Twenty years ago, the world was introduced to Dawson, Joey, Pacey, and Jen, and all the drama they collectively created on WB series "Dawson's Creek," which premiered on January 20, 1998. In honor of that momentous milestone, titular star James Van Der Beek did some reflecting on the show and its impact all these years later, sharing a sweet throwback photo of the fresh-faced cast.

In a #TBT post on Instagram this week, Van Der Beek waxed nostalgic about his "squad" -- comprised of himself, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Michelle Williams -- who were suddenly thrust into a very hot spotlight after "Dawson's" became a television sensation.

#tbt Squad '97. I'd known these people all of 7 days when this pic was taken. 20 years ago this week 😱 the little pilot we shot in that small town for that fledgling network aired, changed our lives and launched our careers. Thank you to the Wilmington, North Carolina crew and community who raised us & kept us sane, thank you to the many talented writers and producers who gave of your hearts talents and put up with us. And thank you especially to the fans of the show. It's a funny relationship we have... your experience of this project is what you saw on camera, while my memories are mostly what I experienced off of it. And yes, it's true that I haven't seen most episodes (it became healthier at a certain point to just commit 100% on the day and let it go completely), but the beauty of this arrangement is that my impression of the show now is what you've all reflected back to me over the years... and it's been lovely to witness. So thank you to anyone who's ever expressed appreciation for the work we did - it makes me feel proud to be associated with these three fine people (and the rest of the cast), and proud to have been a part of #DawsonsCreek. This one will always have a special little place in my heart.

A post shared by James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) on

"20 years ago this week ... the little pilot we shot in that small town for that fledgling network aired, changed our lives and launched our careers," Van Der Beek wrote.

The actor thanked the cast, crew, writers, producers, and residents of Wilmington, North Carolina (where the series was shot) for sharing in the experience, and also gave a special shout-out to the show's fans, for their support then and now.

"[T]hank you to anyone who's ever expressed appreciation for the work we did - it makes me feel proud to be associated with these three fine people (and the rest of the cast), and proud to have been a part of #DawsonsCreek," Van Der Beek wrote. "This one will always have a special little place in my heart."

Ours, too, Dawson. Now excuse us while we blast the show's earworm theme song on repeat for the rest of the day.

Dawson's Creek TV Show Poster
Dawson's Creek
TVPGJanuary 20, 1998

Dawson Leery and his friends come of age. Read More