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  • The Misery Chick

    Written by: Glenn Eichler
    Directed by: Karen Hyden ,
    Paul Sparagano ,
    & Machi Tantillo
    First Aired: July 21, 1997

    Cast | Quotes

    Lawndale High is abuzz over the return of football hero Tommy Sherman, who is to have a goalpost dedicated in his honor. However, when Tommy arrives the man hardly lives up to the legend. He hits on Brittany, mocks Kevin and Mack, and when Daria refuses to bow to his imagined authority, accuses her of being a "misery chick", the type who goes on about what a cruel world this is "so nobody'll notice [she's] a loser."

    When Tommy dies soon after this, crushed by his own goalpost, Daria comes to the realization that he wasn't the only person who saw her this way. Jane starts to avoid her - feeling both guilty over the jokes she herself was making before Tommy's death and uncomfortable with Daria's apparent callousness - and everyone else comes to her for consolation because, as Brittany puts it, Daria's "used to being all gloomy and depressed and thinking about bad stuff."

    Frustrated by everyone's misinterpretation of her realism, Daria confronts Jane, who informs Daria that the reason everyone thinks she is a misery chick is not because Daria thinks about bad stuff, but that she actually thinks at all. Daria is the only one at Lawndale High who doesn't prescribe to the happy illusion of life and when that illusion is shattered, the other students don't know how to cope and so they seek out the one person they can draw strength from until the status quo is reestablished.

    Things quickly do return to normal, except that Daria now has a reputation as a grief counselor, and we're given a light moment to cap off this rather deep episode, with Daria exploiting Sandi's concern for her cat.

    Reflections, observations, crap like that
    Do I want to know where Daria pulled that pencil and notepad from?

    The close-up of Daria just before the second commercial break is the ugliest they have ever drawn her.

    Daria seems more comfortable with Trent a since their experience together in "Road Worrier".

    As a general rule, anyone who uses the phrase "That's the name; don't wear it out" is a complete jerk.

    This episode ranks, with me, right up there with "Road Worrier" because it deals with how others see Daria as opposed to how she views herself. This is something I often think about in relation to myself.

    Daria's conversation with Jane in the third act is one of the greatest moments in the whole series.

    This episode succeeds because seeing how everyone deals with Tommy Sherman's death gives us insight into their characters that we don't normally get to see. Besides, it usually has greater impact when a normally humorous show deals with heavy topic such as death. It catches you off-guard and, though it's a cliche by now, it really makes you think.

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