Holiday Island spirits (Cupid, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas, Halloween,
Guy Fawkes Day, President's Day [Lincoln and Washington], Arbor Day,
In this parody of sitcom holiday episodes, Daria is approached by Cupid and the St. Patrick's Day leprechaun, who want to enlist her help in bringing the spirits of Christmas, Halloween, and Guy Fawkes Day back to Holiday Island. Cupid zaps Helen and Jake with his "love taser" to keep them out of the way, causing them to become more amorous than ever and forcing Quinn to follow them around to prevent them from what she thinks is their intent to have another child.
Walking home from Jane's house, Daria encounters two kids identifying themselves as Cupid and the St. Patrick's Day leprechaun, who claim that Christmas, Halloween, and Guy Fawkes Day have left Holiday Island and came to Lawndale to start a band. Daria refuses to believe it, but is eventually convinced... starting with Cupid putting Helen and Jake under a love spell. At Jane's house, Daria meets the three errant holidays, who've come there to jam with Trent, and takes all of them out for pizza at Pizza King, where they encounter Cupid and St. Patrick's Day. Meanwhile, Quinn is convinced that her parents' newfound amorous feelings signal an intent to have another child, and starts following them around to keep them from having sex. Having failed to convince Daria to help them, Cupid and St. Patrick's Day attempt to recruit Kevin and Brittany, but redouble their efforts to get Daria's help after they actually talk to the two. A trip to the mall doesn't convince her, nor do the annoying antics of the three AWOL holidays, but an amorous Helen and Jake prove to be the last straw. When Daria and Jane arrive at Holiday Island, they find that it's just like a high school, and that the "beautiful people" -- in this case, the President's Day presidents -- have taken over. Daria cooks up a scheme to put Christmas, Halloween, and Guy Fawkes back in their rightful position at the top of the pack by convincing them to play at the Holiday Island High School Prom. The holidays decide to stay after they see who's running the place, and Quinn is finally off the hook when Cupid's love spell wears off and Helen and Jake go back to their old, arguing selves.
Historical & Cultural References:
- The title of the episode is a pun on Death Takes a Holiday, a 1934 movie starring Fredric March (which was remade in 1999 as Meet Joe Black, starring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt).
- "The savior went down to Georgia" is a pun on the 1979 Charlie Daniels Band classic, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
- The image of Guy Fawkes Day is based on the late British rocker Sid Vicious, the lead singer of the Sex Pistols.
- Daria's "God bless us, everyone" is Tiny Tim's line from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
- In the original airing of this episode, in the scene where Cupid and St. Patrick's Day first encounter Daria, Cupid's mouth doesn't move when he says, "My turn!" This mistake was fixed in subsequent airings.
- We see the view from Daria's bedroom window for the first time, and learn the exact location of her bedroom (towards the rear of the house, opposite from Quinn's room).
- A clear view of Daria's desk and bookshelves is given for the first time.
- Daria has a computer on her desk. It's generic-looking, but based on The Daria Database (as well as screen images in later episodes), she most likely has an Apple Mac tower.
- There is a strip mall called the Mega-Mega Mall next to the school, as seen through the window when Cupid and St. Patrick's Day are talking. This mall might be the possible location of the students' favorite hangout, Pizza King.
- The Lawndale Mall may or may not be the mall that The Daria Diaries calls "Cranberry Commons." If it's not, then the Lawndale area has three large malls: the Lawndale Mall, Cranberry Commons, and the Mall of the Millennium (even though, technically, it's 100 miles away).
- Thanks to the use of British slang words like "bollocks" and "wankers," this episode was heavily edited in Great Britain to remove the offensive terms. As such, many fans report that the scenes with Guy Fawkes Day were choppy to the point of resembling a movie trailer.
Jane - The more debased [the holidays] become, the less reason to celebrate them, and the less reason for my family to get together, until presto! I'm finally alone on Thanksgiving with a TV dinner.
Daria - Sometimes I wonder if you're too cynical, even for me.
St. Patrick's Day - Not another step, lassie.
Daria - All right, I'll sign.
Cupid - What?
Daria - Your petition for an alternative lifestyles parade. Where's the pen?
Cupid - (in Barry White voice) Everything is cool. Everything is love, baby. And the next word out of your mouth will be that particular someone who makes you feel like Queen Cleopatra.
Daria - Trent? Ooh! (runs away)
Jake - We're alone! Blissfully...
Helen - Alone.
(they start making out just as Quinn walks into the room)
Quinn - Dad, can I have a... ewww! I need a shower. (leaves quickly)
St. Patrick's Day - [Quinn] mustn't know about us.
Daria - Right, because you can't be seen by other mortals.
St. Patrick's Day - Seeing is okay. It's having to talk to that little twit that'd drive us crazy.
Trent - Come on, man, Daria's cool.
Halloween - She doesn't act like she's cool.
Jane - Sure she's cool. Come on, Daria, do something cool.
Daria - Um, anyone for pizza? My treat.
Halloween - This chick is cool.
Halloween - For one thing, you have to be happy all the time.
Christmas - Have you ever been forced to spread love and joy 24 hours a day?
Daria - I believe on that one I can go with a definite "no."
Guy Fawkes Day - Shut your gob, you little green--
St. Patrick's Day - Sod off, you British wanker!
Cupid - Soccer riot!
St. Patrick's Day - I'm warning you! This is going to screw up the natural order.
Jane - That's Daria's life mission.
Quinn - It's no fair making a popular person compete with a new baby.
Sandi - Really. They're so cute when they smile at you. "Hello, precious."
Quinn - Sandi!
Sandi - Oh, sorry.
Daria - See, Cupid shot Mom and Dad full of love so I'd help him get these guys back to Holiday Island.
Quinn - Are you taking some kind of experimental depression medicine?
St. Patrick's Day - Easy for you to relax. You haven't been oppressed for four centuries.
Cupid - Oh, yeah? Anybody ever make you fly around in a diaper?
St. Patrick's Day - Some friends of ours have come to Lawndale and we're hoping you can talk them into going home with us.
Kevin - No problem. I can talk anybody into anything.
Brittany - Yeah. He does it to me all the time.
Jane - This is just like a high school.
Daria - You know, I get the feeling we'll be saying that all our lives.
St. Patrick's Day - It only seems like high school. Actually, it's much worse.
Jane - That's what we'll be saying all our lives.
Delayed Reaction Review
It's Only A Dream:
I was half expecting "Depth Takes a Holiday" to end with Daria waking up and saying, "Wow, it was only a dream. I guess I shouldn't have eaten at Good Time Chinese Restaurant, or at least not order the nog." This episode seemed to switch from a real pace to a dream-like pace relatively fast. At times, it moved lightning quick with speedy changes of direction and at other times slowed down to a more realistic pace. It was like this episode couldn't decide whether it was a dream or not. In reality, the whole thing was a bad dream that should probably be forgotten.
I Can't Deal With This!
It seems that Jake and Helen have finally gotten the spice into their marriage. The subplot, involving Quinn's crusade to prevent any younger siblings, was the most "real" part of this episode. It fits perfectly into her character: she wants to be the most "popular" person in her family and she knows that a baby would at least be the center of attention for a while. Her method of attack was also appropriate for her. She weaseled herself in the middle of the situation she wanted to change. True to form, she ended up so bored of spending time with her parents that she ended up talking to herself and eventually gave up all together.
Miscellaneous Witty One Liners:
There were many one liners in "Depth Takes a Holiday" that seemed to comment (probably unintentionally) about the quality of the show, itself. I just thought it would be a good idea to go through some of these, especially since nothing else about this episode jumps out at me as being particularly important (in other words, I ran out of worthy things to write about). Just a word of warning, I changed some of them for "Another Lame Attempt at Humor(TM)."
1) The opening "Sick, Sad World" segment seemed to be a reference to the fact that because of the odd scheduling of Daria, this episode couldn't absolutely be shown at any holiday time (although it wasn't too far from St. Patrick's Day).
2) Jane utters the phrase "none of this makes any sense." Do you think they knew that this was probably what most of us were thinking while watching this episode?
3) The "Soccer Riot!" line was one of the few things that was actually funny. It's not really self referential, but it was one of the only highlights of the episode for me.
4) Being a "monk in a nunnery" doesn't sound too bad anymore, after watching this episode.
5) I now realize that "bollocks" is an English slang term that loosely translates as "balls." I went to the trouble of looking in my dictionary to see if "bollocks" appears. The closest thing I could find was "bollix" which means "to make a mess of." Sounds like it applies here, even if it wasn"t actually used in the episode.
6) Finally, The Holidays song lyrics, with some modification, pretty much sums up my opinion of this episode. Everyone all together now: "I'm watching this episode and it sucks!"
[Warning: Possibly Entering the Rant Zone (if we're not already there)]
The writers of this episode decided to break from the usual Daria format of reality based action to a more cartoon-ish, anything goes style for this episode. In my opinion, that is not the direction this series should go in, if it does then Daria would just be another lame Simpsons wannabe. "Depth Takes a Holiday" may not have looked as bad if it wasn't shown so close to "Daria!" which was similarly a non-reality based episode. However, that can't be used as an excuse for this episode. I can find no redeeming qualities in this episode, whatsoever. There were times that I did laugh. However, most of these laughs were tentative and almost in an "I can't believe that they actually made this episode" sort of tone. I'm not saying that episodes like this are inherently bad, it just seems that they've "gone to the fantasy well" one too many times with this episode. I can almost see the brainstorming session for the episodes of season three. It's two AM, the staff has decided on twelve ideas for plots of episodes after almost a whole day of looking for ideas and they're having trouble coming up with a thirteenth. Just when they are about to give up, a stoned intern walks in and says "Hey, I just saw some guy named Xmas with his girl, Halloween." One of the staffers, in a tired haze, says "that sounds like a good idea: people as holidays." The rest, as we say, is history. It was definitely an original idea that, more than likely, looked much better on paper than it did on the screen. I hope that this will be the last episode of this ilk for this season.
The Bottom Line:
It appears that depth wasn't the only thing that was on vacation.
F (Unfortunately, the big red F stamp makes its first appearance)
[Now Leaving The Rant Zone]
Daria as a Whole, Under the Spell:
Daria said "Trent." No surprise there. They're building to something.
Copyright © 1999 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.