It’s that time again: The fourth season of Dawson’s Creek is on TBS.

It’s always been my favorite season of Dawson’s Creek. For me, that year was the show’s Golden Age.

Everything came together that year—the writing was quick, the soundtrack was awesome, the characters were at their best-looking. Not to mention the gorgeous shots of Wilmington, North Carolina (aka Capeside, Mass.). Yes, the Creek was at its finest, then.

I once read an essay by the all-around-writer-extraordinaire Anna Quidlen, in which she referred to herself as “a Paul Girl.” She was one of those early-1960’s tweens whose favorite Beatle was Paul McCartney, and the decision defined her.

The girls who first gravitated toward Avril Lavigne? In 1964, they would have been John girls. Girls who would today be considered emo went for George. The Ringo girls? Well, you can’t put a label on the Ringo girls—at least I can’t. But Paul girls? In Quindlen’s words: “Paul got the little ladies…He was for girls who were traditional, predictable, who played by the rules.”

By the time my adolescence rolled around, the Beatles were cool, but vintage. We had ways of defining ourselves, sure, but not by identifying with men now older than our parents. Enter Dawson’s Creek.

Dawson’s fans went one of two ways: pro-Dawson or pro-Pacey. There was no middle ground. You either wanted the beautiful, sharp-tongued Joey Potter to end up with soul-mate-and-best-friend-forever Dawson, or charming-and-classic-screw-up Pacey. (Please note: Nobody wanted her to end up with Tom Cruise).

I was a Dawson girl.

After all, the series was called Dawson’s Creek for a reason. Besides that, though, it was obvious that Joey and Dawson belonged together. They’d been together from the beginning, and Pacey? He just wanted her once Dawson decided he wanted her, too. Pacey was every worst trait rolled into one. He wanted what he couldn’t have. He got it and treated it like trash. His communication style was sub-par, if not downright caveman. And he messed up. Not once, but all the time.

Joey’s with Pacey in the fourth season, which may be why the Dawson girl in me loves it so much. We Dawson girls watch patiently as Joey and Pacey lie to each other, fight with each other, and generally self-destruct. We know at the end of the day Dawson will be there, window and arms wide open. So what if the chemistry between Pacey and Joey is undeniable?

I watch this generation of girls take sides, too—we have Edward girls, we have Jacob girls (though to be fair, I have never actually met a teenage Jacob girl). I myself am neither an Edward nor a Jacob girl, and maybe my lack of taking sides defines me, as well. I haven’t read Breaking Dawn, either, so I don’t know how it all ends up.

My hope is that it turns out better than it did for Dawson.