Monday, March 17, 2008

The Other Saint Patrick's Day, Sort Of

Today is the real Saint Patrick's Day, only for religious reasons it isn't the real Saint Patrick's Day, so here is the Holiday Island version of same who has nothing religious about him at all. Perfect. He and Tiffany should go out, only he's probably too short for her. And why doesn't he have any fanfic about him? He's Irish! Everyone loves the Irish, more or less. Fanfic, people, fanfic! Begora! Or however you spell that. I should look up to see what that means. (LATE ADD: It's actually "begorra" and means "by God!" Irish is such an interesting language.)

"Depth Takes a Holiday" was such a whacked-out episode, and it had one of the best lines in the entire series, when Quinn tells Daria, "That's the problem with you brains: you think lying is child's play." I wish I had written that. That is an awesome line.

It has been instructive for me, a latecomer to Daria fandom, to read some of the essays written about
"Depth Takes a Holiday" when it first aired. Some examples are given here. The feelings are quite intense and rather raw.

Some fans loved the episode, though. I confess that, because of the episode's weirdness and because it opens the door for all sorts of bizarre "canon" fanfics (and because it treated itself as "realistic," did not violate character, and did not break the fourth wall to crudely wink at the viewer), I rather like that episode. I like it a lot, in fact, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.

Which episode is my least favorite? Actually, I'd have to say "Daria!" (the musical). It committed at least three hideous sins:

  1. It broke the fourth wall, which is not a bad thing in itself but, with the singing and dancing, it reduced the episode to complete silliness.
  2. It had singing and dancing. I don't like musicals.
  3. It presented a situation so out-of-character for the participants and so in violation of all previous episode continuity that it became impossible to explain even when using fantastic explanations, except to say that nothing that happens in the series was meant to make any sense. I can handle a wormhole in the back of a Chinese restaurant leading to Holiday Island, but not singing and dancing and violating the fourth wall during a hurricane. Maybe I just have a lack of imagination, but that was one thing too many for me to swallow.

"Daria!" - No.

"Depth Takes a Holiday" - Yes, very.

One odd thing about "Depth Takes a Holiday," though: Who was Halloween talking to on the telephone when she was planning mischief in a rich neighborhood? ("Just get the toilet paper and meet me out front and we'll play it by ear. Oh, and don't forget the eggs.") I never figured that out. Anyone have a good idea? Talk about loose ends. (Fanfic, people, fanfic!)

Meanwhile, on PPMB, we have new screen captures of Daria the Superhero in Paragon City. I like this series; the pictures are wild. More soon.


Greybird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greybird said...

{... now that he's had his coffee (in other words, let's try that one again, with real ground grammar) ...}

In your fanfics, you've turned Jane into a metaphysical goddess, and resurrected Daria into an angel ... and yet you see mere singing, dancing, and breaking the fourth wall as being "hideous"? Whatever, dude. {rueful smile}

I thought both "Depth Takes a Holiday" (the most sparkling, multi-level pun of all those punnish titles) and "Daria!" were thoroughly enjoyable. They played nicely upon the so-satirical-we're-bent thrust of the series, something that was often more hinted at than actually brought to fruition.

(High school is bizarre, but not nearly as thoroughly so as the Daria writers incessantly suggest. Most of it is merely mind-numbingly boring.)

Even with the musical setting taking those twists, it still was recognizably comic and a well-turned performance wrinkle upon past fiction reality — without a spot of a tincture of truly alien concepts, such as *ahem* angst.

I noted much more about the delights of "Daria!" here.

And as to "continuity," well, think of how boring your fanfic-writing lives would've ended up being if that had been strictly followed! No filling in, say, the details of Burnout Girl? Can't have that. {g}

The Angst Guy said...

Singing and dancing are very hard to put into fanfic. And the image of Daria and Jane, arms linked and doing what looked like a square dance on the high-school roof... I wanted to cry out, "God, why are You doing this to me?"

I guess I can stomach Daria looking at me and talking to me during commercial interludes and acting like a cartoon actor then, but not during a show, when you want that illusion of reality to hold true. Bugs Bunny can do that, but not Daria.

Greybird said...

Singing and dancing gets in the way of that "illusion of reality" ... as against, say, flying off a cliff, body intact? Raising sentient crustaceans from outer space at a Montana cabin? Having one's brother provide the initial *aHEM!* deposit for one's daughter?

{PrincessBride} As you wish. {/PrincessBride} {g}

The Angst Guy said...

Well, at least one can point to "Depth Takes a Holiday," "Legends of the Mall," or "A Tree Grows in Lawndale" and say, "Hey, if that's canon, sentient crustaceans are all right!" Although I actually thought they were more like big mutant praying mantises, like on that old wildlife documentary, "The Deadly Mantis," where this gigantic mantis eats cars in New York's Holland Tunnel. That was so cool.

The Angst Guy said...

I've decided to post something about this topic. It's an important issue (as such things go) and it would be good to hear some debate about it.