Woo hoo! Here we are! I rarely ever finish a project, and between the reviews I've been doing for my side gig, work, and other personal things, I am pleased to see this to the end! When Thoth and I started watching Daria, I told him I thought I would like to blog about the series progression. He thought it was a great idea.
The other night, I told him if I ever suggest I will do something like this again, he has my permission to end me.
So, I chose the title of this post not just because it is the last, it is also an obscure reference to the episode New Kid in season 2. Ted, a previously home schooled boy, enters Lawndale High and becomes interested in Daria. She "corrupts" him with chewing gum and subversive music. The subversive music being The Beatles. I was a bit surprised! Daria didn't strike me as the type to be a Beatles fan! But whatever, as the kids said way back when.
Anyway, the Beatles quote fits, not just because it might have been one Daria would have heard (if she owns Abbey Road... which she should), but because it fits the emotional progression of the character. Slowly, she has gone from being an outcast by choice, to someone who has made meaningful connections. Painfully, yes, but now that Daria has let people in her life is about to change again. She is going to college. The question is, where?
Is it College yet?, is the movie that wraps up Daria's story as far as we were meant to travel with her. A sixth season was proposed by MTV, but the producers refused, choosing to finish it off in a TV movie instead.
|We're not quite here yet!|
Oh, and of lesser importance, Brittany keeps bugging Kevin to tell her where he is going for college next year. "It's a surprise babe!" Is his default answer.
Quinn has charged an insane amount of money to Jake's credit card when she bought some designer shoes. Helen tells her it's time she gets a job to keep up her shopping habit. Later that night the fashion club are out at a nice restaurant celebrating Stacey's birthday. Sandi is lamenting that she had to cancel her date for the occasion and makes a crack about Stacey's inability to find a boy to go out with her. Stacey gives Sandi a long hard glare. A cupcake with a candle arrives. Stacey blows it out. The girls ask her what she wished for, but she sighs that it doesn't matter. It didn't come true. She shoots a look of hurt towards Sandi.
But Quinn digs this place. She finds out that they are hiring hosts, and applies. Sandi gives her a hard time about getting a job, but more mature Quinn basically shrugs it off. Working in the summer might suck, but she's gotta do it if she wants to keep in shoes. She agrees to take a sabbatical from the fashion club for the summer. I like this new and improved Quinn.
Let's focus on Quinn (and Stacey) for a moment
So before returning to the main plot, I wanted to look at the fashion club storyline. It's a B storyline, and not the meat of the story, but since the show is called, Daria, I want to save her and her peers for last.
Stacey wished that Sandi would be quiet. We find this out, because Sandi loses her voice shortly after
|Stacey is getting fed up with your crap!|
As for Quinn, she finds that she enjoys working as a hostess. She befriends a coworker named Lindy, who is a student at a local college. Lindy invites Quinn out to a house party. Quinn actually refuses any sort of alcohol, but Lindy gets sloppy drunk, not before giving Quinn a reality check about life outside the fashion club.
A girl in an outlandish outfit arrives at the party, and Quinn makes a snide remark about how she is dressed. Lindy mentions that she actually loves the girl's dress and that the two are friends. She implies to Quinn that being the type of person who cuts others down for their personal style is not cool, and does not fly in this particular setting. Quinn feels "cool" to be invited to a college party, but she is not the coolest kid at the party! Reality check! Quinn sees a mirror on the wall, covered in colored glass and remarks that it is pretty. Lindy thanks her, revealing that she is the artist. She offers to make one for Quinn, as she makes one for all of her friends.
But Lindy's drinking is an issue. She and Quinn end up hanging out a lot, but usually it involves her bringing a concealed bottle of booze to the movies, or wherever else she they go. Lindy wants to go to a drink more after already partying hard one night, and Quinn offers to call a cab to take them home, as Lindy is in no shape to drive. After running into Upchuck, Quinn even offers to ask him for a ride home for the two. Of course Lindy uses the, "I'm fine" line. Quinn is having none of it. The situation is defused when Lindy runs into some friends, and agrees to continue the night with them. Quinn is concerned, and goes home.
Later, Lindy is caught drinking at work. When the manager calls she and Quinn in for a meeting (as the alcohol was found at the station where both of them work), it is noted that Lindy's lipstick is on the glass. Lindy mentions that she lent Quinn her lipstick.
"Oh, Lindy..." Shockingly, Quinn seems more disappointed than angry that her new friend basically threw her under the bus. The manager doesn't believe any of this, and Lindy is fired.
Later, Quinn goes to her apartment and decides to confront Lindy about her drinking problem. Lindy angrily denies it, and berates Quinn. She insists that she has no problem. Quinn points out that Lindy lost her job due to drinking. Lindy shrugs this off, because she already got a new job. She throws Quinn out of her apartment.
Having Quinn as the more mature party in this situation is interesting. Lindy opened Quinn's eyes to IIFY, and her bonding with her sister, Quinn has become a very likable character.
|Quinn makes a sacrifice for her friend.|
In the end, Lindy tracks Quinn down at her house. She comes with the mirror she had promised to give Quinn and apologizes for her behavior. She mentions she has an alcoholic mother, but Lindy herself does not think she is an alcoholic. I mean, her mother is way worse, so naturally, Lindy isn't an alcoholic. It is clear that Lindy will likely continue on as she was. She and Quinn agree to see each other around, but we know as an audience that the friendship has ended here. On a better note than we thought, but the chances of these two hanging out again seems slim.
Of course, Stacey gets progressively tired of trying to make up her sin to Sandi.
By the end of the movie, the fashion club meets up at a summer party. Sandi has her voice back, and a laundry list of things Stacey can continue to do if she wants to stay in the fashion club. Stacey mentions that she has thought about it, and like Quinn, would like to take a sabbatical. Quinn has also states that she has raised enough money to leave her job for the rest of the summer, but has little interest in ending her own sabbatical. From this point on, everyone is on sabbatical from the fashion club, which is no more! However, moments later they all meet up again, hugging and crying. They agree they can still hang out, and talk about things, even if the club has technically disbanded.
|Everyone gets a sabbatical!|
Maybe the lack of actually club hierarchy in the friendship between these four will make for a more pleasant experience, with less power struggles. In reality, I imagine that while Quinn will remain in contact with Sandi and Tiffany after she graduates, Stacey will remain a true friend, and vice versa. Perhaps this is only in my head, but I also speak from my own experiences and observations with high school relationships.
Quick side plot information
I totally forgot to mention the O'Neill, Barch, DiMartino plot! Ms. Barch tells O'Neill that it is the 5th anniversary of her divorce, to which O'Neill stammers something about marriage being important (yadda, yadda, yadda), to comfort her. Barch takes this as a proposal, which O'Neill is
Meh. I like O'Neill and Barch together.
There's a time and a place for everything. And it's called, "College".
So now that we've got those two side plots out of the way, let us return to the meat of the story.
So, Daria and Tom are hoping to be Bromwell bound in a few months.
Their interviews are scheduled back to back. Kaye Sloane drives them up, and gives the two The Sloane's up close and personal tour of Bromwell. She runs into an old professor who asks if they are able to have breakfast with him the next day. Kaye immediately accepts, but Daria reminds her that Kaye had agreed to stop by Raft for a campus tour. Kaye assures her if they have an early breakfast, they will make it to Raft.
Tom's interview takes 45 minutes. He schmoozes with the interviewer about the relationship between The Sloanes and Bromwell. Daria chokes. She is not a schmoozer. The interviewer offers her a chance to start over, but in 15 minutes they are done. Tom seems surprised that he got a longer interview. It is becoming clear that Tom is utterly naïve when it comes to the college application process. He knows he is in at Bromwell. Daria should be in as well, since he wants to be close to her.
The next day, Kaye's professor is late to breakfast. He practically ignores Daria, while keeping his focus on Kaye and Tom. On the way to Raft (which is in Boston), they run into traffic. The tours are over for the day, and all Daria gets is to drive through the campus in the rain. Kaye does seem genuinely apologetic about this whole mess. Daria seems depressed and confused.
Later on, she gets her letters from Raft and Bromwell. Bromwell rejected her. Raft accepted her! Of course she is a bit disappointed, so when she talks to Tom, who is already planning their first semester (of course he got in), she tells him what happened. He ignores the fact that she got into Raft focusing on his confusion as to why she didn't get into Bromwell. Daria tries to get him to see the good side of this, but Tom suggests The Sloanes write a letter to the registrar suggesting they reconsider Daria as a student.
Daria refuses, and states that she is proud that Raft accepted her without an interview. Tom makes a crack about it being beneficial that Raft never spoke to Daria face to face. Understandably hurt, she utters, "Screw you", before hanging up on him.
Jane finds that she has been rejected from both state schools. Trent encourages her to see this as a good thing. Who needs college? When Jane and Daria speak, Jane is happy to hear about Daria's acceptance, but tells her about her own disappointment. When she suggests college isn't for her, Daria asks if she had sent in her portfolio to Boston Fine Arts. Jane says no. Daria proposes that if Jane applies to BFAC, she will swallow her pride and ask The Sloanes to write a letter to Bromwell. It's a deal! A very sorry Tom also apologizes for what he said to Daria. He is very happy that she has agreed to take help.
Meanwhile, Mack and Jodie have their own issues. Mack's parents cannot afford anything but a state school for him. Mack is fine with this, but Jodie tells him tearfully that she got into Crestmore. She also got into Turner. She knows her parents will never allow her to attend Turner.
Mack decides to talk to Mr. Landon (without Jodie's knowing). Mr. Landon dismisses Jodie's desire to go to Turner. Mr. Landon went to Turner in the 60's when there was no choice but to attemd an all black school. He wants the best for Jodie, and that is Crestmore. He tells Mack that Crestmore is closer to Mack's state school than Turner. Really, it is Mack who wants what's best for Jodie. Maybe going behind her back wasn't the best idea, but Jodie's own pleas to her parents fell on deaf ears.
Soon after, Daria gets her second letter from Bromwell. Another rejection. She and Tom go out for pizza. Tom is saddened and confused as to how his parent's influence didn't affect the outcome. Daria suddenly breaks up with him.
Tom is bewildered. Daria says that they are already growing tired of the relationship, and there will
Back at home, Daria is burying her head under the pillows of a couch. Quinn approaches her and asks what's wrong, and Daria explains that "The unthinkable has happened", she has broken up with Tom. Even though she made that call, she feels terrible. She is depressed, and scared about the unknown that is college.
Quinn comforts her, assuring Daria that she's been to a college party, and people are very nice. "You will have lots of friends", Quinn tells her sister.
Later, Jodie confronts Mack. Mr. Landon spoke to her about Mack's little visit to his office. She's angry that her boyfriend would do such a thing without asking her -- but it paid off! The Landons have agreed to let Jodie go to Turner! The two kiss happily.
I really love Jodie and Mack. If any high school relationships in this series were to last, it would be theirs. They are mature and supportive of one another.
|Nothing's gonna touch us in these golden years.|
Jane discovers that she has gotten into BFAC! Trent reacts with indignation at first. Why does she need school! He thought she agreed to stick it to the man! But then he relents. Jane is his only ally in Casa Lane. They are so close, and he will miss her too much to see her go. Jane offers him a place to stay when he visits.
Remembering how I felt when my brother decided to stay in his college area, I get what Trent feels. I discouraged my own brother to spending his last summer before senior year up at school. Mainly because I knew it would be his last, and greedily I wanted to spend the time with him. I remember crying to myself, as I helped him find a job and an apartment a year later. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I really did want what was best for him, even if I don't get to see him much. Trent wants the same for Jane, but in his own moment of greed, tried to keep her with him for a while longer. In the end, he is a good brother.
Love on the Rocks
Tom and Daria are heart broken. They listlessly lie by the phone and contemplate calling, but it doesn't happen. Finally, Tom drives to Daria's house and waits for her to come home. The two
Daria agrees, and admits that she still likes him a lot. He's a good person (albeit a bit spoiled). They agree to stay in contact as friends.
Helen watches the whole scene from outside, telling Jake she is concerned that heartbreak is on the horizon. But when Daria comes inside, she confesses to her parents that yes, she and Tom broke up. It was her idea. She is actually excited about going to Raft next year, and they needn't worry about her. Helen seems happy with this development.
At the same party that the fashion club breathes its last, Daria and Jane discuss the future. Jodie approaches them and asks about Tom -- this feels like a parallel scene to IIFY?, where Jodie approaches Tom and Daria asking for Jane's whereabouts. Daria spills that Tom is no more, and when Jodie assumes that he dumped both of them Jane informs her that this time Tom was the dumped! Jane happily discusses the implications of she and Daria attending college in Boston together. Maybe now they can have separate boyfriends!
|So raise your glass if you are wrong, in all the right ways!|
"Hey Morgendorffer! Wanna grab some pizza? Oh, yeah, I did. It was OK, no great shakes. I don't know, I didn't get a good look at him. Alright, I'm heading to the T now. See you soon."
Knowing what I do about Boston, I am sure that both of these girls would do just fine in the college scene in that town. It's got its preppy crowd, but it's got some serious nerdy/artsy subculture that would be very welcoming to these two.
Also, Upchuck hits on Alicia (the goth chick). Alicia is genuinely surprised at this.
"Wait a minute. You're hitting on me? OK, fine let's go." Chuck's amorous voice drops to timid. "Really?" he gulps.
The Adolescence of Daria
Here we are! At the end!
So, graduation day is upon us! Trent, and the Morgendorffers arrive to see their girls in their caps and gowns.
Jodie is the valedictorian, and delivers a lovely speech, to her fellow students. But before the end Ms. Li has an announcement.
"And now, people, and now... and now, awards time! We'll do the sports and other good prizes after I get these academic jobbies is out of the way. Now, as you know, at Lawndale High we prefer to reward students for both their scholarship and contribution to student life. But, occasionally, a student does so well in one area that we are forced to recognize him or her despite crippling deficiencies in the other. And so, I give you the winner of this year's Lawndale High School Diane Fossey Award for dazzling academic achievement in the face of near-total misanthropy... Ms. Daria Morgendorffer!"
Stunned, Daria walks to the podium to accept her award. On the spot, she delivers this speech of her own.
"I'm not much for public speaking, or much for speaking, or come to think of it, much for the public. And I'm not very good at lying. So let me just say that, in my experience, high school sucks. If I could do it all over again, I'd have started advanced placement classes in preschool so I could go from 8th grade straight to college. However, given the unalterable fact that high school sucks, I'd like to add that if you're lucky enough to have a good friend and a family that cares, then it doesn't have to suck quite as much. Otherwise, my advice is stand firm for what you believe in, until and unless logic and experience prove you wrong. Remember, when the emperor looks naked, the emperor is naked. The truth and the lie are not "sort of" the same thing. And there's no aspect, no facet, no moment in life that can't be improved with pizza. Thank you."
And there we have it. Daria has made it through the purgatory known as high school. And in the face of opposition (her own in many cases), she did it with the help of her family, and her best friend Jane.
After the diplomas have been collected, Jane and Daria wonder what they will encounter in college. Daria suggests that they will find self centered professors and a corrupt system. Jane takes back a crack she had made earlier about Daria getting soft.
And that is the end. For a show that is supposed to have had no happy endings, I felt that it was pretty optimistic. Daria may have grown into a swan, but she is a phoenix. And maybe that's what teenage girls and boys should aspire to be. Sure, it's nice to grow up and look pretty, but as Quinn discovered, looks won't float you through life. It is much better to rise above one's circumstances, so you can better see the road ahead.
|Now, how about a reunion special?|