Thanks to her bratty brothers, Sandi falls down a flight of stairs and breaks her leg. Having put on a few pounds while recuperating, Sandi is too embarrassed to return to school, forcing a Fashion Club crisis but providing an idea betting opportunity for Daria and Jane.
At Sandi's house, the Fashion Club is reviewing guidelines for new membership, and among the changes is a reduction in the maximum allowable weight (a change that Sandi, as usual, forces the others to accept). Sandi suddenly falls victim to the antics of her brothers Sam and Chris, whose argument over a toy truck's remote control causes her to fall down the stairs and break her leg. Quinn is upset about Sandi's predicament yet tries to keep the club going, but Stacy and Tiffany don't seem to mind Sandi's absence. At school, the girls are discussing the latest in fashion when Quinn sees Sandi hobbling down the hallway on crutches... and quite a few pounds heavier. Quinn, Stacy and Tiffany try to cover up their shock, but when Quinn tries to show the Three J's that Sandi has returned, it's too much for her; Sandi rushes out of the school, panting and wheezing because she's now out of shape. A tearful Sandi tells Quinn that she's going to honor the Fashion Club's weight requirements and resign the presidency, but to prevent Quinn from taking over, she guilt-trips Quinn into resigning as well. Upon hearing the news, Daria and Jane -- who've been making friendly wagers over everything from candy to the antics of Kevin and Mr. DeMartino -- make a bet to see whether the Fashion Club will survive without their two leaders. Stacy and Tiffany try to go it alone, but it soon becomes obvious that they need Quinn and Sandi to survive. Unfortunately, they're stuck, as Quinn refuses to betray her word to Sandi (after Jane secretly guilt-trips her) and Sandi obviously isn't going to come back as long as she's overweight. They try everything they can -- even attempting to trick the Three J's into joining -- but Stacy eventually gets fed up with Tiffany's self-absorption and lack of leadership, blows up at her, and quits. It looks like Jane has won the bet, but it's not to be: Sandi returns, thin as she was before she left, thanks to Quinn (who -- with some prodding from Daria -- put Sandi on a rigid exercise regimen). The next Fashion Club meeting is an indicator of how much things have changed for the girls, as Sandi is now more sympathetic to overweight people and Stacy and Tiffany are now standing up for their opinions, rather than being cowed into submission.
Sandi - Obviously, I'm the only one in this room concerned with the burgeoning obesity problem tearing apart the very fabric of our land.
Stacy - Not the fabric!
Quinn - And the doctor said Sandi's leg will be in a cast for at least a month. Poor Sandi. Crutches don't go with anything.
Daria - That's the same thing those land mine victims are always complaining about.
Mr. DeMartino - Brittany. Would you care to tell us some of the factors leading up to the Great Depression?
Brittany - Um, when people realized they had no money they got really depressed?
Mr. DeMartino - Brittany, explain something. Do you perhaps harbor a powerful phobia that it might actually hurt to think?
Brittany - Um, I think that's pronounced "pheebia."
Sandi - Gee, Tiffany, why don't you take a picture? It will last longer.
Tiffany - But I don't have a camera.
Jane - Did I hear right? The death of the Fashion Club? That at last the people shall be free?
Daria - Not likely. That club's like a hydra. You cut off one airhead, two more grow back.
Stacy - So what's the first item of business, President Quinn? The best president ever!
Tiffany - Long live the Quinn! Hey...!
Quinn - You're going to carry on the Fashion Club mission. You'll stop the vertically challenged from wearing really fat stripes, point out icky fibers to icky fibers wearers, and fight frosted shadows wherever you go, unless it's at a costume party. You'll hold yourselves up to the highest standards possible. No ankle boot too pointy, no chartreuse too chartreusey, and no mock turtleneck too mocky. And finally, you will never, ever date anyone less attractive than you are... although equally attractive is okay.
Stacy - Let's begin with a debate on crew necks. Now, I think people with long necks look really good in them because they make their necks look long.
Tiffany - Do you think I look good in crew necks?
Stacy - Of course. You look good in anything. But what about the color? I think I prefer pastels.
Tiffany - Do you think I look good in pastels?
Stacy - Um, yes, Tiffany. Anyway, I don't care how long her neck is. I can't believe she dated Matt Damon.
Tiffany - Do you think I'd look good with Matt Damon?
Stacy - (sighs) Quinn's right. We need more members.
Quinn - Now that your cast is off, I'm here to help you lose weight.
Sandi - Oh, Quinn, can't you see that it's too late? My life is over!
Quinn - Sandi, you're not 30.
Sandi (panting) - Can't... I... rest?
Quinn - Did Cleopatra rest when she was inventing mascara? Did Neferiti rest when she was posing for statues? Did Helen of Troy rest when she was doing whatever it was she did? Beauty never rests! Now, swim, you cow, swim!
Sandi - What?!
Quinn - Sorry -- coach talk.
Stacy - There is no meeting.
Tiffany - How co...
Stacy - How come?! Because I can't take it anymore. I'm sick of doing all the work while you just sit there. I tried my best, and even if it wasn't as good as Sandi's or Quinn's, a chain is only as strong as its weakest round thingy, and you refused to lift one freakin' finger! I'm through running the Fashion Club all by myself while you (imitates Tiffany) stare... in the mirror... and talk... about yourself... (normal voice) and I, I, I quit!
The first time we see the Fashion Club in this episode, they are "debating" new membership requirements, including a maximum weight. This time, Sandi ultimately got her way over the objections of her club mates, especially Quinn, who seemed like the voice of reason at the meeting. Right after that came Sandi's unfortunate fall down the stairs and her broken leg (though she did seem to fall head first, I guess a broken neck would've been too heavy). Can't say I felt too bad about her injury, though. She did sort of have it coming.
What Friends Are For...
Amazingly enough, Quinn shows some more genuine concern for Sandi's well being (much like she took an interest in helping Daria in "Sappy Anniversary"). The even more amazing thing was that Sandi called Quinn to tell her she was leaving the club. At first, I wasn't too sure what Sandi's motivation was in getting Quinn to resign her position, too. I couldn't tell if she was setting things up so she could easily retake control later, because we all know if Quinn ever took charge that would be it for Sandi, or if she really was that distraught. Either way, Sandi (and even Jane) guilted Quinn into going along with it. Despite things not going entirely her way, Quinn still decided to help Sandi (amazingly enough, through Daria's urging) regain her previous form, which isn't as shallow as Daria would have her believe.
As soon as Sandi stops being so involved in the Fashion Club, we can all see how differently the rest of them act. They, especially Stacy and Tiffany, seem almost relaxed and having fun. Tiffany and Stacy also seem to have some fear of Sandi; when she came back "fat," they were nice to her, but more out of fear than anything. All in all, Tiffany and Stacy didn't seem to care all that much about Sandi. When news of her "resignation" reached them, they were hardly upset. However, when Quinn followed suit, Stacy started to panic. That led to Quinn's little inspirational speech that had me in stitches.
The first meeting of the new, not really improved Fashion Club was a disaster. Tiffany was the least effective new president since... well, let's not get political here. Anyway, she just kind of sat there waiting for the neurons to fire, along with Stacy and the rest of creation. It got so bad that they had to try to beg Quinn to come back to the club, just so they could do something.
Phrase of the Week:
"Long live the Quinn." Can't argue with that one.
I Thought This Was Vegas:
Daria and Jane's little array of side wagers had an odd tone to it. Daria seemed to be winning all of the George W's. Jane couldn't win at all, not the candy count, Kevin's blind pepperoni man act nor the imbecile/moron count. Even when Jane thought she won the big one on the Fashion Club break up pool, her victory was short lived. I wonder if there was an underlying message to Jane's bad luck. I hope no one is implying that she's a loser.
We finally got to see Stacy show a backbone. Of course, she still never stood up to Sandi, but I'll take whatever I can get. The object of Stacy's outburst was Tiffany, who had proven beyond any reasonable doubt that she's not the best at thinking. Tiffany didn't even try, leaving Stacy to do all the work. The one idea she did have (about letting boys into the Fashion Club) was more dumb luck than anything and she just ended up doing whatever anyone may have suggested to her. The scene where Stacy finally exploded was (and probably will be) one of the most memorable of the season, just for the part when Stacy made fun of Tiffany.
Stay Out of It:
It was interesting to see Daria and Jane both meddle in the affairs of the Fashion Club once they both had some money riding on it (for the record, Daria said they would stay together while Jane was pulling for a complete break down). Jane, after hearing Quinn tell Stacy and Tiffany that she promised Sandi to quit but would think about coming back, used Brittany (poor girl!) to convince her not to go behind Sandi's back. Daria took an opportunity to commend Quinn for sticking with her friend through thick or thin, which is less shallow than, say, trying to hit the reset button on the situation (even though helping a friend is hardly a shallow thing). Ultimately, Daria's tactic not only won her eighty smackers in the bet but also strengthened the Fashion Club (I wonder if she took that possibility into account).
Back in the Fold:
Of course, Sandi, with Quinn's assistance, worked her way back into her former "glory." She even seemed to have softened her hard exterior a little in the process. For one, she eased up a little on her cohorts by letting them have their way when they all disagreed with her. I guess the whole experience humbled her. Never thought that was possible.
Golly, a Fashion Club episode that I really liked. Who'd have thunk it? Anyway, "Fat Like Me" was funny and put a whole new spin on the rivalry between Quinn and Sandi. Instead of vying for control, they both were out of there for a while. Quinn is really maturing nicely, and starting to get the point or at least she getting closer to it. I'd have to say I enjoyed this episode from start to finish.
Copyright © 2001 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved]. Used with permission. The views presented in this review are those of the author, and may or may not necessarily be those of Outpost Daria Reborn.