"When you start off season three with a completely new writing staff, it's inevitable that you're going to struggle to find your voice," the 23-year-old actor tells Premiere. "It's a tricky voice to get. It very easily becomes a parody of itself."
Van Der Beek says he wasn't happy with one particular episode in which his character engaged in a sex act on a boat, accidentally crashed into a dock and then suffered no consequences for causing the damage.
"I'm not going to lie; it's been frustrating," he admits. "I'm getting myself in lots of trouble now. I will say ? and I'm not saying this to bulls--- you ? things are looking up."
Van Der Beek, who stars in this summer's big-screen flick Texas Ranger, shows he can be as hard on himself as he can on others. "I feel like I'm so far away from reaching my potential," he tells the magazine. "I'm 23. And I look back at the stuff I did a year ago and I think, 'Aw, f---.' "