FROM 'SCREAM' TO 'DAWSON'S CREEK': The Career of Kevin Williamson - Book Review -

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FROM 'SCREAM' TO 'DAWSON'S CREEK': The Career of Kevin Williamson - Book Review

Author Andy Mangels takes an unauthorized look at screenwriter's career.

By Dan Cziraky     April 19, 2000

Film journalist and comics writer (BLOODWULF, ELFQUEST, JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY) Andy Mangels explores the meteoric career of screenwriter-director-TV series creator Kevin Williamson in this thorough, well-written tome. He digs into Williamson's childhood in North Carolina and Texas, as well as the true-life incidences that led to such projects as The WB's DAWSON'S CREEK series and the film TEACHING MRS. TINGLE.

Frankly, I'm not a big fan of Williamson's work. I thought SCREAM was derivative without being terribly amusing (SCREAM 2 & 3 weren't big improvements). I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER was SCREAM-lite by way of PARTY OF FIVE. DAWSON'S CREEK bores me to tears, and I didn't waste any of my time on ABC-TV's now-defunct WASTELAND. HALLOWEEN: H20 was more like HALLOWEEN: W-H-Y? Yet, I'm familiar enough with Williamson's work and career to be interested in finding out what makes the guy tick. Mangels does a good job in that department, borrowing from others' interviews (he does credit his sources) as well as his own 1998 talks with the subject at the San Diego Comics Con. Mangels also gives us concise, balanced looks at the films and TV projects Williamson has been responsible for, with complete cast and credit lists. There are also episode guides for DAWSON'S CREEK and WASTELAND (including the episodes ABC has yet to air).

Williamson is held up here as some sort of New Millennium genius, which I'm not buying. However, his work has definitely had an appreciable impact on the later half of the '90s, and will no doubt continue to do so in the foreseeable future. If you're a fan, you'll really want to pick this one up.

FROM 'SCREAM' TO 'DAWSON'S CREEK': An Unauthorized Take on the Phenomenal Career of Kevin Williamson, by Andy Mangels. Renaissance Books. Los Angeles. March 2000. 320 pp. $16.95.


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