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Roadkill Jen


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#391

emilyschild

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Posted Dec 22, 2008 @ 6:37 PM

With Michelle Williams becoming more known for how a good actress she is, people are starting to say now how much they liked Jen. This is fantastic, as I really loved her character, way more than Joey and thought Michelle played her beautifully.

Especially after her latest Indie movie. People seem to now talk about her in DC. All of a sudden it is, "Yeh, I liked her character in DC and the way she played her". Now that she is more wellknown/popular her other work is being appreciated more.
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#392

Lamoshe

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Posted Jan 6, 2009 @ 6:48 PM

emilyschild, I have never thought of it this way...that people are sort of revising or maybe revisiting their impressions of her performance as Jen based on her more recent work, but I could see that. Although I always enjoyed Michelle's work, and liked the character of Jen and she played the role, I know there was a lot of Jen-hate (and corresponding Michelle-hate) during certain periods of the series.

I am glad to hear good things about Michelle's current work, because I always believed she and Josh, among the central "teen" characters, were the ones with the strongest acting chops. And since I was well beyond the target demographic when the show was airing, I had more perspective on the teen angst business, and so was not so inclined to get involved in the Joey/Jen "wars." But I can see where people who may not have appreciated her work back then could be in a better position to admire it now, after her success in other roles.
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#393

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Posted Oct 25, 2011 @ 7:10 AM

I am glad to hear good things about Michelle's current work, because I always believed she and Josh, among the central "teen" characters, were the ones with the strongest acting chops.


I started really appreciating Jen more in later seasons, around the time of seasons 3-6. I remember being really impressed with Michelle's later comic timing and how cute some of her reactions were in seasons 5 and 6, so I definitely think that she improved the most among the main cast. But it's funny because I never thought she was a particularly outstanding actress in seasons 1 and 2, and would never have guessed that she would be the break-out star and oscar-nominated.
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#394

anatolealice

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Posted Oct 25, 2011 @ 5:52 PM

I've just skipped from season 1 to season 4 and I have to agree - I think she's much better in the later seasons. I thought she was very funny with drunk Joey in future tense and I really felt for her in the storyline where Andie took the ecstasy. Re-watching the conversation between Pacey and Andie about whether it was a friendship to save, I was shocked at how Pacey was so anti-Jen at that point, he was usually understanding and forgiving of people and they had been good friends.

I don't remember ever disliking Jen, but I didn't know what to make of her most of the time. She had some storylines (some better than others!) but more often she was just ... there. I haven't seen Michelle Williams in anything else. I started my sister watching recently and I was a bit horrified at how anti-Jen she was being. Worse, I think it was because she saw her messing Dawson around and her sympathies lay with him. I have my work cut out for me...
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#395

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Posted Oct 26, 2011 @ 6:14 AM

I'd find it hard to pinpoint anything that she did a bad job with in the earlier seasons, but at the same time I have to admit I wasn't really feeling it either compared to how much I enjoyed her performances later on. I kind of get the feeling that maybe Michelle herself wasn't all that comfortable with playing the "bad girl" in season 2 after all the audience hate that Jen already got for season 1 when she was doing nothing but desperately trying to please everyone and make friends with Joey

She just seems so much more comfortable in the college years when she's playing Jen as more of a regular fun-loving girl and Jack's BFF, instead of the blonde bombshell that she was introduced as to shake things up
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#396

AStarling

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Posted Oct 26, 2011 @ 6:57 AM

Even in hindsight, I still don't think MW was particularly strong in S1. It seems like a different actress! There's a lot of pouting, everything's very understated (too much IMO) and she seemed uncomfortable in her own skin. S2 was a different story, especially with Abby's death. And she just went from strength to strength (especially when she was confronting her demons in NY).

S1 I thought Katie Holmes' star shone brightest, now I think she's the weakest of the main 4. With MW, she was the most unimpressive in S1 and now I think she's the most talented. Weird how things change.
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#397

Frelling Tralk

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Posted Oct 26, 2011 @ 5:32 PM

she seemed uncomfortable in her own skin

Her age was probably a factor there, wasn't she the youngest of the main cast and only 17 or 18 when the show started? They talked a lot about Jen's troubled past in season 1 but, with the way that Michelle played it, I just didn't find it very convincing that Jen did have this hard life and all this experience, although again I'm not sure I can pinpoint exactly what I would have liked her to have done differently...

I do think that she was getting better in season 2, but I still didn't completely connect with the whole downward spiral there, so it's definitely the later seasons when she shines more for me more. Ironically when Jen is pushed to the background more in seasons 4-6 is when I think she gives her best work, and really shows some great comic timing. In season 5 I remember finding her reactions really cute when she and Dawson tried their relationship again, and she was obviously having fun with storylines like Jen being the college DJ
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#398

anatolealice

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Posted Oct 26, 2011 @ 7:56 PM

They talked a lot about Jen's troubled past in season 1 but, with the way that Michelle played it, I just didn't find it very convincing that Jen did have this hard life and all this experience, although again I'm not sure I can pinpoint exactly what I would have liked her to have done differently...


I think for me it was because she dressed like such a good girl. Ok, the skirts were short but it wasn't like she had dyed hair, or a tonne of make-up on or anything. She didn't look, or act at all wild.

S1 I thought Katie Holmes' star shone brightest, now I think she's the weakest of the main 4. With MW, she was the most unimpressive in S1 and now I think she's the most talented. Weird how things change.


Yeah, I loved KH in season 1, she really made me feel for Joey (esp the scene at the end of Detention). MW just looked uncomfortable most of the time. But for most of the college years it felt like KH was just going through the motions, whereas Jen's character became fun. I think college gave her more interesting things to do. She stopped being *just* the bad girl from new York (who didn't seem at all bad), or part of the triangle (when it changed to include Pacey). I can't even bear thinking about her relationship with Henry.

Her age was probably a factor there, wasn't she the youngest of the main cast and only 17 or 18 when the show started?

She was, you're right. She's nearly 2 years younger than KH who I had thought was the youngest. So she was barely 18 when it debuted, when they were filming season 1 she wasn't much older than the character she was playing. That gives a different perspective - the most worldly and experienced of the four characters was being played by the youngest actor.

Edited by anatolealice, Oct 26, 2011 @ 8:02 PM.

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#399

Frelling Tralk

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Posted Nov 1, 2011 @ 7:00 AM

I think for me it was because she dressed like such a good girl. Ok, the skirts were short but it wasn't like she had dyed hair, or a tonne of make-up on or anything. She didn't look, or act at all wild.


Yep, I think that was a big part of it. From her first appearance walking towards the gang in that summer dress, she didn't at all fit the character profile they had given her of a teenage girl with a hard past struggling to start over.
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#400

Vega01

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Posted Nov 15, 2011 @ 1:52 AM

So she was barely 18 when it debuted,

She was 17 when the pilot was shot and she must have turned 18 after shooting a few episodes. She did look quite young in her first scene on the pilot. Especially next to James Van Der Beek.

I actually prefered Jen to Joey in season 1, I didn't grow to like Joey until season 3 and then I began to hate her from season 4 onwards.

There was always something about Jen that I liked so much, maybe it was that fragility that Michelle gave her from the begining. She might not have been a convincing bad girl but I don't think she ever was, I think what we saw in season 2 was probably the way she was in New York but the kids there must have been different that the ones from Capeside so maybe that was the problem.

Jen goes back to being sweet in season 3 but she becomes much more assertive and I think that has to do with her relationship with her grandma and her friendship with Jack (and probably Abby's death), before that she hadn't found her place so she obviously wasn't confident in her own skin.

Edited by Vega01, Nov 15, 2011 @ 1:53 AM.

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#401

anatolealice

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Posted Nov 16, 2011 @ 6:25 PM

Jen goes back to being sweet in season 3 but she becomes much more assertive and I think that has to do with her relationship with her grandma and her friendship with Jack (and probably Abby's death), before that she hadn't found her place so she obviously wasn't confident in her own skin.


I haven't re-watched season 2 in awhile, but you make a good point about Abby's death. If that was Jen behaving in a similar manner to how she was in New York, then she finally got a really strong wake-up call. It wasn't the drugs, it wasn't the sex, it wasn't all the things that could happen in a big city, but something as simple as drinking too much and being careless near water.

I think Jack needed to move in with them was really well timed for Jen. Much as I loathe the S-word, I think it could be applied to them.
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#402

Robert1995

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Posted Dec 6, 2012 @ 7:49 PM

I really like Jen. It's a shame her role was reduced after the 1st season and I agree about Michelle growing a lot as an actress. Even when she only has a small role she can give a great performance. For anyone who hasn't seen her in anything other than DC I recommend you check out some of Michelle's films. Blue Valentine is my favourite. She's been nominated for an Oscar 3 times as well.

Jen's character was great. She had such a tragic life though. Losing her virginity aged 12 drunk to "some guy", getting involved in drugs, used countless times by men and then exiled from New York. Even in Cape Side she was seen as the bad girl and just as a sex object. The amount of times she was left for Joey was ridiculous not to mention everything with Abbey. If this wasn't enough they had to kill her off in the finale. Of course she had a child to an absentee father. The girl just couldn't catch a break.
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#403

TimeMonkey

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 6:22 PM

I think a big part of her downward spiral, and it's revisted again in season four, is that what she really wants is for someone to make her stop. She wants someone to show they care enough about her to care that she's messing up so badly and when she doesn't get that she sinks to worse and worse behaviour to try and spur them to action. I don't think she does it consciously but I definitely think it's how she can sink to the depths she does, like the whole thing at Abby's funeral. Unfortunately the people in Capeside prefer to judge and cut people out rather than intervene so it's not until her breakdown during season four, when Jack catches on and pushes Grams  that they finally figure out how to deal with her. And that's also the very last time it happens as well, she finally finds what she's been so desperately looking for in Jack and Grams.


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#404

Lolita Swann

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Posted Sep 21, 2013 @ 9:29 PM

I've been rewatching Jen and Jack scenes on Youtube from S6, and Michelle is really quite amazing in the series finale. She shows more acting chops there than in her quite-good Oscar nommed turn in Brokeback Mountain, though her best turn so far is in Blue Valentine - thanks in part to strong direction and writing.


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#405

emilyschild

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Posted Oct 10, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

Having just rewatched parts of the series finale on youtube as well, I would have to agree about how amazing Michelle was. The finale was wonderful in a lot of different ways.
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