Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Daria-in-a-Box

"Boxing Daria" first aired on this date seven years ago. In addition, nine years ago today, the last names of Fashion Club members Stacy Rowe and Tiffany Blum-Deckler were revealed on MTV's Daria website. A historic day all around, I think.

The script of "Boxing Daria" is on Outpost Daria. Reviews and plot synopses can be found on Outpost Daria, Sick Sad World (here and here), and TV.com. The DariaWiki page on "Boxing Daria" is incomplete. This episode was once rated as the second-best one ever aired in the series.

But . . . what didn't you like about it? Other than it being the last episode and all, I mean.

Here are the bones I have to pick with BD:
  1. Daria has no idea she's been a gi-normous pain in the ass all her life? Seriously? I complained about this once before and still cannot believe it. As Bugs would say, "What a maroon!"
  2. Jane doesn't hug Daria when Daria hugs her. This isn't explained. Why? Was she remembering how Daria stabbed her in the back? Was MTV trying not to prove they were lesbians? What was up with that?
  3. Daria is being a total bitch to Tom. Why does he put up with this smart-assed abuse? Why doesn't he dump her and check out Quinn instead? I'd have totally forgiven him for DDMD if he had done that. Daria is the worst girlfriend in the universe. She must have the most raging monstrous case of chronic PMS in history.
  4. Where were the jokes? The funny stuff? Daria is anything but triumphant here, and she's barely even funny.
  5. Jake acts like he's so perceptive and understanding of Daria's intentions and feelings AFTER FIVE YEARS OF BEING A TOTAL SPACE CADET WHO DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HIS KIDS WHATSOEVER GAHDAMMIT!!! And he's obviously got some kind of psychiatric disorder. Why did Daria think he was such a hero in "Of Human Bonding"? He should have been eaten by squirrels.
There, I feel better now. Thank you for listening. More later.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always thought that Jane didn't hug Daria because it was such a shock that Daria -- who is not known for her touchy-feeliness -- was suddenly craving hugs.

road waffle said...

I like the episode, but agree fully on point number four - the lack of humour is the problem with a lot of episodes in seasons 4 and 5. The previous seasons did have serious, dramatic content but this was mixed in with the humour, making those shows much more enjoyable to watch.

There's an interview with Anne Bernstein where she talked about "Of Human Bonding", and said the Eichler inserted the "hero" line into her script. What the heck was he thinking?

E. A. Smith said...

The lack of humor struck me as well when I first saw it (on the IICY? DVD, as I was without cable during the 5th season), but once I realized that the thrust of the episode was dramatic instead of comedic, I realized just how brilliant it was, and how perfect it was for the final episode of the series.

As for Jane not hugging Daria back, I think the look on her face shows just how shocked she was at Daria's actions. No matter how close their friendship was, Daria had never been the hugging type, and the sudden desperate gesture of affection took Jane off guard. If the show had not cut immediately to the two of them talking, I think we would have seen either Jane recover and hug Daria back, or Daria disengage quickly out of embarrassment before Jane had a chance to really process what was going on. Either way, I don't think it says anything about Jane's feelings towards Daria that she didn't immediately return the hug, except that she knew Daria well enough to be utterly shocked at the action (though, knowing the emotional wringer Daria had been put through, it should not have been as much of a surprise to the audience).

the nightgoblyn said...

I've often thought Tom gave Daria more leeway because of how they got together. One part guilt, one part determination not to screw up another relationship.

Either that, or he was a robot.

Scissors MacGillicutty said...

I think E.A.'s nailed Jane's non-reaction to the hug. If you had a friend who...well, was like Daria, you'd be freaked if she suddenly displayed how importance you were to her and how vulnerable she could be.

As far as Jake being clued into Daria's state of mind, I can think of a number of precedents: "Arts 'n Crass," where he's rewarded with a penne a la pesto helmet for speaking up for Daria's right to say what she wants about LHS; the bit of business about paying for college in "Cafe Disaffecto"; his defense of Daria upon arriving at Quiet Ivy in "Psycho Therapy."

the bug guy said...

Daria's comments to her parents to me represented her going from intellectually knowing that she was difficult to fully understanding and being hit with the emotional power of that realization.

I'm sure many of us can look back to a point were we finally understood how difficult we had been for our parents to raise.