I know, a new episode tomorrow and I'm just now putting this up.
Unfortunately MTV's inability to tell time was shown more blatantly
than usual last week and I was unable to get a complete tape of the
episode before Saturday.
On to "Camp Fear." This was written by the same guy who wrote "Groped by an Angel." It shows. Both episodes suffer from a major fault: setting up an opportunity to offer some real character insight and totally passing it up for a cheap message. This episode also suffers from the (now typical) attempt to do too much in too little time. Four threads in twenty minutes just isn't going to work.
We've got Helen and Jake and their relationship. Okay, nothing new here. No point to having them this episode, they did the same thing they always do (fight and make up) and the time could have better served the other plot lines.
Jane, Trent and the Spiral were okay. Spiral is always pretty funny to watch, but they're a low-dose entertainment. I can see them getting tired quickly, so it's a good thing they weren't overdone. Trent's little artistic crisis was handled decently, although the couple they ran into were rather overdone. Not unwrapping the cheese for their sandwiches? Jane was definitely shown off to the best effect this episode, teasing both Daria and her brother while supporting them at the same time.
Quinn was, well, Quinn. This was another plot we could have done without. Fashion Clones and the three Bs was taking things too far. It was probably meant to highlight Quinn's current relationships, but that was hardly necessary for the audience, and it doesn't seem to have made any real impact on Quinn. If she hadn't been carried away reminiscing she'd have guarded her tongue better and never mentioned Alex, so what is she going to get out of this? Be more careful around Sandi?
Which leaves Daria and Amelia. Daria's the only one seeing things
clearly this episode other than Jane. Jane realizes what's wrong with
her brother and his band, Daria sees the past as it was, not in some
idealized haze. Good start, and a great opportunity to explore why
she's the way she is. One that's totally passed up by the end of the
episode, of course. We get a couple of stories about bad camp experiences
and a couple flashbacks, but that's it. Okay, so maybe this was meant
as a filler episode instead of a development episode. It was pretty
funny, up until the end (rather like "Groped by an Angel" again).
All in all, an amusing episode with a message ending that manages to drag the whole thing down with it, complete with a wasted opportunity.