It’s been 20 years since Joey first sailed down the creek and climbed through Dawson’s bedroom window.
What followed was six seasons of incredibly witty, and at some points absolutely tear-jerking, teen drama.
Dawson’s Creek gave us student-teacher affairs, parental deaths and groundbreaking LGBTI storylines, all wrapped up with millions of Steven Spielberg references and a vocabulary we didn’t entirely understand.
It was a TV show that redefined the teen drama genre and won the hearts of pretty much every teenager (and adult) who watched it.
But there’s one thing that makes Dawson’s Creek even more special to its fans… it’s all based on a true story.
LISTEN: The Binge host Laura Brodnik explains the beautiful true story behind the iconic TV show that is Dawson’s Creek.
It’s all based on creator Kevin Williamson’s own teenage years.
Williamson came up with the idea for the show after the producer, Paul Stupin, read his Scream script and asked him whether he had any ideas for TV shows.
So Williamson pitched Dawson’s Creek as “Some Kind of Wonderful, meets Pump Up the Volume, meets James at 15, meets My So-Called Life, meets Little House on the Prairie“.
The creator based the Dawson Leery character on himself as a teenager. He says he was a bit of a lovable dork growing up, he idolised Steven Spielberg and spent all his spare time making his own movies with his friends.
“In fifth grade, Jaws came out,” Williamson once said. “It began my love affair with Steven Spielberg. I took out a spiral notebook and I wrote the sequel to Jaws.” Yep, that sounds very familiar.
Pacey was based on one of Williamson’s real friends, who was also named… Pacey.
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And Joey was based on Williamson’s real life best friend, Fanny (yep, we wish they’d kept her real name too).
Pacey and Fanny forever.
Fanny would actually sail to Williamson’s house because it was closer by water than road. She’d also climb through his window and sleep in his bed at night, just like Joey does with Dawson.
Williamson gave Joey a boy’s name not only because she was a tomboy, but also as a subtle nod to his own sexuality.
He did this because he thought he would never actually get the chance to write a gay storyline. However, in season two he introduced the character of Jack McPhee, who would go on to become the first openly gay character on a teen drama.
In the first two seasons, in particular, most of the major plot points where actually based on Williamson’s life or taken directly from the lives of the other writers. Some of his family members were actually uncomfortable with how much the show reflected their real lives.
And, just to top things off, Dawson’s Creek was actually a real creek where Williamson would hang out with his friends.
It kind of makes you love those creek-side kids and their tear-jerking teen dramas even more, doesn’t it?
You can now watch the entire series of Dawson’s Creek on Stan.
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