Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#213 (2-26), "Write Where It Hurts"

MDRR #213 (2-26)

Recycled Joke of the Week - Usually, I don't pick up on this sort of thing, but I've heard the line "What's the number for 911" on The Simpsons before. I'm not accusing the writers of this episode of stealing material; but if they did at least they used one of the best. However, I hope this doesn't become a consistent thing; and that it be kept to a minimum.

Self-Reference of the Week - In Daria's final 'story,' Helen says something to the affect that "Daria couldn't be on TV...." Well, we are all watching her on TV. Also in the third 'story' (where Quinn wants to be more like Daria), Jake tells Quinn that she lacks depth, which she did (at least at the beginning of the series). The self references are refreshing and if you can't make fun of yourself...

You've Got Me Feeling Emotions - Daria's angry side really comes out in her conversation with Helen. "How dare you talk about Quinn." The tone of her voice puts to rest any debate about whether she is monotone. Daria's response to Helen's crying ('It can't be that bad') while Helen reads the story is a defense mechanism. She wrote a touching story that affected her mother and Daria's first response is to think Helen thought it was bad. Perhaps, she needs to go through self-esteem class again. The girl needs some confidence.

Vivid Imagination - Daria's attempts at story telling using people she knows could be insightful to her character. It doesn't take much inspiration for her to come up with those scenarios. Jane only had to say "Kevin and Brittany's wedding" and that she would "like to be there when they tie the noose" for that one. We all know where the second one came from; her semi-intense crush on Lord Lane. And as always, the idea of marriage scares away the boys (hey, it scares me). The third attempt was reactionary more than anything. She used her anger at her mother to provide the spark for that idea. Daria is, or could be, a better writer than she gives herself credit for. I would think that anyone that could come up with ideas that quickly, even if they are 'bad', is capable of being a good writer.

Parental Guidance - Of all the advice Helen has tried to give, this was by far the best advice she's ever given. 'Write about how it should be, not how it is.' Mothers know their children better than anyone, even if their children don't think so, and Helen knows what Daria's talents are and gives her a new perspective that is different enough for Daria to shine with it.

Sappy Story - Daria's final story may have been a bit on the sappy side, but it was poignant. It does show how Daria would like things to turn out. Daria is a successful writer, Quinn grows up a lot (made some mistakes, but who doesn't) and both Helen and Jake are approachable and a lot mellower (a triple bypass will do that to you). But her story was good even if she's is not quite ready to accept it, yet.

As far as season finales go, this episode did its job (Unlike The Misery Chick which was a great episode but didn't truly end the season). It did take some of the major themes of the second season and started to bring it all together. All most every character is becoming three-dimensional. The story of this episode by itself is an original idea and it was done well and brought a small sense of finality to the second season, I look forward to next season already. The only possible complaint I have is the use of some semi-obscure references in the stories Daria wrote. While this was used in a funny way and isn't bad for a change of pace, I don't think that it is the strength of a series like Daria.

Grade: A-

Daria as a Whole - These are a collection of comments that I made as part of my 'Initial Reaction Review' for this episode. They all have something to do with the end of the second season and what that meant to the Daria watching community.

MTV marks the end of Daria's second season with their usual fanfare - NONE.

Next Week (in my own fantasy land) - Jane is still crying over the thought of actually falling in love with Kevin, Mr. O'Neill is just crying and Daria has dropped out of school and become the ringmaster of a traveling circus.

Next Week (in reality) - Reruns, Reruns and more Reruns!!!

Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

"Daria" and all related characters are © 1998 MTV Networks, Inc.