Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Prize Fighters" Revisited, AU Style

In an alternate Dariaverse, fifty-eight years ago today, Horace Sloane donated lands surrounding the town of Lawnburg to the state, to create the Horace Sloane State Forest. As a consequence, Lawndale was never formed. You can see the cascade of events thereafter in MMan's most excellent AU fanfic, "Anywhere But Here." Congratulations, MMan!

In our reality, seven years ago today, MTV broadcast the third-to-last regular Daria episode, "Prize Fighters." This episode is consistently rated by fans as one of the least liked productions in the series (e.g., TV.com, Sick Sad World, Daria by Numbers). Thumbnail outlines of the plot are available (Answers.com, Outpost Daria), as is a complete script (Outpost Daria). Perhaps someone could flesh out the DariaWiki page for this episode. Looks a little thin.

How could this episode have been improved? Rather than ask for an Iron Chef with AU versions of this tale, let's talk it out in the Comments. How would you have written "Prize Fighters"? What would you have done differently? What would you have hoped to see?

Me, I think one of the three could have won the prize, which would have made it interesting. I'd like to have seen Upchuck win here, as his slimy persona would have fit perfectly with the slimy persona of Wizard, Inc. Plus, it would have thrown Upchuck into an entirely new light, and he badly needed a character revamp. He could have shocked everyone and been a winner!

I also think Daria and Jane's argument sounded a bit lame and should have been made clearer or dropped. Jane could have been given a lot more depth here, as far as her resentment of Daria's attempts to get the scholarship. And Daria just seems to cave in to everyone's expectations and violate her own principles. She could have smelled the coffee and gotten motivated on her own, without telling anyone; the failure would then have been painful, when it was sort of a big nothing here in the series.

Your turn. Have at it.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that if only Daria had been the one with the wasabi gummi fish, it would have been the best Daria episode ever!

The Angst Guy said...

I was just now thinking that that episode wasn't all that funny. It needed a lot more humor, period.

jtranser said...

Yeah, I efinitely could see Upchuck winning out. First of all, he's a true Junior Acheivement Club personality. And in real life, those are often the kids who get the brass ring. As one guy I knew who was in JA said" 'It's not the product, it's the marketing.'

the nightgoblyn said...

Plus, this episode was another example of "Daria gives in" and I was pretty sick of that theme by then.

The Angst Guy said...

I really wish this had been a "Daria wins" story. I'm tempted to write my own version of it, but I'd have to find a way to get ebola and Holiday Island into it.

Anonymous said...

BG here. It's funny that you mention this ep, as I base a monologue of Charles in the latest ep of LLH loosely upon it (and also mention how Jane was surprised that Charles wasn't invited to Grove Hills along with Daria and Jodie. He would have fit in VERY well there - but gotten chased out when he started doing too well with the girls and started causing GPA's to go down).

Yeah - Charles should have won - and finally gotten some respect.

The Angst Guy said...

Charles winning would have shocked Daria and Jodie to the Nth degree. That alone would have been worth watching.

Scissors MacGillicutty said...

It's actually one of my favorites, but probably for the same reasons everyone else hates it.

Oh well.

The Angst Guy said...

It's actually one of my favorites, but probably for the same reasons everyone else hates it.

??? Moar, pleez.