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  • Esteemsters
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  • Daria! - the musical
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  • Daria Day '98
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  • Road Worrier

    Written by: Anne D. Bernstein
    Directed by: Eric Fogel
    First Aired: July 7, 1997

    Cast | Quotes

    Jane uses her glue gun, the Stickmata 5000, alternately to threaten Daria and assemble a rather odd sculpture, which is subsequently destroyed by Trent's guitar practice. She drags Daria downstairs to complain and they find Trent rehearsing with his bassist, Jesse. After a stirring rendition of the Mystik Spiral classic "Ice Box Woman", Daria monosyllabically struggles through a conversation with Trent and she and Jane end up agreeing to accompany the two musicians to Alternapalooza, a huge music festival up in Swedesville. This of course means spending four hours in a van with Trent, a situation which Daria views with mixed feelings (Should she pray for the earth to open up and swallow her, or continue with her original plan to strangle Jane?).

    Meanwhile, in something of a departure from the way their characters have been established, the Fashion Club goes shopping. Sandi doles out her wisdom to the other girls and we find out that they too are going to Alternapalooza, to keep current on all the latest fashions, in music *and* clothes. Quinn jokes that maybe she should shave her head, and everyone laughs, but they do think temporary tatoos are a good idea.

    Helen and Jake, on the other hand, disagree. They also have a problem with letting Quinn get her navel pierced, though fake nose ring is acceptable, albeit more expensive. Quinn asks if either of her parents went to music festivals when they were young. Helen dodges Daria question about experimentation buy getting Jake to tell about his experience at Altamont, where he was successfully able to get his money back from the free concert.

    The day of the concert, Quinn and Daria both search for the perfect outfit to wear. For the first time ever, Daria forgoes her usual attire in favor of an old Halloween costume from the year she dressed up as me. Quinn somehow manages to look stylish in one a hideous, pseudo-Western ensemble, while Daria's desire to impress Trent has made her so desperate that she acutally takes Quinn's fashion advice and untucks her shirt (who tucks in a t-shirt, anyway?). Jake gives the girls some money and he and Helen anxiously wait for them to leave so they can have some time alone.

    As Jesse and Trent arrive in "The Tank", Daria's plan to look good for her crush begins to fall apart. Not only does Jane tease her for wearing "lipstique", she also bangs her head getting into the van. Not a good way to start things out. Quinn, however, has no trouble impresses her traveling companions, Joey, Jeffy, and Jaime, who instantly change their stances on the piercing issue when they see Quinn nasal clip-on.

    Things quickly go from bad to worse for Daria, thanks to Trent's smooth driving, winds up sitting on a peanut butter sandwich. Worse than that, despite Jane's best efforts to stop it, a bee stings Daria. To top it all off, Daria's glasses get broken and have to held together with duct tape. Stopping at Mom's Roadside Cafe, Daria asks Jane to shoot her, but Jane assures her that Trent's too oblivious for Daria to need to be self-conscious. As for the peanut butter stain? "It looks alternative."

    Back on the road, the tea Daria had earlier catches up with and she wants nothing more than to discreetly answer the call of nature. Of course with Jane, Jesse, and Trent in the car, discretion is not an option. Battling her own lack of balance and some peeping squirrels, Daria does her business and prepares to get lambasted back in the Tank. But Trent and Jesse are musicians and they've done much worse. Jesse takes this opportunity to remind Trent of the shirt Trent owes him.

    The rest of the trip goes off without a hitch, unless you count the van breaking down as a "hitch". Jesse and Jane blast off at the speed of light (never mind) to get help, leaving Daria alone with Trent (gulp!). They make small talk for time about guitar chords and tattoos, then Trent opens up about his worries that he'll never make anything of himself. Daria admits that that's possible but says that at least Trent's doing what he wants with his life. That's makes him fell a little better, and when he tells Daria that's she pretty cool, well, that makes her feel a LOT better.

    Jane and Jesse return and, despite coming up with a possible new name for the band, they've been unable to get help. All is not lost, though, as the Stickmata 5000 saves the day and the crew prepare to resume their course for Alternapalooza. Unfortunately, the concert's over and they head for home. Daria gets to sit up front with Trent, while Jane spends some quality snuggle-time with Jesse. And no one, least of all Daria, is disappointed that they missed the show.

    Reflections, observations, crap like that
    Jane's lost her interest in sci-fi conventions since "Esteemsters". It seems to me that she was given this line so that she and Daria wouldn't look like sci-fi geeks, thus alienating the "cool" people in the audience. Hmph.

    This episode is, according to the ongoing poll, the most popular one of the series. It's my personal favorite and the one that inspired me to make this website. I taped it when it first aired and watched it twice more that night. I guess I like it so much because of the way it deals with Daria's crush on Trent. You can't help but feel for her as she endures all these mishaps, and you can't help but feel happy for her when Trent says she's cool. It's one of the few times in the series that she's truly happy and of the few times she actually laughs. I suppose this episode speaks to anyone who's ever had an unrequited love (read: childish crush), which is me all over.

    The "terrible tragedy" Jake is referring to at Altamont occured when some Hell's Angels, having been hired as security (good move), beat a man to death. A similar incident took place at Lilith Fair, when Sarah Maclachan found meat in her "vegetarian" lasagna and rammed the delivery boy's head through a wall.

    Jake's stilted comment to watch out for the brown acid is a reference to Woodstock, where some bad LSD got into circulation.

    Daira's advice to her parents to "take plenty of rest breaks and stay hydrated" takes on whole new significance when you consider when Helen and Jake will acutally be doing while the girls are gone. Ew.

    When getting into the van, Daria hits the top of her head. Why, then, is the bump on her forehead?

    It would have been great if, at the beginning, Daria would have said to Jane "Away put your weapon, I mean you no harm." Just her delivery and the Star Wars reference and . . . oh, nevermind.

    One minute Jese doesn't know that he and Trent are going to Alternapalooza, the next he's an expert on the subject. It would have made more sense if Jane had asked if they were doing a show that weekend.

    Is it worth pointing out that Walt Disney was cremated, not cryogenically frozen? I didn't think so.

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