Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#309 (3-35), "Jake of Hearts"

MDRR #309 (3-35)

Mental in the Morning - I’ve often wondered why weekday morning DJ’s tend to lean toward the wacky (or at least out of the ordinary). Those guys from Z-93 do more than lean - they’re stereotypes of stereotypes. They take the idea of the ‘morning zoo’ to the absolute extreme. No wonder Daria and Jane didn’t want anything to do with them; they were dense. Speaking of being dense, ‘Rainbow Man’ (as I’m calling the guy with the wig) and the Spatula couldn’t take a hint if you nailed it to their heads. Jane’s threat of a restraining order, the thrashing by the Fashion Club and Daria’s imaginary run home for a ten year long shower barely slowed them down. The ‘big guns’ were needed to finally get rid of them.

How Much Did They Pay Her? - Miss Li is beyond greed. I couldn’t imagine inviting some DJ’s to a school for a whole week, just because they’re paying. Maybe for a day, if a charitable event is involved, but a whole week is pushing it. I’m surprised that Miss Li hasn’t at least been investigated for some of this stuff. I also wouldn’t be surprised if some of the student body has taken to calling her a warden instead of a principal. I don’t think most school districts, let alone individual schools, have their own drug-sniffing dogs (I could be wrong, but please don’t tell me I’m wrong).

Cameos of the Week - It’s nice to see that peripheral characters like Jodie and Upchuck haven’t been completely forgotten but it would be even nicer if they were used better. This goes more for Jodie than Upchuck, since he did fit into the scene he was placed. Jane probably could have easily said Jodie’s one line. Here’s to hoping for at least some meaningful use of Jodie (not to mention that guy she hangs out with – what’s his name, again?). It would be a shame otherwise.

I Want My Mommy - No wonder Jake is so screwed up. Whatever Maddog may have done to him, his mother didn’t seem to help him out any. As Daria pointed out, she just about admitted this to Jake, especially when he confronted her. She also fit the role of the meddling mother-in-law. She had a disparaging comment about everything Helen said or did. Ruth seemed to be conflicted about everything. She defended the way her life went; she had one of the more ‘traditional’ roles of women. At the same time, she wishes that she would have broken that role every once and a while. At least Quinn and Helen were able to see her ‘advice’ for what it was worth (with Daria’s help) – all right, but not necessarily the only way to go.

The End of the Heart Attack Watch - I’ve probably said in every other review that Jake was on the short road to coronary displeasure, based on almost everything he’s ever done in the show. That doesn’t make me particularly insightful, but the actual heart attack was sort of anti-climactic. I guess that’ll happen with all of the build up. But the more interesting thing is the…

Instant Transformation of the Week - At first I was surprised that Helen and Quinn changed so suddenly and drastically into the ‘perfect’ housewife and the medical student wannabe. When I started to think about it, the transformation made a whole lot of sense. Both of them have taken Jake for granted, and when the possibility of him dying came up, and therefore having their lives completely changed, it made them appreciate how important he could be to them.

Cartoon-ish Behavior of the Week - Probably one of the most cartoon-ish happenings in all of Daria-canon was the sequence after Jake figured out that he out lived his father. I can understand him being overjoyed by this revelation but he was a bit overactive for a heart patient. Settle down Jake, there’ll be plenty of time to celebrate. Hopefully.

Homage? - I’m sort of surprised that I haven’t noticed this mentioned yet (if it has been, I’m sorry I missed it). With all of the talk about the ‘Homer-ization’ of Jake, I noticed some peculiarly placed references to Homer Simpson in this episode (not to mention the fact that Homer has had numerous heart attacks over the years, but that’ll be chalked up to coincidence). First, right at the beginning during all of the funny puppet talk, Daria mentions a nuclear power plant, which is where Homer works on The Simpsons. The second thing I noticed was when Jake was celebrating, he yelled "Wah-hoo!" which bares more than a striking resemblance to Homer’s "Woo-hoo!" I’m not sure if this was intentional, but it certainly is eerie.

Well Jake has finally been turned completely into a cartoon character (which is what he is anyway) but I can’t say that the way it happened was that upsetting. It doesn’t seem that the way Jake acted was that far off, for someone who went through what he just did. After all, this episode was a laugh a minute, and that goes a long way to soften the blow of Jake’s evolution. The only other major complaint I have is that we could have done without some of the wacky DJ moments. Otherwise, I enjoyed this episode but only to a point.

The Bottom Line - Jake now has at least one more thing in common with DeMartino.

Grade: B

Daria as a Whole, Awesome Analysis "Ewww, Upchuck" is right up there with "Wind, Hair." Tiffany, keep up the good work and I see a Rhodes Scholarship in your future.

Next Week - Someone has to get bailed out for a speeding ticket. Those points add up, don’t they?

Copyright © 1999 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

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