|The Story of D|
|Original Airdate||March 19th, 2001|
|Special Guest Voices|
|Written By||Jacquelyn Reingold|
"The Story of D" was the fifth episode of the fifth season of Daria (episode number 505). It first aired on MTV on March 19, 2001.
"The Story of D" was written by Jacquelyn Reingold.
Daria is engrossed in writing a short story while Helen talks to her sister: it turns out her niece Erin is thinking of a divorce and only got married because he gave her herpes and she thought nobody else would want her. Panicked, Helen storms into Daria's room for fear she's having sex. ("Um, Tom's not here?")
Later, Daria admits to Jane that she's thinking of submitting it for publication, the first time she's ever thought of this. Jane eventually convinces Daria to let her read the story, and while she admits she's not the best judge of literature, she tells Daria to let Tom take a crack at it. His enthusiasm and encouragement propels Daria to -- reluctantly -- submit the story to Musings, a prestigious literary magazine. Annoyingly, Timothy O'Neill finds out Daria had submitted the story and lets it slip at school, causing everyone to believe she was already published.
Meanwhile, the Fashion Club is inspired by the FashionVision Humanitarian Awards to perform a charitable act... for their own advantage, of course (which, in this case, means donating a new mirror for the girl's bathroom at school). After brainstorming, they decide to create and sell a newsletter, with tips on beauty and fashion trends, in order to pay for the new mirror. In a more bizarre subplot, Jake is nurturing long-held upset over a teacher's disparaging of a song he "wrote" (it's "Yankee Doodle Dandy" with bizarrely altered lyrics) for the class musical; he's convinced he could've been a musical star if not for Corporal Ellenbogen.
A few days after mailing her submission, Daria receives the ultimate writer's nightmare: a rejection letter. Her ego badly bruised and her anger at a slow burn, she goes over to Tom's house and rakes him over the coals (again) for insisting she subject herself to such humiliation. Tom defends himself (again) by telling her that he was only being supportive, and that she is acting childish (again). She leaves in a huff (again), and Tom lets her stew in her juices (again). The Fashion Club has also experienced their own form of rejection: the "What's Hot and What's Rot" issue of Waif magazine has contradicted everything they put into their newsletter. In desperation, they buy back all the newsletters. That's also when they find out that none of the people (all boys) who bought their newsletter had actually bothered to read it, only buying it to suck up to them. (Eventually, they just buy a plaque for the bathroom tha commemorates itself, and reads: "Lawndale High Fashion Club. We Mean Well")
Two plots converge when Jake performs his song for Daria and realises that it sucks. Daria reassures him that failing at one song he did as a teenager doesn't make him a failure ("well, that's one of the things," he says sadly) and that it's good that he realises it's crap, as it shows he knows what good is and he came up short because he was aiming high. When Jake cheerfully says that it took guts to go out on a limb, Daria realises all this could apply to her too. She asks Tom over so that she can apologize. They end up sharing a smooch -- right as Helen comes in ("OH GOD! NO!").
Later, Daria embarks on another short story -- in between playing a gory first-person-shooter.
The title is a play on The Story of O, an erotic novel by Anne Desclos, a French translator and critic who wrote under the name Pauline Réage. The name of the episode may also draw an ironic parallel between Tom encouraging Daria to submit the story to Musings and the genesis of Desclos' novel: Desclos' lover (and employer) Jean Paulhan, held that no woman could write a successful erotic novel, and Desclos' wrote The Story of O to prove him wrong; her novel won the Prix de Deux Magots. Vice versa, in "The Story of D," Daria is unsure of the worth of her story, but allows Tom to persuade her to submit it to Musings, which rejects it.
Erin's divorce comes up again in "Aunt Nauseum", also written by Jacquelyn Reingold.
Unlike Daria's Melody Powers story in Cafe Disaffecto, no excerpts of the story are presented to the viewer. Dialogue indicates it is about a flesh-eating virus and changes style and tone often.
When Daria and Jake are discussing Jake's song, Jake sings "Gutsy Jakey went to town, riding in a Lexus, missed his star but did aim far... um...", and for the next line Daria suggests "who cares what jerk rejects us" as a rhyme. This mirrors their singing at one point in the musical Daria! In the reprise of Morning in the 'Burbs, Jake also sang a line ending in Lexus, and Daria's next line again ends in a rhyme for the word: solar plexus.
Daria's incomplete short story in the final scene is just barely legible in the DVD release. It reads:
“The strange thing about my having grown a second head overnight was that I felt no discomfort or even wonder at the matter. It was as if I'd had a second head all my life, and up until today had simply neglected to put it through the collar of my shirt and give it some air. Of course, that was while Head Number Two was conveniently, blissfully silent. As soon as it opened its mouth and started voicing its opinions -- opinions formed with all the wisdom and perspective you'd expect of a full-grown human brain grown overnight from nothing -- I realized”
"The Story of D" and Fanfic
The story Heartbeat in Iambic is set during and after this episode.
On “The Story of D” the Episode
Alternate-Universe Versions of “The Story of D”
Alternate Canon Versions of “The Story of D”
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