Dawson's Creek-Season 2 (1998)

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Released 21-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-The Kiss, Parental Discretion Advised
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 926:18 (Case: 937)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Lou Antonio
Allan Arkush
John Behring
Sanford Bookstaver

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring James Van Der Beek
Katie Holmes
Michelle Williams
Joshua Jackson
Kerr Smith
Mary Beth Peil
Mary-Margaret Humes
Monica Keena
Leann Hunley
Nina Repeta
John Wesley Shipp
Meredith Monroe
Busy Philipps
Case ?
RPI $79.95 Music Jann Arden
Travis Barker
Paula Cole

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
French Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Italian Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Dawson’s Creek: Season 2 picks up exactly where the first season left off, with viewers asking how will the show progress now that the tension between the two main leads has been resolved. But has it?

    For those who are unfamiliar with Dawson’s Creek, the premise of the show revolves around a group of 15-16 year olds growing up in the little coastal town of Capeside. We have aspiring film-maker Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), his best friend Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), who the town sees as the poor little girl from the wrong side of the river, his other best friend Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson), the local black sheep whose dad is the local Sheriff, and Dawson’s neighbour and ex-girlfriend Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams).

    The following is a summary of the episodes of this season:

Disc 1

    1. The Kiss (42:27) – After Joey and Dawson take the plunge, everything changes. But how will this new found love affect the two, and Joey’s chances at studying in Paris. Will their first date go as planned, or will Jen’s ongoing love for Dawson intrude? And Pacey meets perky little newcomer Andie (Meredith Monroe).

    2. Crossroads (42:23) – With Joey and Dawson caught up in their own new relationship, Dawson misses Pacey’s birthday. At the same time, Jen falls in with local bad girl Abby (Monica Keena) and Dawson’s parents begin worrying about their child’s sexual activity as well as their own. And Andie’s brother Jack (Kerr Smith) gets a job at the Icehouse with Joey.

    3. Alternate Lifestyles (42:24) – While Dawson’s parents think about trying an open marriage, the kids learn some lessons about life when they are paired off to do an economics assignment. Is this Jen’s chance to get Dawson back? Will Pacey and Andi put their differences aside and find some common ground? And what will Joey learn about herself?

Disc 2

    4. Tamara’s Return (42:25) – Pacey’s first lover, Ms Tamara Jacobs (Leann Hunley) returns to Capeside to sell her house and her investment property causing mixed emotions in Pacey. Andie makes a confession to Dawson, and Joey and Jack go to an art exhibit and learn they have more in common than they thought.

    5. Full Moon Rising (42:14) – With a full moon in town, Pacey asks Andie out on a date and a mix up unintentionally causes him to learn of her family troubles. Meanwhile, the relationship between Dawson’s parents begins to fall apart.

    6. The Dance (41:20) – The school dance is on and Andie convinces everybody to go. But when Dawson and Andie conspire to set Jen and Jack up at the dance, Pacey warns that it will all end in tragedy.

    7. The All-Nighter (42:16) – With only one night to study for a test covering the whole of the English course, everybody crams into local rich-boy and womaniser Chris Wolfe’s (Jason Behr) place to put in an all-night study session. But a sex-questionnaire in a magazine brings all kinds of tensions to the surface.

Disc 3

    8. The Reluctant Hero (42:14) – Frustrated with the way things are between himself and Joey, Dawson goes to a teenage booze-up with Jen organised by local rich boy Chris. There he sees the new lows to which Jen has sunk. And Pacey is put on the spot when Andie’s mother has a mental breakdown in the middle of a study session at her place.

    9. The Election (41:59) – Andie decides she will run for Student President, but is met by stiff opposition by local bad-girl Abby who has paired up with Chris and who is intent on airing all of Andie’s family troubles in a smear campaign.

    10. High Risk Behavior (1) (41:35) – Casting sessions for Dawson’s new movie bring Jen and Dawson closer together while she tries to help him refine the script. Pacey takes Andie on a real date with real consequences. And Jack poses nude for Joey to help her with her art classes.

    11. Sex She Wrote (2) (42:17) – The morning after everybody’s encounter, a dropped note leads Abby to suspect that one of the couples has had sex. In order to pass her English project on the mystery genre, she proposes to solve the mystery on camera. Will her revelations tear the Capeside crew apart?

Disc 4

    12. Uncharted Waters (41:58) – Pacey and Dawson go on a fishing trip with both of their fathers on Pacey’s Dad’s boat, with Jack as a surprise tag along – much to Dawson’s disdain. Here we see the true strain between Pacey and his father and his desperate attempts for approval. At the same time, Jen, Andie, Abby and Joey do an interview with Dawson’s mother on teenage issues.

    13. His Lady Leading (42:18) – Dawson begins shooting his new film, and casts one of Joey’s nude models, Devon (Rachael Leigh Cook), to play the character modelled on Joey. But as shooting progresses, painful memories resurface for Joey and she begins to despise Devon.

    14. To Be Or Not To Be ... (1) (42:13) – A poem written by Jack stirs up suspicion that he might be gay and puts Pacey in conflict with the student administration over the English teacher that caused the situation. This in turn creates a rift between Pacey and Andie. And the cute boy Jen met while working on the film, Ty (Eddie Mills), turns out to be more complicated and interesting than she thought.

    15. ... That Is The Question (2) (42:47) – When Jack and Andie’s father shows up, Andie sees this as welcome relief, but Jack is more sceptical, forcing himself to face up to who he is and where their father fits in their lives. And Pacey’s convictions lead him in a crusade against an abusive teacher that Andie will not support.

Disc 5

    16. Be Careful What You Wish For (42:19) – Andie follows her therapist’s advice and lets herself loose on the eve of Dawson’s 16th birthday. With Dawson following suit, the night spins out of control for Pacey who is trying to get them both back to a surprise party at Dawson’s place that is organised by Joey. But with Dawson missing from his own party, things start to get out of hand at the Leery household.

    17. Psychic Friends (41:53) – With the local fair on, a fortune teller warns Andie and Pacey of a foreboding future, and directs Joey and Dawson in a new direction. And the new Capeside English teacher, a scriptwriter from Hollywood, gives Dawson her opinion of his new film.

    18. A Perfect Wedding (42:19) – With Joey’s dad out of prison, the Icehouse caters for a wedding that will put them financially back on their own feet. But things go horribly from for Jen and Abby who are ejected from the wedding for crashing it, and who then decide to get drunk on the pier.

    19. Abby Morgan, Rest In Peace (41:20) – Abby’s death brings out so many false well-wishers that Jen’s frustration boils over, lashing out at her Grandmother. Andie is asked to give a eulogy at Abby’s funeral, but the stress begins to break down her mental defences.

Disc 6

    20. Reunited (40:54) – With Dawson and Joey back together, Dawson takes her on a date to a restaurant only to find his father having dinner there with the very teacher who trashed his new movie. A burnt roast leads Jen and Dawson’s mother to the same restaurant as well. What could be a potentially awful situation is given a different spin with a little meddling by Jen and Joey. And Andie’s psychological condition deteriorates.

    21. Ch ... Ch ... Ch ... Changes (42:21) – Jack calls his father to try and help with Andie’s condition, but his father insists on moving the family back to Providence which will split Pacey and Andie up. Jack knows that he cannot live with his disapproving father, but wants to do what is best for the family. And with Jen kicked out by her Grandmother and refused by her parents, she decides to bail out altogether and catch a bus to nowhere. And Dawson’s interview with Joey’s dad on life changes brings up some painful memories for Joey and a horrible discovery for Dawson.

    22. Parental Discretion Advised (42:22) – With the Icehouse closed for renovations, the crew hang out there to study for their finals. But an arson attack during a study session brings up more questions about Joey’s dad and also leads Jack to question Jen’s mental state. Pacey finally confronts his father after he taunts him over Andie. And Dawson must choose between doing what is right and doing what is best for himself and Joey, which also causes his parents to choose where their relationship is going.

    Just a note for you hardcore fans out there anxiously reading this after hearing about the music licensing debacle in the US - yes, sadly much of the music from the original broadcast of the show has been replaced for this release of the DVD. One of my favourite tracks, Heather Nova’s “Paper Cup” is not on Episode 21 and has been replaced with another song. Although I did not keep track of all of the changes, I imagine that this version is the same as the R1 in that respect. Pity.

    As for the episodes themselves, this second year of Dawson’s Creek starts a little muddled I felt, but really gets going by the midway point and is quite addictive towards the end. There were also a couple of real stand-out episodes on the way, most notably The All-Nighter, the two parter High Risk Behavior and Sex She Wrote, and the extremely well done To Be Or Not To Be... and ...That Is The Question. I also thought there was less whining than in the first season, and although the 15 year old mentality is often clear in the impulsiveness of the decisions that are made, we do see many of the cast mature, most notably Pacey, thanks to the real chemistry between Joshua Jackson and Meredith Monroe.

    At the end of the day, though, Dawson’s Creek: Season 2 is exactly what it sets out to be – disposable teen drama. And it succeeds extremely well on this front. Pitched squarely at the 13 to 17 year old age bracket, it’s got it all – b****iness, girl problems, boy problems, growing up problems, love problems, life problems, disasters, small disasters blown way out of proportion into big disasters, misunderstanding, immaturity, growing maturity. Yeah, it’s all there. A guilty pleasure to be sure. Go to it with a nostalgic smile ...

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, this is the original broadcast aspect ratio for the series. It was in fact shot on Super 35 in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and the final season was actually aired in this widescreen format. We will just have to wait and see what they do with the DVD release.

    The quality of the picture is an improvement on the first season, roughly comparable to the transfer done for Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Season 2 – the same aspect ratio, the overall mild graininess, the not-always-great shadow detail. There were, however, a few more faults with Dawson’s Creek – Season 2.

    Starting on the good points, though – the clarity of the image is actually pretty good, and for the most part well defined even in richly detailed outdoor environments. Colour is also well balanced and quite striking, with some excellent pink sunset shots, although admittedly the low-level shots were the worst for graininess. Night shots, on the other hand were relatively clean and clear.

    Moving onto the less positive points, there was a rather nasty MPEG glitch at 20:18 during To Be Or Not To Be... where Jen’s face disappears into a blocky pixelated mess while she dances. There was some minor background aliasing, but nothing too bad.

    Where the transfer gets a little troubled is in the missing frames department. I am not entirely sure whether this is a fault of the source or the transfer, but I noticed several instances of little jumps caused by missing frames – at 21:00 during Tamara’s Return, at 39:01 during Full Moon Rising, at 11:36 during The Dance, and at 37:16 during The All-Nighter. All of these occurred on Disc 2, though, which leads me to think it is more of an encoding/transfer problem rather than a problem at the source.

    As for actual film artefacts, there is a big line down the middle of the screen at 5:38 - 6:01 during Parental Discretion Advised but other than that there was only the odd white hair or fleck of dirt here and there and overall the print is fairly clean in this respect.

    There was an odd subtitling issue where signs would automatically be translated into French even though the subtitles were off. This got a little annoying from time to time. Some instance of this are at 3:59 during Full Moon Rising, at 4:42 during The All-Nighter, at 15:55 during The Reluctant Hero, at the very end with the To Be Continued during To Be Or Not To Be ... and so on. Considering these are not limited to Disc 2, I would surmise that this is a problem with the subtitle streams that has occurred during the transfer.

    The dual-layer pause is concealed in between the episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    As with the previous season, the same four soundtracks are available – the original English track, and overdubs in French, Italian and German, all presented in a nice, clean 2.0 Dolby Surround (encoded at 192Kb/s).

    This is an improvement on last season. Although remaining a primarily front-driven soundtrack composed of dialogue, I noticed far more surround information, such as rain, directional traffic, and outdoor noises. Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand, but there was a mild audio sync issue at 13:08 during The Election that looks like it is a fault with the source, not the transfer.

    The original music score is still here intact and nicely rendered, although many of the popular music tracks have been changed in this R4 release as well. As for the sound quality of the music - it is generally well balanced.

    There was no subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    All menus are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, non-16x9 enhanced. The main menu has a lead in with a 2.0 stereo audio track. All other menus are static and silent.

Audio Commentary by Paul Stupin (Executive Producer) - Kiss

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, with subtitles in French, German, Italian, and Dutch. Paul rabbits on and there is never a silent moment here. If you have not already seen this season I would recommend that you wait until watching it all before you listen to this track as it gives away most of the plot directions of the season.

Audio Commentary by Paul Stupin - Parental Discretion Advised

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround. As above, and again with the persistent flow of information, much of it useful in terms of character analysis, and also giving future directions for the show.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 release has again been heavily compressed with a reduction in picture quality, and it is split over only 4 discs. That’s something like six episodes a disc for two of the discs, and five episodes a disc for the other two. Given that both are the same in terms of features and the change in music tracks due to licensing issues, I would recommend the R4 release over the R1 release on picture quality.


    Dawson’s Creek: Season 2 is fairly addictive TV once you get into it. Disposable teen drama, to be sure, but oh so watchable.

    Video is a bit grainy, but overall a vast improvement on Season 1.

    The sound, while still front driven, is still a well balanced 2.0 Dolby Surround mix with some emerging surround information.

    The extras are minimal, but the audio commentaries are nevertheless worthwhile.

There is an Official Distributor Comment available for this review.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Music Changes only for the English Audio -