May 26, 2001
The mid season slump is over. We should see a straight run through to the end of the season, then hit another slump while we wait for the movie. We don't know much about Monday's episode yet, except that Charles is appearing in a magic act and Jane is going to get rather aggressive about finding a new date (and end up with someone who dresses like he's in the 50's).
On to "One J at a Time" and let's start with the easy ones. The
three Js were, well, themselves. Eager to please Quinn but, through
no fault of their own, unable to do so. Most interesting bits here
were the look on Jeffy's face when Quinn mentioned the cemetery plots
and Jamie's attempted comment when Quinn said listening is important.
I get the feeling that Jamie would be a halfway decent guy if he was
given the chance (and this goes back at least as far as "Write Where
Jane isn't in this episode much. More of a "she's still here" appearance than anything. Finding out that Tom never met her parents was about all we get on her, and that is quite a point. She was dating Tom for, what? A year? And he never once met her folks. Jane's folks do roam rather more than the Morgendorffers, but still.
Speaking of the Morgendorffers, Jake is the biggest goof around.
Still. It's too late in the season to expect him to get any character
growth at all. After "Jake of Hearts" we could have expected something,
but it hasn't shown up. This guy's definitely having a mid-life crisis
and trying to recapture his youth. Now if he'd only realize he's a
For new writers they got Daria down very well. Snippy, sarcastic, manipulative. The comfort-food bit wasn't something that's really been shown before, and it doesn't seem much more than a "they aren't as different as" piece, but other than that she was handled very well.
Tom... poor Tom. Things start off well enough. He sends Daria a
first-edition book. I didn't get the title for sure, but if it was
Death and Fame then a fine quality 1st edition would run about $25.
About the right range for a teen guy sending a no-reason gift to his
girlfriend. Tom's family may be rich, but we have no idea what kind
of cash he has. Some rich families are pretty light on the allowance,
so his parents may be trying to teach him the value of a dollar. Then
again, look at what he drives... He's even quick to pick up on what
Daria's doing to Quinn and play along.
There's only really one more problem I had with this episode. Helen's little talk with Quinn pulled us back to "Groped by an Angel" territory. Quinn is again told that she should do whatever makes her happy. Now, this is MTV. Hedonism is good is a message I can see them pushing. I just hate to think what this sort of thing is going to turn Quinn into. She's already been Keg Queen, imagine her coed years...
Over all it's pretty funny, and this is probably the best performance for Daria we've seen this season. Unfortunately it's tied down with a couple major problems. It's surprising they'd pull in a couple new authors this late in the show, but it's a decent introduction.