Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#303 (3-30), "Depth Takes a Holiday"

MDRR #303 (3-30) - I not making any guarantees but I’ll try to be brief, I don’t want to think too much about this episode.

It's Only A Dream - I was half expecting Depth Takes a Holiday to end with Daria waking up and saying, "Wow, it was only a dream. I guess I shouldn’t have eaten at Good Time Chinese Restaurant, or at least not order the nog." This episode seemed to switch from a real pace to a dream-like pace relatively fast. At times, it moved lightning quick with speedy changes of direction and at other times slowed down to a more realistic pace. It was like this episode couldn't decide whether it was a dream or not. In reality, the whole thing was a bad dream that should probably be forgotten.

I Can't Deal With This! - It seems that Jake and Helen have finally gotten the spice into their marriage. The subplot, involving Quinn's crusade to prevent any younger siblings, was the most 'real' part of this episode. It fits perfectly into her character- she wants to be the most 'popular' person in her family and she knows that a baby would at least be the center of attention for a while. Her method of attack was also appropriate for her. She weaseled herself in the middle of the situation she wanted to change. True to form, she ended up so bored of spending time with her parents that she ended up talking to herself and eventually gave up all together.

Miscellaneous Witty One Liners - There were many one liners in Depth Takes a Holiday that seemed to comment (probably unintentionally) about the quality of the show, itself. I just thought it would be a good idea to go through some of these, especially since nothing else about this episode jumps out at me as being particularly important (in other words, I ran out of worthy things to write about). Just a word of warning, I changed some of them for "Another Lame Attempt at Humor(TM)."

1) The opening Sick Sad World segment seemed to be a reference to the fact that because of the odd scheduling of Daria, this episode couldn't absolutely be shown at any holiday time (although it wasn't too far from St. Patrick's Day).

2) Jane utters the phrase "none of this makes any sense." Do you think they knew that this was probably what most of us were thinking while watching this episode?

3) The "Soccer Riot!" line was one of the few things that was actually funny. It's not really self referential, but it was one of the only highlights of the episode for me.

4) Being a "monk in a nunnery" doesn't sound too bad anymore, after watching this episode.

5) I actually went to the trouble of looking up the word bollix (which is the only word in my dictionary that was close - can anyone with closed captioning confirm this) and it is a transitive verb that means 'to make a mess of.' Sounds like it applies here. (Since, I've received more e-mail about a particular point in this review than any other point I've made in any review, I thought that it would be appropriate to add to that portion, after much contemplation, to reflect that the message has seeped through my admittedly thick skull) I realize that 'bollocks' is an English slang term that loosely translates as 'balls.' I went to the trouble of looking in my dictionary to see if 'bollocks' appears. The closest thing I could find was 'bollix' which means 'to make a mess of.' Sounds like it applies here, even if it wasn't actually used in the episode.

6) Finally, The Holidays song lyrics, with some modification, pretty much sums up my opinion of this episode. Everyone all together now: "I'm watching this episode and it sucks!"

<Warning: Possibly Entering The Rant Zone (if we're not already there)>

The writers of this episode decided to break from the usual Daria format of reality based action to a more cartoon-ish, anything goes style for this episode. In my opinion, that is not the direction this series should go in, if it does then Daria would just be another lame Simpson's wannabe. Depth Takes a Holiday may not have looked as bad if it wasn’t shown so close to Daria! which was similarly a non-reality based episode. However, that can't be used as an excuse for this episode. I can find no redeeming qualities in this episode, whatsoever. There were times that I did laugh. However, most of these laughs were tentative and almost in an "I can’t believe that they actually made this episode" sort of tone. I'm not saying that episodes like this are inherently bad, it just seems that they've "gone to the fantasy well" one too many times with this episode. I can almost see the brainstorming session for the episodes of season three. It’s two AM, the staff has decided on twelve ideas for plots of episodes after almost a whole day of looking for ideas and they’re having trouble coming up with a thirteenth. Just when they are about to give up, a stoned intern walks in says "Hey, I just saw some guy named Xmas with his girl, Halloween." One of the staffers, in a tired hazed says, "that sounds like a good idea- people as holidays." The rest, as we say, is history. It was definitely an original idea that, more than likely, looked much better on paper than it did on the screen. I hope that this will be the last episode of this ilk for this season.

The Bottom Line - It appears that depth wasn’t the only thing that was on vacation.

Grade: F (Unfortunately, the big red F stamp makes its first appearance)

<Now Leaving The Rant Zone>

Daria as a Whole, Under the Spell - Daria said 'Trent.' No surprise there. They're building to something.

Next Week - Jane’s in another on of those ‘sinister’ places but she does control the dance.

Copyright © 1999 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

Daria and all related characters are © 1999 MTV Networks, Inc.