest themes; it's a frequent topic of discussion -- as well as action. Teens will likely find the characters' vocabulary, critical analysis, and maturity either inspiring or alienating.
Is It Any Good?
The series aims to portray Smalltown, USA, but it brings progressive issues into the mix as well. All in all,Dawson's Creek is far from the average teen drama. The characters are articulate -- more so than the average adult -- and don't use "like" and "you know" to complete their thoughts. They're introspective and create critical dialogue to question their own relationships, their peers, and the world around them.
The show's sometimes serious subjetc matter includes an openly gay character, questioning religion, the death of a classmate, sleeping with a teacher, drug overdoses, sex, first loves, college, an unstable mother, depression, divorce, lust, and infidelity. The characters' ability to explain (at length) how to navigate situations like these made the series a learning tool as well as a guilty pleasure.
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Our Editors Recommend
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