Ms. Li organizes a renaissance fair fundraiser to repair the library roof, and requires students to either participate or purchase a ticket. Daria and Jane purchase tickets, and get stuck consoling a heartbroken Stacy, while Quinn participates in a play, The Canterbury Tales, and is targeted for revenge by a jealous Sandi.
Daria is in the school library when the roof starts to leak. As she leaves, Kevin and Brittany come in from the rain to make out... just in time to have the roof collapse on them. In order to raise funds to get the roof repaired, Ms. Li organizes a "mandatory voluntary" medieval fair, which will feature rides, period entertainment, and a play, The Canterbury Tales. The play attracts hopefuls like Kevin, Brittany, Quinn, and Sandi to the auditions, where Quinn gets the lead part opposite Kevin. This makes Sandi extremely jealous, and motivates an angry Brittany to do everything she can to keep Kevin away on the day of the fair. At the fair, Helen and Linda Griffin get into another one-upmanship contest, while Daria and Jane try their best to avoid getting involved in any of the activities. The weirdness finally catches up with them, however, in the form of Stacy, who's upset over being dumped by a boy she had dated. She ends up sharing a ferris wheel ride with Daria and Jane, who manage to convince her to not flush her entire life down the toilet just because one jerk didn't ask her out again. Backstage at the play, Quinn is going over her lines when Sandi, who's still smarting over being passed over for the part, plants a tiny seed of doubt in Quinn's mind with regards to how a certain line should be spoken. Mr. O'Neill, meanwhile, is frantic over the fact that Kevin is still missing, and in desperation, he drafts Jeffy as a last-minute replacement. An angry Joey and Jamie point Jeffy to the wrong play, with the result being that Jeffy reads the wrong lines while Quinn places the wrong emphasis on her words. The audience erupts with laughter, which upsets Quinn, which angers Jake enough to get angry and start shouting at the audience members, which in turn starts a riot... with Linda and Sandi exchanging self-satisfied smirks at the carnage they've caused. As a devastated Mr. O'Neill goes to Ms. Barch for comfort and Jodie tries to find Ms. Li in order to quell the riot, Daria and Jane amuse themselves by telling a group of kids what life was really like during the Middle Ages.
Historical & Cultural References:
- Quinn would also go to Jake for help with a school-related assignment in "Lucky Strike" (#506). Obviously, she hadn't learned her lesson from Jake's useless advice in this episode...
- Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is a novel, set in the 14th Century, about a group of travellers who keep their spirits up on the journey via a series of short stories.
- Guildenstern is a character from the William Shakespeare play Hamlet.
- The ballads of Robin Hood actually date back to the early 1200's, contemporary with John I ("John Lackland," aka the Evil Prince John from the Disney movie), who raised taxes for the poor to pay for Richard I (Couer de Lion, "Lion Heart") on Crusade, and then ransom him after he was captured by enemies.
- Edward II reigned from 1307-1327 and lost Scotland, as depicted in the movie Braveheart. He was executed after the nobles discovered that he had a male lover from France (sodomy and treason!). His wife, Isabeau of France (who had lovers of her own), was mother to the ruthless Edward III. Through her bloodline, Edward III claimed the throne of France, touching off the Hundred Year's War, contemporary with the Black Death. His daughter, Princess Joan, died of the Plague while in Bourdeaux, France.
- Jamie's last name (White) is revealed here for the first time, making him the only one of the "Three J's" to receive an official last name. The only other mention would be in "Fizz Ed" (#501).
Mr. O'Neill - Now, why do you think it is that Tolstoy felt he had to make War and Peace so darned... unpleasant? Daria?
Daria - So no one would pester him to do a sequel?
(after Ms. Li announces the medieval fair)
Daria - That may be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
Jane - I know. We gotta go!
Quinn - "I will make a dainty garland for my head and sing. I will make a dainty garland for my head and sing. I will make a dainty garland for my head and sing."
Daria - With a hey-nonny-nonny, tra-la, tra-la. Would you give it a rest?
Helen - Quinn, Daria's very happy to be seeing you in your play. Aren't you, Daria?
Daria - "I will make a dainty garland for my neck and choke."
Upchuck - (sings) I am the brave Sir Chuck, Sir Chuck, manly and strong and quick...
Jane - (sings) I'm going to cut out your tongue, your tongue, and fry it up on a stick!
Jane - Should we get our fortunes read?
Daria - I'll pass. Knowing the present is bad enough.
Jane - Then how about a Ferris wheel ride?
Daria - Do I look desperate to you?
Sam and Chris - Crusades! Crusades!
Upchuck - Ladies... wait till you hear "The Ballad of the Misunderstood Minstrel."
Daria - Do I look desperate to you now?
Jane - Yep.
Daria - Let's go.
Daria - Look, don't flush your entire world down the drain just because some jerk didn't ask you out on a second date. It probably had nothing to do with you anyway.
Jane - Unless you did something really stupid, like bore him with your petty problems and convoluted logic.
Stacy - Why would I do that?
Stacy - Then, do you think I should call him?
Daria - Yes. Right now. Before I commit justifiable homicide.
Jane - (robotically) Must...stick...head...cold...water.
Jane - Uh-oh, someone just put us in a position of responsibility.
Daria - The day has suddenly turned sinister.
Delayed Reaction Review
Heart Attack Watch:
Jake is really coming into his own as a useful comedic character in the series. While most of his scenes aren't exactly plot advancing, he does add a comedic kick-start, despite being almost transparent (even Quinn is starting to realize not to go to him for advice, or at least to go at your own risk). He almost knows that he is inadequate, since he equates helping Quinn with just giving her money, instead of actually trying to help her. Quinn eventually got on stage what Jake did: snickers.
Blasts from the Past:
Andrea had a line!!! She didn't appear on screen, but she had a line!!! Upchuck was devilishly in character for his limited role. Does anyone else think it was fitting that he was dressed as the jester at the fair? At least he got what was coming to him (a knee to the groin). Daria and Jane saw the day turn sinister when they were put in charge of the information booth and, boy, did they give out the information on medieval times!
Continuity of the Week:
We get to see Sandi's brothers and mom again, which I honestly didn't expect. Helen is still trying to keep up with Linda and she always feels that she falls short. But did we really have to see them again? Ms. Li still acts as if she were either one of Hitler's underlings or the warden of a maximum-security prison. Mr. O'Neill and Ms. Barch also continued their good fortune. It's good to see that the writers haven't completely forgotten what has been established.
Fashion Club Blues:
Tiffany is up to her old tactics: sucking up to Sandi or Quinn (whichever one she is talking to). But the real blues are with Stacy; she seems to be falling out of favor with the Fashion Club gods, and the worst part for her is that they don't even care. Sandi and Tiffany couldn't be bothered by Stacy's "petty problems" in her time of need. Sandi and Quinn's "friendly" rivalry keeps right on going. They are barely being civil to each other as it is, and it's only a matter of time before they try to claw each other's eyes out.
I must admit that I didn't react favorably when I realized that the premise of this episode was a medieval fair, but it wasn't beaten to death and wasn't the most detrimental part of this episode. My main gripe about this episode was that it was too disjointed, story-wise. To me, "Fair Enough" seemed to be just a couple of completely different events that happened to take place over a short period of time with no real beginning, middle or end. It kind of reminds me of the end of one episode of "The Simpsons" where Marge asks Homer what the moral of the episode was and he says, "I dunno, it was just a bunch of stuff that happened," but I digress. There really wasn't much of a conclusion, but there wasn't much of a plot, either. All of the characters seemed to be in the same problem they were in during the episode at the end. This episode was too similar to "The Daria Hunter" for me: Daria and Jane are thrust into a series of stupid situations for no reason that they very easily could have avoided. The only thing that makes "Fair Enough" better is that there were many more independently funny moments (which "The Daria Hunter" lacked entirely). "Fair Enough" has its moments but really isn't that strong of an episode.
B- (saved from a C by the food fight scenes and the part where Mack as a dragon got beat up).
Daria as a Whole, Title Character Syndrome:
I know that Daria is the title character, but why does everyone has to ask her opinion on everything? This has happened in just about every episode and as recently as "Gifted." I guess the best reason would be to set up her witty one-liners. :)
Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved]. Used with permission. The views presented here are those of the author, and may or may not necessarily be those of Outpost Daria Reborn.