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I'm Still Not Over What Happened To Jen On "Dawson's Creek"

Jen Lindley deserved better.

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Hello, I'm here to talk to you today about one of the greatest characters of all time: Jennifer Lindley from Dawson's Creek.

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Jen was played by the sublime Michelle Williams, and she NEVER got the attention or justice she deserved.

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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.

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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.

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Girls supporting and loving other girls? WHAT A CONCEPT.

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.

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The development of her relationship with Grams was one of the highlights of the show. Jen helped Grams grow as a person – in fact, she made everyone around her better.

Jen was always there for her friends, and gave out excellent advice. She was incredibly emotionally intelligent and strong.

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Even though her friends often didn't deserve her support or return it, she gave it unconditionally.

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.

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Jen actually had the least sex out of any of the main characters over the course of the show (with the exception of maybe Jack), and yet because she had a "wild" past, she was constantly slut-shamed – by both the other characters, and the wider narrative.

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.

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Michelle Williams did some amazing work with what she had, but that often wasn't a lot.

The one shining light in Jen's story – next to her relationship with Grams – was the friendship she had with Jack.

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Jack and Jen were far more compelling platonic soul mates than Joey and Dawson, but weren't given nearly as much screentime or plot development.

While the show never treated her right, the worst crime against Jen happened in the finale – when she was LITERALLY KILLED.

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Show creator Kevin Williamson, who had departed after Season 2, came back for the finale and decided to kill Jen off because he thought it would cause the "final coming-of-age" for the other characters. What it actually meant was that Jen was treated as disposable right until the very end.

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.

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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.

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Yes, it's rather lovely that Jack adopts Amy, but oh god it just made the whole thing hurt SO MUCH MORE.

Everything about Jen's death was terrible, no good, awful, excruciating – all of the bad words.

(Except, of course, for the performances – especially from Michelle Williams.)
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(Except, of course, for the performances – especially from Michelle Williams.)

In short, Jen Lindley deserved better and I will never, ever be over it.

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Thank you for coming to my TED talk. I'm going to go cry for at least two hours now.

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