Arts 'N Crass

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Arts 'N Crass
Production Number 201
Original Airdate February 16, 1998
Special Guest Voices
Written By Glenn Eichler
Directed By Karen Disher

"Arts 'N Crass" was the premiere episode of the second season of Daria (episode number 201). It first aired on MTV on February 16, 1998.

"Arts 'N Crass" was written by Glenn Eichler.


At Lawndale High, Arts Class is interrupted by Angela Li and Timothy O'Neill, who announce that the school participating in a state-wide art contest with the theme “Student Life At the Dawn of the New Millenium”, with (practically) mandatory participation. At the end of the class, DeFoe overrules Jane's reluctance to enter an art contest when she tells the student she is eager to see what the Jane will paint.

That afternoon, while walking home, Jane comments to Daria that the message on the poster does not have to be positive and, after some insistence, is able to recruit Daria's help. At the pizza place later on, the two friends brainstorm ideas for the poster and, many pizzas later, Daria has an revelation based on how sick they feel.

A few days later, at arts class, DeFoe surveys her students posters: Upchuck has produced an elaborate painting portraying him with a nice a car and two female companions. Brittany presents a simple poster advising against the use of drugs. As to Jane, she presents the painting of a beautiful young woman smiling at a mirror... and a small poem revealing the girl is bulimic. DeFoe is first uneasy about the poster but changes her mind and accepts it when Jane and Daria explain that its purpose is to show that the prettiness of the girl comes at a price.

The two girls, however, are called to the principal's office, where Angela Li and O'Neill state that the poem is too negative and unacceptable, and try to have it changed. Both girls refuse, stating that changing it would subvert the intended message. Faced with their stubbornness, Li negotiates a one-day wait for all to think and has O'Neill call the girl's parents: nobody answers from the Lane's; a stressed and busy Helen has the english teacher rush through an explanation; and Jake's eagerness to answer the phone (he thinks it could be a client) scares Mr. O'Neill off.

That night, at dinner, while Jake is serving his pasta a la pesto and commenting on the food, Helen tries to convince Daria to have a less cynical and negative attitude, but Daria stands by her convictions and the poster message (with her father supporting her) and only promises to listen to O'Neill's point of view.

The following day, Daria and Jane agree to O'Neill's proposition: he'll change the poem, and, if the girls don't like it, it can revert to the original form. However, they are later disgusted by the teacher's text (which emphasizes good nutrition and omits any references to anorexia) and refuse to accept it. When they try to have the poster back, Mrs. Li says the agreement made by O'Neill has no value and that the poster will enter the contest with the edited text.

While walking home, the two teenagers talk about the injustice of the situation and decide to take action. They go to the school that evening and spray the painting with a “no” symbol.

The next day, Daria and Jane are called again to the principal's office for the seemingly act of vandalism. A furious Mrs. Li phones Helen. However, her complaint that the teenagers had defaced the poster hits against Helen's deconstruction of the events and the description of the principal's series of unethical and/or illegal actions regarding the painting and its display in the contest.

Later, at the Pizza King, while Daria and Jane comment on the victory and Daria proposes to write a short story based on the past days events, an ecstatic Brittany announces she has won the art contest.

“Arts 'N Crass” and Fanfic[edit]

John Lane Series - The events of this episode are briefly referred to in the story Good Art Hunting, though the outcome is presumed to have been different.

External Links[edit]

Preceded by
The Misery Chick (113)
Daria Episodes
"Arts 'N Crass," Season 2, Episode 1
Succeeded by
The Daria Hunter