It Happened to Jane
"It Happened to Jane" is an essay by Kara Wild, written in May 2000.
Season Four was a time of deepening rifts in the Daria fan community between those who preferred the satire of Season One (such as Daniel Suni), and those who felt that the characters' changes represented much-needed growth. A number of people fell in between the two extremes, welcoming growth but uneasy about how it was being carried out. Wild places herself in the third group.
Nonetheless, she grew tired of frequent fan laments that a character had been ruined beyond all redemption, or the show itself was ruined. "It Happened to Jane" was intended to put everything in perspective, to reassure others as well as herself.
Wild looks at Jane's brief time on the cheerleading squad in episode "The F Word" and claims that although the plot line's execution left much to be desired, that didn't mean the episode was not a part of canon, because everything written by the writers was canon.
Wild would rethink this point of view in her essay "The Other Side of the Kiss," where she argues that although the writers clearly meant for viewers to accept Tom Sloane as Daria's boyfriend, they did not provide enough visual or verbal cues for fans to get a clear sense of a lasting connection being made early on in "I Loathe a Parade."