I’m going to do something a little different today. Instead of reviewing a traditional film, I’m going to go over a film length episode of one of my favourite TV shows of my 20s. The show in question? Daria. The episode? The movie length final episode, “Is It College Yet?”
Spinning off from Beavis and Butthead, Daria was everything that they weren’t – intelligent, witty, cynical, arch, distrusting of society, aware, tied to and annoyed by pop culture. And, pretty much everything that I was as a member of Generation X, so of course I identified with the character and the show. It was one of those shows that I never missed an episode of, at least from the first four seasons, until it stopped being broadcast here. Thankfully, with the recent release of the complete series, I have been able to catch up on the rest of the show. So, watching this will be a first for me.
And, because I think it’ll be that sort of film, I’m going to liveblog it.
00:00-00:05 – Holy crap, graduation. I knew I shouldn’t have started off with the final film. Now I have spoiled it for myself (only not really at all)
00:07-01:00 – One thing I have always liked about this show is the fact that it does zany montages really well for an animated show, and this one is no different, showing all the characters that we know and love in various stereotypical “college” settings from the 1920’s up to the (broadcast) present day.
01:30-02:30 – Apparently, applying to colleges can be a pain in the ass, what with the threat of rejection and all. I never had that problem, since I went to good ol’ As Long As The Cheque Clears U. And, that’s Daria’s problem set.
02:35-02:45 – Who can spend $600 on shoes? Quinn Morgandorffer, that’s who.
03:30-03:35 – And in what can only end in lots of WSD, Quinn has to go get a job. I SMELL COMEDY MONTAGES!
04:25-04:32 – Another great ongoing thing from the show makes a final appearance, in the form of Sick Sad World. Flame Wars: The Next Generation, in which you can set message board miscreants on fire... don’t lie, you’d use it.
04:45-05:05 – From the sounds of it, everyone’s safety is in Boston. Why do I get the feeling that this was setting up to be Daria: The College Years (as opposed to Daria: The Next Generation, which would feature no one but Mr Belding and Screech).
06:55-08:10 – Wow, I just learned that State U., is for dumb people and minorities. Good thing it’s not a community college or they’d have to get really meta on themselves.
09:30-10:55 – And Quinn gets a job at a snooty restaurant. Now I really smell WSD. Or, in true After School Special, a problem to overcome – because movies and TV have taught me that nothing good comes from being invited to the older kids parties, except a lesson to be learned.
13:10-15:00 – And Daria learns the hard way that stumbling on interviews is a silly thing indeed... at least her inner voice is being as sarcastic as usual. Silly girl, don’t you realise that the same sarcasm that got you through high school doesn’t work on the truly pretentious? That’s why everyone hates hipsters (but only the poseur ones).
16:00-16:50 – And Daria just keeps learning about life and how it screws you over if you let other people make plans for you. Will she ever get to Boston?
17:10-17:20 – Not in this traffic she won’t.
17:50-18:20 – And she arrives, late, wet, annoyed and even more cynical at life. Methinks that this is portentous. Of something. Don’t worry Daria, I’ve always wanted to smack Tom around too – he’s always struck me as a bit of a self-centered dork.
19:25-20:10 – And it all becomes clear now, just for the few who hadn’t figured it out: everyone else has their plans for Daria’s future and haven’t asked her what she wants, leaving her even more alone and cynical. If she were real, she’d have probably shot up a school by now.
20:20-20:50 – College parties are the same no matter time or place, pretentious smugness pours out of them regardless of the clique you are in. And Quinn is going to find that out the hard way.
20:50-22:15 – And Jane is playing our “Get’s Rejected From All Her Colleges” role and decides to be the “Fuck you, Colleges” super artist. Because there is always one, and you just know that that is the person who will end up making a million dollars and becoming a pop culture icon.
22:15-23:00 – Well, the hard way seems to be Quinn seeing that people are actually nice and not superficial. WHAT SIDE WILL SHE CHOOSE; THE NICE, WORLDY KIDS OR THE FASHION CLUB?
23:30-24:10 – And in the “Did I Do That?” plot of the film, Stacy wished for Sandy to shut up, and then Sandy lost her voice and Stacy thinks it’s because of her and now she doesn’t know what to do, OMG!!!
25:30-28:05 – Jane is now so very anti-college that she needs to be given the “education helps” speech from Little Miss “I Got Into Raft, my second choice, without so much as an interview and no one is excited for me” Morgendorffer. And, because we are only halfway through, Daria just doesn’t give a crap about her own plans anymore, and doesn’t want to let down anyone else. Anyone else think that she’ll realise that following her own dreams will make her mother even happier? Yeah, me too.
31:00-32:15 – Yep, and lo, she did.
32:20-33:20 – You know someone is making a bad decision, when it’s up to Quinn to be the voice of reason.
35:30-37:40 - And here is the “I’ll follow my plans, if you follow yours” scene, which puts Daria and Jane back on track. Methinks everything is going to work out so well for everyone that the film will end with a flying car shooting into the clouds. They come together, like rama lama ding dong.
39:00-40:00 – Meanwhile, back in “Did I Do That?”, we hopefully have our first WSD, in which Stacy is going to try good ol’ witchcraft. Let’s sit back and watch the hilarity ensue, shall we?
40:10-40:40 – Stacy accidentally chokes Tiffany with the potion, then confesses to Sandi and says that she never wanted to hurt her, all while Tiffany is choking on the floor next to them. Hilarity has ensued, and all is right with the world.
40:40-40:55 – Hey look, more WSD. This time, it’s the old “Why are these charges so high? Hang on, I opened someone else’s mail by mistake” gambit.
43:00-44:00 – And here is Quinn’s chance to man up, or at least get suckered into losing her job? Or not.
46:00-47:10 – And, following the inevitable (and long overdue) breakup up Daria and Tom, it’sup to Quinn?!?!?!? to be the voice of reason and assuredness. When the hell did this show enter Bizzaro World? Why is Quinn the one making sure that everyone will be OK? I’m scared. Somebody hold me.
47:30-49:00 – Seriously...I’m scared. Why is she being the voice of reason? Why? How? At least she’s realising that people can be bitches.
50:00-51:00 – Long story short; Brittney is going to college, Kevin didn’t even graduate. They are, and will always remain, idiots. And that’s all I have to say about that.
53:00-57:00 – Hey, look, lots of resolution, growth and lessons being learned – I think it’s almost the end of the film. Now we just need the graduation.
58:00-61:20 – More resolution #2, this time: graduation party. I just realised how much Sandi sounds like a female Jeff Albertson. And, in a move that surprises no one – Jane and Daria will be matriculating in the same town.
62:09-62:12 – Kevin attends the graduation ceremony in a fake moustache, but still in his usual clothes. WSD!
63:10-64:00 – Inspiring speech from Daria, and it’s true: no problem beats pizza.
THE END! That was a good ending to the show, very reminiscent of the telemovie that ended the original Degrassi.