The second season of Dawson's Creek
finds Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Joey (Katie Holmes) exploring the newest phase of their lifelong friendship, leaving Jen (Michelle Williams) and Pacey (Joshua Jackson) on the outside. The former enters a downward spiral assisted by bad girl Abby (Monica Keena), but Pacey happens into a "meet cute" with one of Capeside's new residents, the impossibly perky Andie (Meredith Monroe), who turns out to be his perfect foil. The Creek
also struck gold with its second major addition, Andie's brother Jack (Kerr Smith), who shows Joey that he's more than just a clumsy waiter. With the siblings' help, Pacey and Joey show the most personal growth during the season's 22 episodes. The constant parent-child crises can be a bit much, but there were numerous other developments, including a two-part sexual whodunnit, Dawson embarking on his second movie (assisted by Rachael Leigh Cook in a sizzling guest appearance), Dawson's birthday party from hell, a vicious rumor that spreads through the high school, and the emotion-wringing finale.
The only bonus feature is a commentary track on the first and last episodes just as with the first season, though executive producer Paul Stupin is by himself rather than accompanied by creator Kevin Williamson. The interplay is missed, but Stupin enthusiastically offers a lot of information about how the cast had become celebrities by the second season and had to juggle other projects, and random details and trivia. Stupin mentions how carefully he selected different pieces of music, which "would become forever part of our show." That's ironic because for this DVD set Stupin himself picked a lot of new music to replace the selections that originally aired, presumably because of the cost involved in securing the rights (a problem for many television DVD releases). A couple of episodes are unaltered, but others have had almost every song replaced. Newcomers to the series probably won't notice, but serious fans may want not want to tape over their VHS cassettes just yet. --David Horiuchi
Dawson's Creek ~ Season 2