Cheshire, Connecticut native James Van Der Beek became the face, and dialogue, of a generation with his 6 year stint as Dawson Leery on the former WB network’s series, “Dawson’s Creek.” During that time, the now 35 year-old became known for his angsty exchanges with fellow cast members, profoundly advanced vocabulary for supposed high school students, and rather ingenious euphemisms for… things that high schoolers are fond of doing. High Shakespeare, the Creek was not, though just the same, Van Der Beek found himself typecast as a solely dramatic actor, and fell away from major role choices as the years went on since “Dawson’s.” Professionally, he passed the time by playing bit parts on TV, for series like “How I Met Your Mother” and “Ugly Betty.” In 2010, he landed a role on NBC’s short-lived medical drama “Mercy,” costarring with Wayland, MA native, Taylor Schilling. Now, in a brilliant twist of theatrical departure, not only is Van Der Beek back on TV in a comedic role, he’s actually playing a hyperbolized version of… himself!
Last week’s premiere of “Don’t Trust the B—In Apartment 23” on ABC reunited viewers with their long lost Dawson, only this time he’s a smarmy, slightly d-baggish has-been, still holding on to the iconic imagery that made him famous to a generation, but he uses it to bed women (yes, he plays the Paula Cole song in his house, and he keeps a can of whipped cream in the fridge should a Varsity Blues moment arise). The hilarious sitcom costars Krysten Ritter, the mischievous roommate from hell mentioned in the show’s title. New fans or returning loyals should be prepared to see “The Beek” performing on a fake version of “Dancing With the Stars” on the show, as well as hawking his own line of too-tight pants. Yes, lot’s of self-mocking will be peppered throughout.
The freshman sitcom airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.