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9. Dawson Leary, ‘Dawson’s Creek’

When it first aired in 1998, Dawson’s Creek looked poised to take the teen soap opera throne from reigning champs Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210. There was a plucky tomboy, a misunderstood bad boy, a misunderstood bad girl, and then there was freaking Dawson, the wholesome, flavorless nougat at the center of the series. Endlessly self-obsessed and brooding, Dawson very nearly took the wind out of the series’ sails. Fortunately, Pacey was nailing his teacher, so Dawson’s Creek had that going for it.


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