The Awesomeness That is James Van Der Beek.


As Dawson Leery on late ’90s teen angst television staple, Dawson’s Creek, James Van Der Beek was a whiny pushover who always lost the girl to the sexy and witty and aptly-named Pacey Witter. With the exception of getting drunk and singing the blues with Andy on his birthday, Dawson’s Creek perhaps would’ve been better without its titular character.

Van Der Beek hasn’t done a whole lot since Dawson’s Creek ended in 2003, but what he has done has been a far more apt use of his acting talents.

I recently watched the movie adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s Rules of Attraction, in which Van Der Beek plays Sean Bateman, American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman’s little brother. While the film, like the book, is quite left of centre and something not everyone is likely to have seen, Van Der Beek is chilling as a narcissistic, drug-taking/dealing, death-faking rich college boy, alongside Ian Somerhalder in a similarly affecting performance.

And anyone who watches Criminal Minds would be hard pressed to forget the formerly innocent Dawson as Tobias Hankel, the serial killer who was so damaged by his abusive father, that he took on said father’s demeanour in order to carry out his killings. In addition, he injected everyone’s favourite agent, Spencer Reid, with heroin, causing Reid to struggle with his newfound addiction in later episodes.

Angus, Van Der Beek’s debut film role in 1995, is a much lauded cult teen movie in which he plays the popular jock to Angus’s overweight outcast. I haven’t seen the film personally (I plan to watch it during my convalescence from wisdom teeth surgery at the end of the week), Jezebel seems to like it, and that’s good enough for me!

Van Der Beek is not unfamiliar to parodying himself, either, with cameos in Scary Movie and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (worst movie ever, but the running Ben Affleck joke is a cracker!), and comedic turns in Ugly Betty and How I Met Your Mother.

If you’re indifferent to James Van Der Beek, like I was until I really paid attention to his acting life after Dawson’s Creek, I suggest you take a look at his post-Dawson’s résumé to truly understand the awesomeness that is Van Der Beek.

Related: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis Review.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Important Life Lessons From B-List Teen Movies of the ’90s.

TV: What Once Was LOST, Now is Found?—Lost Finale


Last night was the television event of the year; the Lost finale.

And lo and behold, the theory most Losties held from the very beginning, that the island was some kind of purgatory, was semi-correct.

According to this article from Jezebel (because I need some outside sources to help me come to grips with the [trademark] confusion of the show), the sideways world we became familiar with this season was a “bardo”; a phase experienced by the deceased “between dying and rebirth” in Buddhism.

The article asserts that the sideways world was the bardo and the island the real world, however, it also states that Lost viewers can also draw their own conclusions. My conclusion is that the island was limbo, with Jacob and his brother acting as sort of archangels or guardians of the island to maintain the balance between good (the golden life force of the island) and evil (the smoke monster).

While Jack was initially chosen to replace Jacob as a guardian, he then passed the torch onto Hurley, whom I think is a much more fitting choice.

Hurley is then the new Jacob, and Ben his Richard, whom we see grow a grey hair and thus is able to move on and finally age.

Speaking of Ben, I never really bought him as the villain when he was introduced in season two as Kate, Jack and Sawyer’s hostage holder . He’s more like the misunderstood, not-so-bad guy; the one you love to hate. In the end, he was just a sad, “selfish and jealous” man who didn’t want to move on from the island, and now can’t.

Keeping in theme with the bardoa “place that the Losties had created to reconnect with each other after they had all died”all (and by all, I mean only the ones most relevant to the current plot) the Oceanic 815 passengers reunited, with Charlie, Jin, Sun, Sayid, Rose, Bernard, Libby, Shannon and Boone, and Juliet, Daniel Faraday, Charlotte and Penny all making appearances, in addition to Ana Lucia serving as police escort last week, and Frank found alive after the submarine blast.

The aforementioned Jezebel went full speed ahead with their Lost coverage in the lead up to the finale event, publishing an article on the top 10 already solved mysteries (Richard’s agelessness; the whispers of souls trapped on the island; the “donkey wheel” that Jacob’s brother built and Ben turned to move the island; the identity of Mocke/Smokey/whatever; Jacob’s “anointing” touch; the temple that housed the Kool-Aid that turned Sayid and Claire into zombies; the golden life-force of the island; the list that resided in Hurley’s guitar case; the “loophole” that protects twins Jacob and the Man in Black from killing each other, and their origins as twins), “10 questions to let go” of (Walt; Vincent the dog; Rose and Bernard; the creepazoid Other who tried to steal Claire’s baby, Ethan; Alex’s boyfriend Karl; the “food drops to the Hatch”; “Black Rock Journal”, which I, for the life of me, can’t remember in the show; the reason for Jack’s father Christian Shepherd’s numerous appearances on the island; and “why them?”) and “10 questions that must be answered” (what is Widmore’s deal?; why are all women doomed to miscarry if a child was conceived on the island; the statue at the foot of the island; Claire and Sayid’s zombie-esque transformations; “the sideways universe”; the revelation that the island was under water in the first episode of this season; who is Desmond?; who is Eloise Hawking?; what’s the go with “Jacob’s army”?; and the name of the Man in Black). Disappointingly, barely any of these mysteries were wrapped up in the finale. (Desmond, Vincent, Rose, Bernard, the reason for the parallel universe, why Hurley, the Kwon’s etc. were “chosen” and, surprisingly, Christian Shepherd’s role were the main arcs, with the rest going by the wayside.)

The willingness of most of the original cast, including Dominic Monaghan, Sonya Walger, Elizabeth Mitchelland Ian Somerhalder who were all working on other projects (albeit mostly flops; the ill-fated FlashForward and V, respectively, while Somerhalder’s Vampire Diaries enjoys more success), to return for the finale hints, perhaps, at a Lost movie to continue the saga. A much needed continuation of the saga, I might add.

In other news, the performances on the parts of Matthew Fox (Jack) and Terry O’Quinn (Locke), in particular, were stellar, and I loved how the focus was on the Darth vs. Luke, Lennon vs. McCartney, Lauren vs. Heidi-esque feud between those two characters as to what was best for the island and its inhabitants.

Also, the Jack/Sawyer/Kate love triangle was brought to a close, with Kate choosing Jack, and Sawyer pairing back up with Juliet. Kate was kickass in killing Mocke, whom I think was eliminated far too easily and early in the piece.

Ultimately, like any good series, it was as much about the bond between the characters and the “shared human experience” as it was about the hard-to-follow, unbelievable and sometimes downright convoluted plot points. But, all in all, while I liked the emotional aspects of the episode and the reunion of the Jack, Locke et al, especially with the disclosure of Christian and Desmond’s true purposes, I was very disappointed in the culmination, which I’m sure a lot of other Losties are too.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Lost Finale Recap: Case Closed.

[Jezebel] 10 Questions Lost Needs to Answer.