I use the term "overhyped" a lot when talking about Dawson's Creek, and I still believe it to be true. What's hype? you ask? Well, hype is extravagent overpromoting (i.e. Godzilla) by a company or other means to get people to watch or buy their product. Buzz, on the other hand, is good old word of mouth (i.e. There's Something About Mary and, to a lesser extent, Titanic) These are movies which made the majority of their profit from underground word of mouth, and would probably have been grossly unsuccesful without the push. For example, if the word of mouth on Titanic had been "god-awful" as opposed to "glorious", well, we wouldn't know Titanic as we do now, and Leo wouldn't be making $21 million per picture. But hype is dangerous, because often shows don't live up to the hype (did you see Godzilla? I rest my case.) Dawson's Creek is an example of this.
Dawson's Creek was much anticipated because it was the brainchild of It-boy Kevin Williamson, so we all had automatic incentive to see it. Then the WB came out with an insane promotional push that included t-shirts and the cover of a J. Crew catalogue. Critics praised its self-referential style (which, by the way, is annoying as hell - I can't watch the Scream movies more than once due to it). The found its fresh, true approach to teen sex envigorating, and made everybody who's anybody watch it. Then we all got hooked (myself included). But now, its as if no one can find wrong with this show (which obviously isn't true, I found plenty, and its a flawed show). I consider myself well-read in the realm of pop culture (I read my Seventeen and my Entertainment Weekly), and I find the kudos go to the entertaiment mags for realizing that, as far as TV shows go, DC isn't something to go nuts about. I enjoy reading reviews from them because they recognize the redundancies and how tiring self-referentialism can be. But back to the hype. Its out of control! No one can break free! Now, shows are being measured to DC, and its being used as a comparison for upstarts aimed at teens. Frankly, I'm disappointed. Why couldn't the WB just revive My So-Called Life if they wanted a good teen drama? But I digress (I know some of you are just planning your hatemail now, so let me remind you that I DO watch the show, and I DO like it. Bear that in mind).
HYPE IS BAD! I don't like hype, because if you listen to the buzz, you can stay one step ahead of everything else, therefore never going out of style while never really being in it in the first place. And the thing with hype is, its only hyped for so long, until its bumped away for the next new thing. To those fans who will stick with it, even when it is pushed aside, kudos to you. I'm just warning you ahead of time about what happens to the hype.