‘Dawson’s Creek’ wasn’t really about Dawson and it’s Jughead’s relationships the world is talking about. So why is that?
In TV, there’s always a lead character that, in a way, is part of the glue that holds an entire show together. In Riverdale, it’s Archie Andrews — he’s not the rich one in town, but the story circles around him. Who is he dating? Who are his parents? What are his interests? Who are his best friends? It goes the same for Dawson Leery in Dawson’s Creek. What’s going on with his family? What’s his next goal? Will he ever make the movie he wants? Will he ever get the girl? Who is the right girl?
However, the answer to some of these questions include the people that we, as the audience, relate to — the sidekicks. That word has a negative connotation attached to it, but that’s not on purpose. The person isn’t lesser of a character — it’s part of the development necessary for the lead, and the show in general, to grow. More than not though, the love for the sidekick becomes equally as strong, if not stronger, than that for the lead.
Twitter wasn’t around in the Dawson’s Creek days, but when Joey and Pacey finally got together in season three, the world was rejoicing. It wasn’t because Dawson was a bad guy, but because Pacey is the guy we all know, we all have, in our friend group. He was worth rooting for. Sure, Dawson was too — he didn’t come from a perfect family either, he worked hard, etc. but it was tough to relate to him, personally. Archie Andrews is a bit easier to relate to — his family, his money situation, his constant indecisiveness. But ultimately, it’s Jughead you find yourself seeing parallels with your own life. Even if your life is nothing like his, you make the connection.
Many shows feature a secondary character who has incredible flaws, but doesn’t spend time — as the main character does — whining about them. Sure Willow and Xander pointed out a few times that they weren’t exactly as powerful as Buffy was, but ultimately she still needed them. They were still human, ie. more relatable, more able to care about. More often than not, shows will focus more and more on those supporting characters as the series progresses — some even get spinoffs — because they realize that that lead wouldn’t be who they are without those around them.
HollywoodLifers, who’s your favorite sidekick? Click through our gallery to see all our faves.