It appears the lockout is coming to an end…thank goodness.
#2. WHATEVER DAWSON LEERY DID, DO THE OPPOSITE
I have a confession to make. I used to watch the teenage-dramedy Dawson’s Creek….a lot.
Ok, you can stop judging me now.
It was too easy to gawk at Katie Holmes back then. I couldn’t help it.
Anyhow, we’re going to use the show’s centerpiece, Dawson Leery, to provide some teachable lessons.
Our friend Dawson was a bright-eyed, optimistic, teenaged boy who attended the mythical Capeside High School. Idolizing Steven Spielberg growing up, the fair-haired do-gooder always aspired to be the next great film director.
His life presented some rather unusual circumstances. One of Dawson’s closest friends went by the name of Joey. Not the Joey you’d see years later saddling up to the local bar to knock down seven Miller Lites while engulfing a plate of hot wings; instead, this Joey had long brown hair, legs for days and doughy brown eyes.
Josephine Potter was a girl that watched movies with Dawson each night and often slept over in the same bed, pining for the day that her best friend in the world would notice her in that way.
One day, dopey Dawson finally did.
Unfortunately, this also launched the Dawson Leery “beta male” era.
If you remember in an earlier installment of this series, we covered the concept of the alpha male. Leery was quite the opposite. Where Don Draper is a man of action, Dawson was a boy of angst and paralysis by analysis.
Thus, the beta male represents a counter to the traits possessed by the alphas. Whereas the alphas are proactive, the betas are reactive.
Where the alpha is in most cases straight-forward, the beta utilizes tricks and cons, while using their nice demeanor as a cover to grab the approval of those around them.
These tactics can be applied when discussing any facet of life. Whether it be relationships, the NFL, or how to paint a house, it all ties together.
There are five examples during the early days of Dawson’s Creek where our tragic hero flexed his beta male tendencies as if he was Superstar Billy Graham preening for wrestling crowds back in the 1970s.
1. DADDY DRUG DEALER: DAWSON TALKS JOEY INTO WEARING A WIRE TO TURN IN HER FATHER.
Background: Dawson and Joey made out to end Season 1. Unfortunately, this didn’t cure Joey’s troubled family life. Her father was serving jail time after being arrested for trafficking drugs. As Season 2 progressed, the jailbird was released from the joint but the allure of getting back into the action still remained an all too enticing proposition.
Beta Moment: After Dawson allowed some new kid named Jack McPhee to saunter into Capeside and steal Joey from him, he spent much of the year trying to win her back. The star-crossed lovers finally began to see eye to eye again. However, happiness is fleeting with TV couples. Joey’s dad turned back to the dark side and was ready to move drugs again. Along with the assistance of local police, Dawson convinced Joey that wearing a wire to catch her father was a good idea.
Better Idea: If your girlfriend’s dad is pushing narcotics like he was starring in Super Fly, run away from the situation as if you were Usain Bolt. Let the cops handle it. That almost guarantees you will not end up dead or without your lady.
The Fallout: Joey essentially dumped Dawson and they didn’t talk for the whole summer. How tragic.
2. DAWSON REFUSES JOEY
Background: Dawson spent the summer in Philadelphia with his adulterous mom and returned with some mysterious new woman in tow, Eve (played by Brittany Daniel). Upon his return and the start of a new school, Dawson wrecks his dad’s speed boat with his new female buddy aboard. In order to raise money for repairs, Pacey convinces Dawson that he should throw a house party with paying customers and exotic dancers. By the way, Dawson was still in a Joey-imposed timeout from Season 2’s conclusion.
Beta Moment: While taking a quick breather from the party our bewildered hero went to his room, where Joey is waiting. Sensing competition from Dawson’s hot lady friend, Josephine goes in for the kill to display some form of trumped up teen sexuality. She takes her top off and right as she is ready to pounce, he begs off in an extremely brutal display of chivalry.
Dawson made two epic errors in this scenario:
- First, Joey throws herself at him. He should have done the deed and worried about the consequences later.
- Second, and this is the all-time error that any guy can make. After he turns down Joey, Dawson asked dear friend Pacey to keep an eye on his former best friend. I’ll give you three guesses how that turned out. Through personal experience, I’ve seen the “friend takes care of a distraught ex” angle up close once before. The friend and distraught-ex are now married with two kids.
Better Idea: If Joey Potter is standing before you ready to get down, you best jump at it.
Conclusion: This was the teen-drama equivalent of the Kevin McHale clothesline on Kurt Rambis during Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals. Dawson never recovered from this. He got close a couple of times to winning Ms. Potter over, but he was doomed to lose the battle in the long run.
3. DAWSON FINDS OUT JOEY AND PACEY ARE FOOLING AROUND
Background: After practically throwing them together, the tension between Jo-Jo and the dude best known on the show for sleeping with a teacher reached a Defcon 1 level. It was inevitable and bound to happen. Anytime a woman says she fell “it” after brushing against you, start popping the champagne. It’s over. Too bad Captain Goody Two-Shoes never saw this coming. Dawson was eventually tipped off that Joey and Pacey were hooking up on the reg.
Beta Moment: As one suspected, finding out your best friend is hooking up with your ex-girlfriend. goes down as smoothly as drinking a large glass of moonshine mixed with Penzoil. Dawson flipped out.
Better Idea: His mistake was with Pacey. Fooling around with your best friend’s ex is a major bro code violation. You don’t use someone else’s field to play football without their permission if you catch my drift.
Conclusion: He reacted correctly towards Joey but that was the easy one. Dawson should have made Pacey his Mitch “Blood” Green and used his face as a punching bag.
4. DAWSON DECEIVES JOEY BY STAGING AN ANTI-PROM
Background: Way back in Season 2, Joey cheated on Dawson with Jack McPhee. A newcomer to Capeside, Jack began dating his newfound friend. Soon after, he admitted he was gay. Fast-forwarding to Season 3, Jack wanted to go prom with a guy but the whitebread Capeside establishment did not approve. Thus, Dawson helps stage an anti-prom. Well, let’s just say Dawson wasn’t thinking about helping about Jack when planning it. His sole mission was to win back the hand of Joey, who mentally had planted her flag at Camp Pacey.
Beta Male Moment: Well, Dawson’s prom idea backfired terribly once he caught Joey and Pacey undressing each other with their eyes on the dance floor. Instead of grabbing the nearest woman and going about his business, Dawson ran out and then blew up at Joey again. I’ll give him a brownie point here though. He finally drew a line in the sand and told Joey she had to make a choice.
Better Idea: Ask some other girl to be your date and make Joey jealous.
Conclusion: Mistake #243 when trying to win back Joey.
5. DAWSON TELLS JOEY SHE SHOULD GO TO PACEY
Background: As we’ve seen in the previous clips, Leery wasn’t going to do anything to stop this runaway train. His only choice was to stand on the tracks or get out of the way. Dawson’s dear old best friend had decided to leave the area for the summer via his hokey sailboat dubbed “True Love.” Meanwhile, Joey was back on Team Leery for the moment but was in full scale zombie mode because her mind was in other places.
Beta Male Moment: Dawson’s mom and dad remarried. At the reception, Joey looked like she would have had more fun having her eyelids taped open to watch a Cop Rock marathon. Finally, he caught on and decided to let her go but uttering the line, “you are free” as if she didn’t have a choice in the first place. Once she leaves, Dawson balls his eyes out in a scene featuring the classic part where he starts convulsing and hunches over as if someone just burned his collector’s edition of E.T.
Better Idea: When a guy knows that his lady doesn’t want to be with him for a substantial period of time,cut your losses and move on…immediately. Jump out of the car before it goes off the cliff; don’t go over the edge with it.
Conclusion: Dawson lost the battle in Season 3 and ultimately the series. He ended up without the great Josephine Potter when the series ended in 2003.
Categories: NFL Lockout