My best friend thinks Katie Holmes/Joey Potter from Dawson’s Creek is the hottest woman to ever exist. But that may be because he’s a guy. Is there a woman out there who really thinks Joey is a realistic portrayal of womanhood? She always seemed like the Ultimate Mary Sue for the X-Generation to me.
Her poor background seems to be nothing more than a plot device to have her play the hard-done-by-victim card whenever it’s convenient. She looks down at another girl, Jen, who competes for the affections of her on-again, off-again boyfriend Dawson in an ongoing love triangle only marginally less vomit-worthy then the triangle with Joey, Dawson and their friend Pacey. Over five years, every time Jen and Dawson get together, Joey plays the abandoned-woman card, like She and Dawson Are Meant to Be and Any woman Who Gets Between Them is a Homewrecker.
Incidentally, what is Jen doing when Joey and Dawson get together? Finding other boyfriends, getting on with life. Like any self-respecting woman should be doing.
One episode which really shitted me was when she slept over at her boyfriend’s house, missed an exam, demanded the professor let her resit and blamed her boyfriend for a reason that’s not entirely clear. Dude, life doesn’t work like that. I can just imagine telling my unit-co-ordinator, oh, sorry, I went out partying and slept in and couldn’t make the exam, I expect you to let me sit the exam in my own time. I’d get laughed out of the room and fair enough too. And as for the boyfriend – if I was him, I’d be thinking good riddance to bad, self-absorbed rubbish.
And she craps on about her virginity like it’s this great prize that men should compete over, and whoever is the worthiest wins it. For Christ’s sakes”¦ sex, like most other pursuits, is one learned through experience. If you baked your first cake and you burnt it/undercooked it/left out the flour, you wouldn’t take it too hard, would you? You’d know that it was your first attempt and most first attempts end in, at best, mediocrity. So why do Mary Sues hold sex up to be this Holy Grail of enlightenment?
She spends ten years pitting the two Loves of Her Life, Dawson and Pacey against each other, competing for her. And then she goes on about how she “˜never meant for this to happen’. Rubbish. If she had never meant for it to happen, she would have chosen one or the other, or neither, but she wouldn’t have kept stringing both along.
If I were in the reverse position – a man manipulating me and another woman into competing for his affections – I would have told him to go to hell, and probably so would the other woman. But when a Mary Sue does it, that’s forgivable. Is that the whole idea behind Mary Sue? That she is so beautiful/intelligent/amazing/unforgettable that She Could Do No Wrong? Do (mostly male) writers create these characters hoping such a woman will fall for them?
Holmes always seemed quite bland to me, I never understood why she was worth squabbling over. Give me Mae West or Marlena Dietrich any day. But maybe that was the appeal of the Mary Sue; she’s the (perfect) girl next door, she’s the girl who, with a bit of idealism, any geek can have.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch She Done Him Wrong.