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And it's probably not the way you remember it.

By Christopher Luu
Updated Feb 25, 2020 @ 8:15 pm
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It's that time. James Van Der Beek's daughter is all grown up and asking her dad about Dawson's Creek, the show that made him famous and spawned memes, waves of nostalgia, and even a J. Crew catalog. In a series of videos posted to his Instagram Story, Van Der Beek explains the plot of the show (which ran for six seasons) to his daughter, who has very reasonable questions and not-so-reasonable reactions to her dad's explanation, which involves ninjas, explosives, and absolutely no mention of that ladder that led up to Joey's window.

James Van Der Beek In Park City
Credit: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

"Why is it called Dalson’s creek?" she asks in the first clip. That's right, she said "Dalson." "Is it because Dalson owns a creek and someone tries to destroy it?"

"Exactly," Van Der Beek said. This is when he leans into being a cool dad and veers away from the Dawson's Creek that fans know, love, and remember very clearly. "He owns a creek, and then someone tries to blow it up, so he has to use kung-fu ninja moves."

"I can imagine you doing that," she said, offering up a karate chop. Van Der Beek has shown that he, indeed, has the range to play a ninja.

"That’s what it was," Van Der Beek said. "It was not about me whining and crying and being annoying on a creek. It definitely was not that."

There it is. The show that everyone remembers is closer to that description than anything before it. Of course, Dawson's Creek introduced viewrs to Van Der Beek's Dawson Leery as well as his now-very-famous co-stars, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Michelle Williams.

Late last year, Van Der Beek told People that he had one piece of fatherly advice that he shares: "My philosophy has always been to be completely honest." Clearly, he doesn't follow his own advice, but we're sure that this little white lie is just fine. Van Der Beek shares his five children, Olivia, 9; Joshua, 7; Annabel, 5; Emilia, 3; and Gwendolyn, 19 months, with his wife of more than nine years, Kimberly.