Episode Guide

Art Burn
Episode #507
Written by Dan Vebber
(Transcript created by Richard Lobinske)

(opening theme song)

(Mystik Spiral in gazebo in Lane family back yard, Nick sitting, Trent standing, Jesse seated and Max standing)

Trent - Max, can't you look any more existential?

Max - Existential? You said nihilistic.

Jesse - I feel like I should be doing something. (after a beat, waves)

(cut to Jane with video camera and Daria standing beside her)

Daria - Shouldn't he have a sign that says, "Hi, Mom."

Jane - Uh, Jesse? Why don't you, um, cue the fog machine.

(Jesse reaches over rail and turns on "Big Fog" fog machine. I begins to emit smoke, and knocks. Smoke envelopes the band, causing all to cough)

Nick - It's gonna blow!

(Band runs away from gazebo moments before fog machine explodes, leaving a column of smoke where it was. Cut to Daria and Jane)

Daria - Wow. Real life drama.

Jane - (pats camera) And I got every second of it.

(cut to gazebo collapsing, then back to Jane)

Jane - Crap.

(Jane and Daria, Nick, Max and Jesse walk by)

Jane - Hey! Come on back. Now we'll have a Waterworld post-apocalyptic feel. Gills for everyone.

Max - We just started the Reaper in the face, and you want us to keep working?

Jesse - Yeah, we're like, traumatized.

Trent - Sorry Janey, we're going to need to take a few weeks off.

Jane - (annoyed) A few weeks off from what?

(Inside Lane kitchen. Daria and Jane look out window to back yard while Trent is at refrigerator)

Daria - I hope your parents appreciate deconstructionism.

Jane - They won't even notice. Besides, they're in Greenland doing the walrus-tusk fertility-fetish carving thing.

Daria - Always keeping up with the Joneses.

Wind - (OS) Trent! Jane! You are here.

(Wind enters and hugs Trent, goes over and hugs Jane while looking at Daria. Steps back, looking confused.)

Wind - Penny?

Daria - My name is Oliver Twist, sir.

Trent - Hey, Wind.

Jane - What are you doing here?

Wind - Katie is locked in our kitchen, taking some... um... private time, and our life consultant says I should respect that. But, I'm hungry. (turns and looks in shock) Oh, no! (rushes to window) What happened to the gazebo?

Jane - What gazebo?

Wind - That's where Mom and Dad took us when we were born to decide our names. You've got to fix it!

Jane - Um, Wind. I don't know how to break this to you, but I don't think Mommy and Daddy will be bringing us home any new brothers or sisters.

Trent - Hmm, bummer.

Wind - You don't get it! I couldn't stand to lose such an important piece of my identity. Oh, what chance does love have in the world when even the Naming Gazebo falls to pieces?

Daria - Naming Gazebo?

Wind - Promise me you'll fix it.

Jane - (turns to Trent) How much money do you have?" (pause) Trent?

Trent - I have none, so I said nothing.

(Wind buries face in hands, crying)

Daria - I really should...

Trent - Hey, maybe you could sell some of your paintings at that Art In The Park thing they're having.

Jane - Hmm. The harvest of my inner torment on display right next to the falafel cart. I like that.

Trent - Cool.

Jane - But, if I get the money, you have to handle all the sludge work. Calling contractors, getting bids, scheduling the job, everything.

Trent - I don't know. The band and I are going to be pretty busy practicing these next few weeks and... (Jane glares at him) Oh, yeah. We're traumatized. Okay, I'm on it. We'll get it fixed.

(Art In The Park on banner. Carnival-like look of many booths lined up along a walkway in a green park)

(Fashion club walking past booths, stop in front of one marked "Caricatures $5" with artist seated under banner)

Quinn - Sandi, you would look so great in a caricature."

Sandi - But, I would really like to see how the artist would draw you, Quinn. Your face is so full of drawable parts.

Stacy - I have an idea, he could draw all of us, you know, together.

Tiffany - That would really show how like, fun we are.

Sandi - All right. (points at artist) Can you write, "friends forever," on it?

Artist - (bored) What a lovely sentiment. Please, take a seat.

(All four sit on a bench)

Sandi - Lock in profiles.

(All four strike profile poses)

(Ms. Barch and Mr. O'Neill at a booth with figures made from clam shells)

Mr. O'Neill - Look, Janet. Mice, made of clam shells.

Ms. Barch - Male mice! A fireman, a policeman, a doctor, who just happens to be a man. I bet he's a gynecologist, too.

Mr. O'Neill - (picks one up) This one's wearing a raincoat, and it's called "Squeaking Wet." Isn't that clever?

(Ms. Barch takes figure and places on table)

Ms. Barch - (swings purse and hits table, breaking figures) Yah-hah! (pulls money from purse and throws on table before storming away)

(Daria and Tom walking past booths)

Daria - Well, we are in the park, but I'm failing to see the art portion.

Tom - Clowns? Crying? (they stop at booth filled with pictures of crying clowns) Why, I've never heard of such a thing.

Daria - Maybe they're sad because they lost all their money in that poker game with the dogs.

Jane - (OS) Yo! Art lovers.

(Cut to view of Jane's booth, she's waving)

Daria - One of these things is not like the others.

(Daria and Tom walk over to Jane)

Daria - Hello, sell-out.

Jane - Wouldn't I have to sell something for that to be the case?

Tom - How much are you asking for these?

Jane - Most of them are twenty-five bucks, except the topsy-turvy Van Gogh, that one's ten million.

(Woman and child enter and look at upside down Van Gogh reproduction on easel)

Woman - Do you know you've hung this Van Gogh copy upside down?

Jane - No, I painted it upside down. I hung it right-side up.

Woman - (scowls and leads child away) Come on, honey. Let's go find some pretty barn paintings.

(Ms. DeFoe enters)

Ms. Defoe - Jane, these works of yours are among the most inspired and original I've seen all day.

Jane - Thanks.

Ms. Defoe - Do you realize this Van Gogh is upside down?

(Jane looks away in frustration)

(In Lane kitchen, Trent is sitting at table, looking through telephone books)

Trent - None of these numbers are gazebo numbers.

(He picks up phone and punches in a number)

Trent - Hello, paramedics? Do you fix gazebos?

(At caricature booth, artist turns finished drawing to show seated Fashion Club. Sandi, Quinn and Tiffany gasp in shock)

Sandi - (going to artist) I do not look like that!

Tiffany - It's like our features are exaggerated or something.

Artist - Hey, if you don't want it, don't buy it. I'll use it as a sample.

Quinn - (rises) But you can't put it on display! Someone might see it!

Sandi - (takes drawing and hands over money) I'll take that as exhibit "A." Come on, maybe we can find someone else to insult us.

(Sandi walks away, leading Quinn and Tiffany, Stacy hangs back as artist shrugs)

(Daria, Jane and Tom at Jane's booth)

Tom - (whistles)

Daria - Well, guess we should head out.

Jane - Have fun, kids.

Daria - Are you going to be okay?

Jane - Okay? You know, Van Gogh hardly sold anything during his life, and it never bothered him. Except for that whole going insane part.

Gary - (OS) Hey, did you paint this?

(Cut to Jane's booth, Gary is standing in front of easel)

Jane - I know, I know, it's upside down.

Gary - Of course it is. Hanging a famous masterpiece upside down allows the viewer to see its beauty totally independent of its content. I love it.

Tom - You do?

Gary - Sure, and I know talent when I see it. I hire artists to recreate the works of the old masters for my gallery.

Jane - Well, I'm asking ten million bucks, but since you're in the business, I'll let it go for fifty.

Gary - I've got a better idea. I'll sell as many of these Van Gogh's as you can paint, and I'll only take, say, sixty percent commission. (removed card from inside jacket) Here's my card.

Jane - Your place is called Gary's Gallery?

Daria - Larry's Louvre was taken.

Gary - What do you say?

Jane - Well, I could use a new gazebo.

(Jane's room. Daria on bed, reading and Jane at easel, painting)

Jane - This kicks butt. I'm finally getting real money for my artwork.

Daria - You're not worried about becoming a hack?

Jane - Not as long as I'm only in it for the cash. Money, money, money. I love money. I'd shovel it down my throat if I could.

Daria - You're kidding, right?

Jane - Of course, Daria. I'd chew it slowly and stop when I felt full.

(Lane back yard. Three workmen around wrecked gazebo, one seated, two standing Trent enters. Foremen gets up, other two remain seated, drinking from cans)

Trent - Hey, weren't you guys supposed to be here two days ago?

Foreman - Is that a problem?

Trent - I don't know, feels like it should be. Um, how's the gazebo?

Foreman - Bad shape. We'll need to build you a new transverse arch before we can even start talking about gable and bunting options. I'd say you're looking at five hundred bucks.

Trent - Whoa. So, now what? Do I tell you to get to work? (second workman sits) Or do you just, you know, start up on your own?

Foreman - That last thing you said. (sits down on cooler, grabs can and drinks from it)

Trent - Okay, cool.

(Fashion club in a bedroom, seated on floor and looking at caricature)

Sandi - So, are we all in agreement that we have been maliciously slandered and are therefore in need of legal counsel?

Tiffany - Yeah, slandered.

Sandi - Very well. Quinn, your mother is a lawyer, perhaps she'd be willing to plead our case.

Quinn - Um, I can ask.

Sandi - Excellent. All in favor of retaining Mrs. Morgendorffer so we can bring this caricature assassin to justice and clear our good faces?

(Tiffany, Quinn and Sandi quickly raise hands, Stacy reluctantly raises hers)

(Outside view of pizza place, cut to Daria and Jane at booth, eating pizza)

Daria - It's not often that I get treated to a slice with two toppings.

Jane - Well, now that my ship's come in, I figure why not spread the wealth around and help the little people. (Pulls out check) My first commission, two hundred dollars.

Daria - Try to contain your exuberance.

Jane - I did think it would be more exciting. Maybe if it was for my own work. But, hey. It's not like I'm going to be painting copies forever.

Daria - Just don't say that you can quit any time.

(Outside view of Gary's Gallery, cut to inside. Two customers are browsing, Jane enters and goes to Gary)

Gary - Jane Lane. Your Sunflowers sold this morning. Which means I have something for you. (hands Jane a check)

Jane - (reads check) Three hundred and fifty. Wow. Okay, I quit.

Gary - Quit? You can't quit Gary's Gallery.

Jane - No, that's the mafia. I'm sorry, this pays off the workmen at my house, and my girl scout cookie debt.

Gary - I can't let you go. You're the best artist I have.

Jane - Thanks, but I don't feel like much of an artist unless I'm working on my own stuff.

Gary - I understand that. But, paints and canvases are expensive, you know. Build your nest-egg now, while you have the chance. Then, you can afford to work on your Jane Lane originals.

Jane - Money's not the issue here.

Gary - I'll increase your cut to sixty percent.

Jane - Money is the issue here.

Gary - And if you're that bored, you don't have to do Van Gogh's any more. Any artist you like. What do you say?

(Jane looks conflicted)

(Jake and Helen in bed, Jake is snoring, Helen has briefcase on bed and is looking at papers. There is a knock at the door, it's Quinn.)

Helen - Quinn, come in.

Quinn - (goes to bed) Mom, I need your help. This really mean guy drew an ugly picture of me and the Fashion Club at the art fair, and we want to sue for defamement of character.

Helen - Quinn, you can't sue for defamation of character, he didn't do anything to harm your reputation.

Quinn - Yes he did! He made my face look like one big freckle! Mom, the embarrassment, the pain, the suffering!

Helen - In the eyes of the law, pain and suffering are when a surgeon leaves his pager in your spleen.

Quinn - Eww! What if you were on a date and it started beeping?

(Helen sighs. Jake snores and both look at him)

(Three workman lounging around wrecked gazebo with Jane and Trent looking on)

Jane - Trent, those workmen. Shouldn't they be, I don't know, working?

Trent - Hmm.

Jane - Go on, tell them they can't be lollygagging around all day.

Trent - Um, okay. (walks over to workers)

Foreman - (still sitting) Yo, T. What's going on?

Trent - Hey, I mean (with slight forcefulness) Hey! You guys aren't working.

Foreman - Yes, we are. We're um, discussing measurement calculations.

Trent - Oh. (beat) Wait, I don't know anything about measuring, but I know all about lying around, and you guys are definitely lying around.

Foreman - What's your point?

Trent - Um, what am I paying you for? Uh... get to work.

(workers complain)

Foreman - Okay guys, back to work. You heard... the man.

Trent - Whoa! That's just cruel.

(Art classroom at Lawndale High. Daria and Jane are painting at adjacent easels)

Jane - So with the gazebo paid off, I'm in pure profit territory, and I'm only painting these in the style of...

Daria - You mean copies of.

Jane - Fine. I'm only painting them so I can support myself while doing my own stuff.

Daria - And based on your recent workload, you'll get to your own stuff right about the time you start clipping coupons for denture paste.

(Ms. DeFoe enters)

Ms. DeFoe - Jane, your exploration of the class assignment looks remarkably similar to a Van Gogh.

Daria - You might want to keep those safety scissors away from her ears.

Jane - Okay, I'll admit that this is somewhat extracurricular.

Ms. DeFoe - You don't need to explain it to me, Jane. I just hope you never lose your own unique style. (exits)

Daria - She didn't even say anything about my horsey. (view of Daria's painting of a horse skeleton)

(Office door with Helen Morgendorffer on a plaque, cut to Helen seated at her desk)

Helen - Dammit to hell! What sociopathic paralegal keeps stealing my "sign here" post-its?

Marianne - (On speaker phone) There's a Sandi Griffin on line one.

Helen -(presses button of telephone) Sandi, is Quinn all right?

(Split screen, Helen at desk and Sandi in her room)

Sandi - Actually, none of us are all right, given how we were cruelly maligned by that so-called artist.

Helen - Sandi, I already explained to Quinn that a lawsuit is out of the question.

Sandi - Yes, so she told me. But, Quinn is a simple, uncomplicated girl and perhaps didn't consider other legal avenues we could explore to address our problem.

Helen - I'm really terribly busy.

Sandi - You see, given that this person is hardly an artist and therefore falsely represented himself, I thought we might take steps to have him disbarred.

Helen - Sandi, disbarring only applies to lawyers.

Sandi - Exactly, and you're a lawyer. So, you can do it, voila.

Helen (sighs)

(Jane's room. She is painting a Dali replica when Trent enters)

Jane - (yawns) Trent, you're up early.

Trent - Those workers promised to have something done by two o'clock, so I thought I better get up to check it out. Hey, why you could bring your easel down and you can like, portray the birth of a new gazebo.

Jane - Trent, if I had a spare moment, I sure as hell wouldn't spend it painting.

Trent - Whoa. Copying burnout. That's why Spiral doesn't play covers, because of what it would do to our creativity. And the ironic thing is, I am as free as a bird.

Jane - Good for you, Trent. Stay true to your art, I'm sure you'll always have the negative bank balance to prove it.

Trent - Hey, Janey. I'd rather balance my artistic statement than my bank statement.

Jane - What?

Trent - I don't know. I thought I had something there. (exits)

Jane - (rubbing arm) My arm's getting tired, dammit. (quietly) It never used to.

(View of television screen of an occupied toilet stall, and a man's arm reaching under to steal the roll)

SSW Announcer - What's more heartless than pilfering a roll of toilet paper? (cut to man in tuxedo with woman, holding money in one hand) Transforming it into a roll of twenties! The squeezably soft counterfeiter, next on Sick, Sad World.

(Jane on her bed, clicking television remote)

Jane - Counterfeiting.

Trent - (VO) Hey, this doesn't go with the house. What about my resale value?

Foreman - (VO) Look pal, that's why I rent.

(Daria and Jane walking along sidewalk)

Jane - Here's a funny thought, wouldn't it be hilarious if Gary were some huge art counterfeiting kingpin?

Daria - Yeah, you'd be laughing all the way to the big house.

Jane - No, listen. What if my copies are good enough to fool people? It would be a cinch for him to make millions off my hard work.

Daria - To finance his secret robot army, no doubt.

Jane - I'm serious. We're going to head over there right now and enact a sting operation.

Daria - Fine, you wear the mustache; I'll hide in the ceiling vent.

(Daria and Jane outside Gary's Gallery)

Jane - Here's the plan: there's an invoice book behind the counter that should tell us who bought my last painting. But, you'll have to distract Gary while I'm grabbing.

Daria - And just how am I supposed to do that, Mr. Phelps?

Jane - You'll figure out something. Use your womanly attributes.

Daria - Gotcha, I'll give birth.

Jane - That'll work. (they go inside, Gary is standing inside, writing on a notepad)

Gary - Hey, Jane. How's that Dali coming along? I think I can pre-sell it.

Jane - Great, great. Uh, Gary, this is my friend, Daria. She's... very interested in art recreations.

Daria - (not convincing) Um, yes. I am very interested in art recreations. (sighs) Although, gee, they look so simple, as if anyone could do them.

Gary - Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me show you. (exits with Daria, Jane goes to counter and starts looking around) Why do people yearn to see great paintings for themselves when they can just look in a book? (cut to Daria and Gary)

Daria - Paper cuts?

Gary - Color, texture, vibrancy. (cut to Jane sorting through papers and removing one) The palpable energy that comes from being in the presence of the work itself.

Jane - (walks over to Gary and Daria) Thanks for clearing that up Gary, but we really need get going.

Gary - Oh, I know what I wanted to ask you. Can you do O'Keefe? The guy who bought your last painting, Steve Taylor, wants one for his wife's birthday.

Daria - Ah-ha. Our clever subterfuge has unearthed the truth.

Jane - Steve Taylor bought my last painting?

Gary - He's a regular customer. Do you know him?

(Daria and Jane walking up to Taylor residence, cut to view from front door as they approach small lawn jockey statue)

Daria - Oh, look. Lawn Jockey with Lantern. Do you think it's the original Rodin? Or a copy?

Jane - Go on, laugh now, while you can. (walks to door)

(Inside house, doorbell rings and Brittany opens door for Daria and Jane)

Brittany - Jane, Daria, what are you doing here? You don't want to hang out, do you?

Jane - (walks in) Is your father home? We have some questions about his art collection.

Brittany - Oh! Why didn't you say so. I know all about my dad's art. He says I was born to be an art pointer girl.

Daria - Kind of like that Sister Wendy on TV.

(Walking in hallway)

Brittany - (stops and points to holder) This is an umbrella holder made from a real elephant's foot.

Jane - Where's the rest of the elephant?

Brittany - Huh? There's no elephant here.

Daria - Don't worry, I'm sure the hunters gave him a prosthetic foot and let him return to his family.

Brittany - Gee, I hope so. (points to painting) This is painting is of a lion with some dead animals.

Jane - Brittany, does your dad have any art that isn't from or about dead beasts?

Brittany - Oh, sure! We have a new picture by a really famous artist in the family room.

(Jane smirks at Daria, cut to walking up to a fireplace, Jane's copy is over the mantle)

Brittany - Dad says that's an original... um... someone.

(Steve Taylor enters)

Steve - Brittany, why didn't you tell me you were having friends over?

Brittany - Oh, they aren't friends, just Daria and Jane.

Steve - You girls look familiar.

Daria - Maybe you've seen us on the museum circuit. We're big art aficionados.

Steve - Yeah? Me too.

Jane - I like this one above the fireplace. Is it an original Van Gogh?

Steve - An original? Ha. I'd need to be a billionaire. No, I found a great gallery that's got a bunch of hacks churning out copies. They're really pretty decent for the price.

Jane - (disappointed) Decent?

Steve - Well, yeah. I mean, nice brushwork, don't ya think? Except for this spot here, where he gets kind of lazy. But, you get what you pay for, right?

Jane - (downcast) Yeah, what you pay for.

Steve - Say, if you girls want to see something really impressive, you ought to check out my trophy room. I just got my emu head mounted.

(Jane looks depressed)

Brittany - (VO) Dad, did that three-legged elephant learn to walk again?

Steve - (VO) Huh?

(Daria and Jane walking on sidewalk)

Daria - Do you want to talk about it?

Jane - No. (pause) Jeez, Daria. Even a cheeseball like Mr. Taylor could tell I'm a hack. Lazy brushwork he said.

Daria - Coming from a guy whose home is decorated in early petting zoo? I wouldn't worry about it.

Jane - But he was right, dammit.

Daria - Hey, Gary can't keep your paintings in stock. You're a star copiest. You've been painting your butt off, they can't all be your best work.

Jane - None of them are my best work. (stops and turns) Hell, none of them are my work. Lately, I haven't even wanted to do original stuff. Dammit, Daria! I never got creative block before.

Daria - Your creativity has been channeled into other areas, like inventing paranoid delusions centered around nonexistent art counterfeiting rings.

Jane - Yeah, my ego couldn't take just being a hack. I had to be a super-hack. Or maybe I just wanted Gary to be a con-man so I could quit without remorse.

Daria - Sure, because it's not like you'll have any remorse if you stay.

(Three workers and Trent asleep around partially complete gazebo. Jane enters)

Jane - Trent!

Trent - (wakes up and snorts, rises to feet)

Jane - You were supposed to get these guys to finish the job today.

Trent - (sleepy) It, it was just too hard yelling at them, Janey. When I look in their eyes, I see... myself.

Jane - Okay, look. I almost went nuts working to pay you slouches. So, here's the deal. If you want to see one red cent of your money, you have precisely four hours to finish this stupid gazebo and get the hell out of here!

Foreman - But, Ma'am. There's no way to finish in that time. We're only three people.

Jane - Funny, I count four.

(Foreman removes hammer from toolbelt and hands to Trent)

Trent - Oh... Eww.

(Inside front door of Morgendorffer home, door bell rings and Helen, holding papers, answers to see Tiffany)

Helen - Hi, Tiffany. Quinn isn't home yet.

Tiffany - Actually, I came to see you.

Helen - Oh. Well, I'm just in the middle of an enormous...

Tiffany - Do you know what it's about?

Helen - Tiffany, I already explained...

Tiffany - That caricaturist.

Helen - (angry, throws down papers) Look! Tiffany, you can't sue the caricature artist. Nor can you have him disbarred, deported, imprisoned or grounded. Do you understand?

Tiffany - Of course. You don't have to yell.

Helen - You're right, Tiffany. I'm sorry.

Tiffany - We need someone to break his fingers; like on that show about those guys.

Helen - (heavy sigh)

(At new gazebo, Trent sits on ground rubbing arm, Jane on steps, Daria stands nearby)

Daria - So Gary took your resignation in stride?

Jane - He says his door's always open if I change my mind. But between us, there's something fishy about that door. I think it's a counterfeit.

Trent - Whoa.

Jane - You know, maybe I will do a painting of the gazebo. I can call it Descent Into Madness.

Daria - Or Gazebo.

Trent - Good thing Spiral's still traumatized. 'Cause I think I'm too sore to play.

Amanda - (VO) What are you guys doing out here?

(Amanda and Vincent enter)

Jane - Mom, Dad. You're back early.

Vincent - Our hotel broke off the mainland and floated away. Hey, it might not be safe to sit in there.

Jane - We're risk takers.

Amanda - We really should tear down that ugly thing.

Vincent - Yeah, only country-house phonies have gazebos these days.

Trent - But Wind said this was your Naming Gazebo.

Amanda - Wind said what? Wait, I remember. Years ago, he wanted to change his name to Ronald. We made up that story so he's appreciate the name we gave him.

Daria - Ronald?

Vincent - You can see we had no choice. Tell you what. As soon as I unpack, Trent and I will grab some axes and chop this gazebo up into kindling. Whaddaya say, son?

Trent - (tired) Uhhh.

Jane - I'm going to kill Wind.

(Outside view of Morgendorffer home, cut to Quinn on her bed, talking on telephone)

Quinn - So that caricaturist is going to get off scot-free?

(split screen with Sandi)

Sandi - It sickens me, Quinn. The criminals have more rights than the victims.

Quinn - You should at least burn the picture, so no-one ever sees it again.

Sandi - I should burn it? I though you had it.

(Stacy's room, she enters and goes to closet, opening door to reveal picture on inside. Closeup of picture reveals Stacy, holding flowers and smiling, is the only one to look nice in it)

(closing credits)