Hello, I'm here to talk to you today about one of the greatest characters of all time: Jennifer Lindley from Dawson's Creek.
Jen was played by the sublime Michelle Williams, and she NEVER got the attention or justice she deserved.
Jen's arrival in Capeside was the catalyst for the whole damn plot of Dawson's Creek, but because she was immediately set up as Joey's enemy in the fight for Dawson's affections, she got A LOT of hate back in the day.
It was completely undeserved, because Jen was actually THE BEST. Like, no matter how awful Joey was to her (and she was truly awful), Jen never stopped trying to be her friend.
Jen was caring and kind, not to mention open-minded and a great listener. She had strong opinions and wasn't afraid to express them, but she also totally respected others and their boundaries.
Jen was always there for her friends, and gave out excellent advice. She was incredibly emotionally intelligent and strong.
Jen was completely unapologetic about who she was, and owned her sexuality – something which even now feels pretty rare for a female teen character. Unfortunately, the show never stopped punishing her for it.
Once the main love triangle shifted to Pacey/Joey/Dawson, the show didn't really know what to do with Jen. She never got a single decent love interest (even CJ abandoned her in the end) and her plots were all over the place – even non-existent at times.
The one shining light in Jen's story – next to her relationship with Grams – was the friendship she had with Jack.
While the show never treated her right, the worst crime against Jen happened in the finale – when she was LITERALLY KILLED.
Even in death, it felt as though her character was there to service the plot of the others. Like, even her dying wish is about Joey's love triangle.
To really rub salt into the wound, Kevin Williamson made Jen a single mother of a baby girl who she desperately didn't want to leave behind.
Everything about Jen's death was terrible, no good, awful, excruciating – all of the bad words.
In short, Jen Lindley deserved better and I will never, ever be over it.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk. I'm going to go cry for at least two hours now.