Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#410 (4-49), "Legends of the Mall"

MDRR #410 (4-49)

The Rattling Girl of Lawndale - This story didn't do much for me. Like I've probably said thousands of times, I'm not too fond of "Fashion-Club-worrying-about-their-popularity" stories. Though I could see the Fashion Club falling for this little story.

Metal Mouth - This was probably my favorite of the three urban legends told in this episode (and some of that has to do with the very end of the episode). It was funny and a little suspenseful even if it wasn't "rolled up in a neat package." Speaking of that, Trent's narration added to the amusement, especially when he said, "some say that's what drove him to madness, others say, you know, no...."

The House of Bad Grades - I liked the 50's look and feel of this short. However, some of the 50's clichés were way overplayed, like the "Cold War" and "girls don't go to college" routines (which were obviously based somewhat on the truth but exaggerated, much like everything in almost any urban legend). Other than that, I enjoyed it, though Daria's laugh did feel a little bit off.

Of course, this episode doesn't really lend itself to too much more analysis, but I'm not one to back away from a challenge, so I'm going to try anyway:

Adventure on Wheels - Trent more or less kept a lot of this episode together, in my opinion, and much of his involvement had something to do with his car and its trouble. He even got in a lot of "jokes" (some of them probably weren't intended as jokes) about it. Especially about the smell, the car's capacity (apparently, it has as much room as your average clown car) and its "steal-ability."

Through the Cracks - Hey Jake did his best to "save" Quinn and get her home safely, too bad no one really noticed. However, he shouldn't need any recognition - he's supposed to keep her safe. He was just looking for more attention.

Amateur Debunker? - Jane was real quick to dismiss the Metal Mouth story because the same song always played from the teeth. However, she seemed to fall hook line and sinker for the Bad Grade House story. It probably was the "evidence" of all those minimum wage workers. Scoff.

Metahumor of the Week - The easy one was that Jake was cooking lasagna (which is also the Running Gag of the Series). The other was all the roaming alter-egos in all the stories, my favorite was Mack's Dr. Hibbert impression. I wonder if the football coach back in the 80's told him to "Run, DMC."

Obviously, this is a filler episode that isn't intended for anything except some good-natured fun. And fun it was. First, I'm sort of fascinated by urban legends (if you all knew how much time I spent looking at the Urban Legends Reference Page). Second, I wasn't taken by this episode until the very end when Helen was retelling part of the Metal Mouth story to a very surprised Daria and Jake. Finally, like it or leave it, Legends of the Mall produced a lot of funny quotes.

Grade: B+

Daria as a Whole #1, Alter-Ego of the Week - Kevin Kojak (At least that's who I thought he was supposed to be)

Daria as a Whole #2, Parallel Universe - One thing that occurred to me with this episode, is that the filler episodes of season four seem to have a parallel filler episode in season three. When I say parallel, I don't mean that the season three episodes were just tweaked a little, I'm saying that these newer filler episodes have had a similar tone to their predecessor. The two pairs that jump out in my mind are Depth Takes a Holiday with Murder She Snored and this episode with The Lawndale File. Also, to a lesser extent, Mart of Darkness could be compared to Just Add Water. I'm not saying this is good or bad, though I'd lean toward good because the filler episodes this year have been much better. And I'm just talking about the filler episodes - I doubt there are any parallel for episodes like Daria!, Lane Miserables or I Loathe A Parade.

Copyright © 2000 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

"Daria" and all related characters are © 1997-2000 MTV Networks, Inc.