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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Dawson's Creek - The Series Finale (Extended Cut)
Dawson's Creek - The Series Finale (Extended Cut)
Columbia/Tri-Star // Unrated // September 30, 2003
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted September 22, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Opening with a surprisingly funny and nasty dig against itself, the finale of "Dawson's Creek" starts off five years later, as Joey and her new boyfriend watch a teen soap opera (written by Dawson) that has a tendency to over-analyze just about everything. Although "Creek"'s ability to turn something minor into a whole discussion on life's mysteries occasionally could get a little much, it was charming and intelligently written, nonetheless.

Anyways, it's five years later - Joey (Katie Holmes) has gone on to become a editor, Dawson's penning teen soaps, Pacey (Joshua Jackson)'s managing a restaurant and Jen (Michelle Williams) is coping with motherhood. All four find their way back for the wedding of Dawson's mother. The series wrap for "Creek" generally reminds me of the best of the show's early moments I'd witnessed: drama played with genuine sentiment and emotion, well-played by a cast that worked wonderfully with one another. This season finale has a mixed bag of performances: Van Der Beek doesn't make anything too complex out of his character's success, yet Williams makes something powerful, touching and worthy of awards notice out of her character's handling of unexpected parenthood. Holmes is, as usual, too adorable for words, and she and Van Der Beek continue to be a fine match.

There's a bit too much music (unlike the similar "Felicity", "Creek" unfortunately often tended to chose the popular tune of the moment) behind the Big Emotional Moments, but "Creek" generally works with a low amount of manipulation to tug at the heartstrings. The drama/tragedy that happens (it just wouldn't be a series finale without one) is nothing new to television, but it's exquisitely played by the person involved - I won't give who away.

Although I've never watched "Creek" that much during its later half, I always considered it a well-done drama about teenage years - sort of an "Wonder Years"-ish modern look at teen years. However, the show's end is something bigger and more important - a touching look at the transition - the joy and heartbreak of it - from teenage years into adulthood.

Note: This is an extended, 108-minute version of the finale.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Dawson's Creek: Series Finale" is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame for both parts. The picture quality is generally a little better than the quality spotted on the season one episodes. Sharpness and detail are perfectly satisfactory, but nothing too remarkable - slight softness can intrude and the picture never really shows a strong level of fine detail.

Scattered problems do take a something away from the experience: minor noise and compression artifacts are spotted, and some instances of edge enhancement are briefly spotted in a couple of scenes. Colors are generally well-rendered, but can appear a tiny bit smeary at times.

SOUND: The series finale is presented with a 2.0 soundtrack that basically serves a nice balance between the music/score and dialogue; there's really nothing much else to it aside from that.

EXTRAS: Creator Kevin Williamson and Producer Paul Stupin provide a full-length commentary for the series finale. The two are quite amusing as they go through their memories about the history of the series, occasionally pausing to reflect on some bittersweet moments about the show and occasionally, joking about a story from the set or a moment in the show they just don't think worked. They also point out the additions put back into this extended version of the series finale. Overall, the two seem like good friends and certainly keep this track moving, providing a good mix of insight and fun.

Also: The original ending for the pilot and three alternate scenes for the pilot episode, all with optional commentary from Williamson and Stupin. Also included are trailers for "Me Without You", "Lone Star State of Mind" and "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle". There's also a $5 mail-in rebate for purchase of both the second season "Dawson's Creek" DVD set and this series finale DVD. The 2nd season hasn't been announced yet, but I'm guessing it comes out before year's end.

Final Thoughts: I can't say I've ever been among the show's hardcore following, but this nearly two-hour close to "Dawson's Creek" is a marvelous look back at the series and look forward for both the characters and the audience. Columbia/Tristar's DVD edition provides generally good audio/video quality and a few solid supplements. Recommended.

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