Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#312 (3-38), "Just Add Water"

MDRR #312 (3-38) I think I've heard some of this before

Post Heart Attack Watch - Mr. DeMartino should be avoiding all stressful situations, if possible. They're finding him anyway; maybe Miss Barch has placed some sort of curse on him. Last week, he almost got deported and now he's forced to face one of his inner demons. He has become a ticking time bomb. It's not a matter of if he'll explode; it's a matter of when. Jake wasn't exactly relaxed, either. His sparring with Helen caused him to miss an opportunity to save the day in the pilot's room (not that Helen would have noticed).

Blast from the Past - Was it the cafeteria meatloaf? How about the word lothario in a Sick Sad World promo? No! It was the so-called 'plot' of this episode. It's been around a couple of times before and has a less than stellar success rate.

Discontinuity of the Week - Daria and Jane were less than impressed with Sick Sad World as recently as The Lawndale File, but they seem almost giddy about a sixty-plus hour marathon of the stuff. All right, this isn't that big of a screw up (this section is just to maintain a giant cheesy in-joke included with this review). On the other hand, Jake did use the word edgy again. At least he remembered it, even if he doesn't exactly know what it means.

Fashion Club Fiasco - Sandi and Quinn go back to some of their old tricks in their struggle for control of the fashion club. Sandi feigns civility towards Quinn, while plotting to try to take her popularity out by spreading nasty rumors about Quinn being stood up for a date. Quinn either is oblivious to this scheming or has something worked out for herself to counter the attacks. This time, Quinn comes out on top at the end, which is probably the lesser of two evils (Quinn is not nearly as capable of the same kind of treachery that Sandi is). In the end, Quinn and Sandi will probably give up the struggle when they both realize that the only prize is the right to control Tiffany and Staci like sock puppets.

Funny Throwaway Line of the Week - This one had me in stitches and I think I've repeated it to about ten people so far. It was the Sick Sad World trailer that went, "Meet the cannibal with a heart, before he eats it! Next." Classic!

Gambling Away the Future - No wonder Mr. DeMartino wanted to get out of Casino Night. I particularly enjoyed his attempts to give away his chips. He wanted to give them to Daria because she makes him "want to kill himself a little less" and to Jane because she is "so angular." His poker addiction had him so disoriented, he didn't realize that he could get rid of the chips in the same Daria and Jane did, betting them all on one spin of the roulette wheel. The gambling problem was one of the more interesting developments of this episode and it was a shame that it degenerated into Mr. DeMartino going around asking everyone to buy his watch.

Marital Bliss - Jake and Helen have more problems that most of us want to believe. Helen has taken him for granted virtually the entire series except for Jake of Hearts and Road Worrier and Jake resents her for it. All he is, is a puppy that wants his belly rubbed every once and a while. Not that he should go off on those little tirades, but they would be less frequent if Helen paid more attention to him. Then again, if Jake went on fewer tirades, Helen may pay more attention to him. It's one of those vicious things!

Appropriate Ending of the Series - The fact that the boat hit a garbage scow is interesting. I mean, they could have hit anything but they chose garbage. Maybe, whoever came up with this idea will take the hint and throw this "plot" in the garbage where it belongs.

This episode had a somewhat interesting premise that, in and of itself, wasn't a problem. The problem is that this episode was all over the place and that there wasn't much flow to the events that happened. In other words, the pace was clunky. This episode was far too similar to Fair Enough for me. Daria and Jane were thrust into a series of stupid situations that they very easily could have avoided. The parallels to Fair Enough are staggering and don't stop there. Let's go down the list, shall we. First, there is Miss Li making participation in a school sponsored event mandatory; been there, done that. Then there's Mr. DeMartino going into a rage for some reason, Quinn and Sandi's little duel, Miss Barch and "skinny" kind of hooking up together and some sort of large disturbance that ruins everyone's fun (Fair Enough had the food fight, Just Add Water had the Titanic-like crash). The ending with just Kevin and Brittany seemed borrowed. Even the titles of both episodes come from the realm of cliche-ville. Basically, it had most of the same elements, tweaked slightly with some new situations and repackaged in the hopes that no one would notice. Overall (everyone all together now), "it was just a bunch of stuff that happened."

The Bottom Line: Fair Enough on a boat.

Grade: C+ (Saved from a B by the fact that I saw this episode in season two.)

Daria as a Whole #1, Fun with Acronyms - Did anyone else notice that if you took the first letter in each word of the title of this episode, you get the word JAW? I wonder if they were in shark infested waters when they crashed.

Daria as a Whole #2, Stupid In-joke - As I mentioned above, I have made this review one giant self-referential "joke" as a response to how this episode turned out. A hundred points to anyone that "gets it." (Hint: look for the ghost of Delayed Reaction Reviews past and you'll eventually find the answer.)

Next Week - Jane is addicted to the drug of love.

Copyright © 1999 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

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