This Year's Model/transcript
(opening theme song)
(at the Morgendorffer house)
(Daria and Jane are seated on Daria's bed, watching television; on the screen, the female SSW reporter is interviewing a blonde model who is holding a book)
SSW Reporter - An encyclopedia is an unusual product for a supermodel to promote, isn't it?
Model (exaggerated French accent) - But you see, what's different about my encyclopedia is you only buy the letters you find attractive. And it's got big margins to draw your own pictures! How do you call them? Margins, yes?
SSW Reporter - You say you wrote every word yourself...
Jane - I've said it before, I'll say it again: you have the coolest room.
Daria - It's got pros and cons. You can't hurt yourself in here, but you can't hurt anybody else in here, either.
Jane (pushes on wall padding) - I wish there'd been a schizophrenic shut-in living in our house before we moved in. Of course, we've got Trent there now. That's almost the same thing.
Daria - My mother's threatening to redecorate again. Every time she brings it up, I stumble and grab a handrail. But I think she's catching on.
Jane - You need to stumble somewhere else in the house. Cut yourself badly. She'll reconsider.
Daria - Thanks for your help.
(on the TV screen, an ape pulls parasite off another and eats it)
SSW Announcer - Next on Sick, Sad World: the Malibu Primate Diet.
(at Lawndale High School, in Mr. O'Neill's class)
Mr. O'Neill - Is Mr. Thoreau really turning his back on the world by moving to Walden Pond, or is he, by his example, trying desperately to save the world after all? (looks at Brittany) Normandy?
Brittany - Brittany. He wasn't on Walden Pond because he hated the world. He was just mad at Jane Fonda. You know, he was her father in real life, too.
Mr. O'Neill - Ummm...
(Ms. Li rushes into the room)
Ms. Li - Good morning! I hope I'm not disrupting the learning process.
Mr. O'Neill - Oh... no...
Ms. Li - I've got some exciting information for you all. A team of talent scouts from Amazon Models will be here this week as part of their national talent search, and the most promising Lawndale High student will receive a professional modeling contract.
Brittany - They got my letter!
Jodie - Why here?
Ms. Li - I guess they found out what a good looking group you are. (laughs) But, seriously, this is a great opportunity for you, and the even greater good of Lawndale High.
Daria - Excuse me?
Ms. Li - Yes?
Daria - Isn't modeling about dropping out of school to pursue a career based solely on your youth and your looks, both of which are inevitably declared over by age twenty-five?
Ms. Li - Do you have a point, Ms. Morgendorffer?
Jane - And don't fashion people squander their lives loudly worshiping all that is superficial and meaningless while the planet keeps riding a roller coaster to hell?
Ms. Li - Modeling is a competitive field, yes, but the financial rewards are great. As principal, I'd be cheating our student body if I didn't allow them every opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Daria - Excuse me. Can we assume the financial rewards are great for the school as well?
Ms. Li - That is really none of your business!
Daria - But I don't want to miss a lesson in applied economics. I'm trying to fulfill my potential. (gives her an innocent smile)
Ms. Li - The school is receiving a fee for its cooperation, but every cent is going to capital improvements! We're finally going to get those bulletproof skylights for the swimming pool.
Jane - Well, I for one am very excited about this. I can feel myself getting into the modeling spirit.
Ms. Li - Excellent!
Jane - May I be excused? I'd like to go to the girls' room and vomit up breakfast.
(in the cafeteria)
(Daria, Jane, and Jodie are seated at a table)
Daria - Where's your lunch?
Jodie - I ate during student council.
Jane - Come on, you're not fooling anybody. You fed your lunch to a stray dog. She's gonna have that modeling contract sewn up before we even get a chance.
Daria - You really ought to stick to mineral water and parsley.
Jodie - You know, you don't always have to be against everything. If a kid wants to take a modeling class, you can't tell her no.
Daria - Maybe not, but you don't have to let the fashion mob push the classes on school grounds, either.
Jane - Yeah, it's not fair to the drug dealers. They have to wait behind the parking lot.
Jodie - It's completely voluntary. What's the problem?
Daria - No problem. But why stop at modeling? Maybe there's a go-go bar downtown that would like to come here and recruit lap dancers.
Jodie - Don't mention that idea to Brittany.
(in Mrs. Bennett's class)
(Mrs. Bennett is drawing yet another confusing diagram on the chalkboard while lecturing)
Mrs. Bennett - The fashion industry may be considered a perfect implementer of marketplace psychology. The business insures its own survival by training consumers to focus on arbitrary styling distinctions, rather than quality and durability.
(the sound of laughter calls attention to two people standing in the doorway: Claude, dressed in a tight-fitting halter top, and Romonica, dressed in a garish outfit)
Mrs. Bennett - Huh. You must be the representatives from the Amazon Modeling Agency.
Claude - Well, I would hope so. We're a little long in the tooth to be attending high school.
Romonica - Speak for yourself, grandpa-pa.
(Romonica slaps Claude on the shoulder, and both laugh)
Mrs. Bennett - (brief laugh) I was just telling the class about how the fashion industry uses customer psychology to perpetuate itself in the marketplace.
Claude - You know, if the hem of that skirt were an inch higher, you'd have a look as up to date as tomorrow.
Mrs. Bennett - Do you think so?
Claude - Show off those gams, girlfriend!
Brittany - This is the most exciting day of my life! Being a model is all I've ever wanted to be.
Kevin - Uh, hey...
Brittany - I mean besides being the girlfriend of the cutest guy on the team! Oh, and winning the national high school cheerleading championship! Oh yeah, and helping the starving kids in the desert, or wherever.
(Romonica holds Brittany's chin and examines her face)
Romonica - Well, let's have a look! Hmmmm... lovely. What is your name?
Brittany - Brittany? Is that okay? Because I was thinking of changing it to... Blue.
Claude - Can you take off your coat and walk for us?
Romonica - Just slip out of that jacket and do a little runaway, sweetie.
(Brittany takes off her trench coat to reveal a pink strapless evening gown; she walks down the aisle to the back of the room and back again; as her back is turned, Claude half turns and motions with both hands to indicate Brittany's large breasts; Romonica shakes her head)
Romonica - (claps politely) That was just wonderful! Don't you think so, Claude?
Claude - Wonderful? Astonishing! We'll see you in class, Blue.
Romonica - Now, who else in this room is a potential superstar du fashion? (looks at Jane) You! You have a very interesting look! Have you ever considered the achingly glamorous life of a model?
(Jane shows her a sketch of Claude and Romonica as circling vultures)
Romonica - You're more interested in the design end of things.
Claude - That's an excellent likeness of you, darling. (sees Daria) Oh, look at you. So waif-like... so pouty. Could you remove your glasses?
Daria - Could you remove your halter top?
Claude - Pardon?
Daria - I can't take my glasses off. I need them to see scam artists.
(Claude and Romonica look shocked)
(at the Morgendorffer house)
(Daria, Jake, and Helen are seated at the kitchen table)
Daria - ...so then Ms. Li admits they're doing this to pay for new bulletproof skylights. The whole thing's enough to turn your stomach. Which I guess is good if you want to be a model; eases the transition to bulimia.
Helen - You really feel strongly about this.
Daria - What do you mean?
Helen - Well... you're talking to us.
Daria - Yeah, well... yeah.
Helen - I'm glad you feel strongly about it, Daria, and for the record, I agree with you.
Jake - So do I!
Daria - I supposed you realize that now I have to reconsider my position.
Helen - These people sounds like opportunists feeding off the vanity of naive young people. I pity the kids who get sucked in by them, and I pity their poor parents.
Quinn - Mom! Dad! Guess what? I've been accepted into a really exclusive modeling class!
(everyone stares at her)
Quinn - What?
(at the Morgendorffer house)
(the family is seated at the kitchen table)
Quinn - What do you mean I'm not the modeling type? Are you talking about my hips?
Helen - This has nothing to do with your hips.
Quinn - It can't be my boobs. Claude said my boobs were perfect.
Jake - Who's Claude? (stands) I'll kill him! If he is a him.
Helen - You're not killing anyone, Jake.
Jake - Can I go upstairs then? This conversation is making me really uncomfortable.
Helen - Sit down, Jake. Quinn, this isn't about your body. I don't think you realize that modeling is an extremely competitive activity...
Quinn - So is dating, if you do it right.
Helen - ...in which your value as a human being is decided entirely on how you look.
Quinn - When does the bad part come in?
(telephone rings; Quinn doesn't answer it)
Daria - Wow, she is upset. (picks up phone) Hello?
(Romonica is under a towel in a spa)
Romonica - Hello! My name is Romonica DeGregory.
Daria (faux accent imitating Romonica's) - And I am Daria Morgendorffer.
Romonica - I wonder if I might speak with a Helen Morgendorffer.
Daria - Hold on, please. (hands phone to Helen)
Helen - Hello?
Romonica - Am I speaking to the mother of Quinn Morgendorffer?
Helen - Yes, this is Quinn's mother.
Romonica - This is Romonica... (spa attendant lifts towel and pours hot wax) Aeeeeee! Romonica DeGregory, with the New York Amazon Fashion Agency. Have I called at a bad time, Mrs. Morgendorffer?
Helen - Please, call me Helen. What can I do for you, Monica?
Romonica - Please, call me Romonica. Helen, your daughter has been selected along with a mere handful of girls to participate in a complimentary class in the Lawndale High auditorium.
Helen - A complimentary class?
Jake - Complimentary?
Romonica - Absolutely complimentary, Helen, and an experience that we expect will generate many compliments. (laughs) All the students are invited, but Quinn will be among the lucky few to be coached on stage. We're looking, of course, for tomorrow's modeling superstars.
Helen - Mmm-hmm.
Romonica - I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but we feel that Quinn is something quite special!
Helen - We think she's pretty special, too.
Romonica - You know Helen, I spend much time around the world's top models, and they all have that special something. I see millions of girls have a little something, but it's not special. What Quinn has is special. Quinn is a pearl in a bed of oysters.
Helen - I'll discuss this with my daughter, Monica, and we'll let you know.
Romonica - Rrrrrrrromonica! Thank you, Helen, and remember, opportunity knocks, but it doesn't beg. (spa attendant pulls away cooled wax) Ahhhhhhhh! Goodbye.
Helen - (hangs up) What a strange woman.
Quinn - You gotta let me do this! You always say I can be anything I want to be!
Helen - Yes, we do say that.
Daria - That reminds me. May I become the Queen of Brazil?
Helen - All right, you can participate in the open class, but it goes no further.
Quinn - Yes! (stands and leaves)
Helen - (to Daria) Now, what do I have to do to make you go to that class and keep an eye on her, hmmm?
Daria - No more talk about redecorating my room for twelve months.
Helen - Done.
Daria - Done.
Helen - You're getting softer.
Daria - On the contrary, I was thinking about going anyway.
Helen - You were?
Daria - I'm sensing potential for the total humiliation of Quinn here. I'd never forgive myself if I missed it. (stands and leaves)
Helen - Hmmm. Tell me I should just be glad she's going.
Jake - Of course you should! It's great that she wants to look out for her little sister.
Helen - Do you hear anything that goes on here?
Jake - (looks around) Have you seen the paper?
(in the school auditorium)
(Claude, Romonica, the Fashion Club, and another girl are on stage)
Romonica - All right, ladies, your worst enemy is at the end of the catwalk. The one who stole your boyfriend. She has fallen and broken her leg. Your job is to tell her, without words, that you've come to watch them cut it off.
(girls walk by on runway)
Romonica - Very good, Sandi, Stacy...
(a plump, red-headed girl walks by)
Claude - Brilliant of you to sign her on.
Romonica - Nothing like a decoy.
(Quinn walks by)
Romonica - Ah, Quinn, that is excellent. You appear truly to be savoring another's misfortune.
(Quinn stops with hand on hip)
Quinn - Thanks.
Claude - Now, girls, you're little kittens in an animal shelter. You have to look sad and helpless so someone will adopt you, or else it's kitty heaven.
Quinn - That's so sad.
Stacy - I get the idea that he's been there.
(Daria and Jane are seated in the nearly empty auditorium)
Jane - (chuckle) Kitty heaven?
Daria - How does he know they're not going to kitty hell?
Romonica - All right, ladies. Now, when you stride down the runway, you're walking towards your car. You've spotted a headless corpse in it... and it's a brand new car!
Daria - And a smelly old corpse.
Jane - In a really bad outfit.
(Trent sits down next to Jane)
Trent - Hey, Janey.
Jane - Yo, Trent. What are you doing here?
Trent - Oh, you know. Whatever.
Jane - Mom and Dad know you left the house voluntarily?
Trent - Um, I'm not sure how to break it to them. You got any ideas?
Jane - Nah. How about you Daria?
Trent - Hey, Daria.
Daria - (mutters) Hi.
Jane - No, really, what are you doing here?
Trent - Um, you know, I thought I'd check it out. (pause) Get used to being around fashion types. (pause) You know, for the future.
Jane - Trent, what are you talking about?
Trent (points at stage and points at self) - You know. Models... musician. Models... musician.
(Brittany sits down next to Daria and starts crying)
Daria - Brittany, are you all right?
Brittany - Do I look like I'm all right? No, I don't, and I don't look like I'm model material either, appearently.
Daria - You mean, apparently?
Brittany - I mean, I should be up there on stage with the winners instead of out here in the audience with the losers!
Daria - Hmmm. This must be torture for you.
(Kevin enters and sits next to Brittany)
Kevin - Oh, babe, I found you.
Brittany - Oh, Kevin, life is so unfair!
Kevin - What's wrong, babe?
(Brittany cries into his shoulder while talking unintelligibly)
Kevin - Huh?
Daria - She's upset because she's stuck out here with the losers.
Kevin - Oh. Yeah, I can see that.
(Brittany continues to cry)
(in the school auditorium)
Romonica - Girls, your runway work is truly superb. Now, let's try a little ensemble posing. Might we have some male volunteers from the audience?
(Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie practically climb all over themselves volunteering)
Romonica - Very good. Anymore?
Claude - You, out there. What's your name?
Kevin - Um... Kevin?
Claude - Come on up here and help our pretty little sparrows learn to pose with handsome young eagles.
Kevin - Sure!
(Kevin leaves Brittany, who falls face first into chair before sitting back up, crying even harder)
Jane - Don't be sad, Brittany. He's with the winners now.
Daria - I have to make a phone call. (leaves)
Romonica - All right, these are the sort of poses...
Claude - Known in the business as hayride crap.
Romonica - ...you can find yourself doing in catalog work.
Claude - Unless it's a really fun catalog. Then it might be a bit more interesting. For instance... boys, would you mind taking your shirts off?
(Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie comply, albeit a bit hesitantly)
Claude - You too, Kevin.
Kevin - Um, all right.
Claude - Now girls, I want you to rub your hands over those virile young chests. You want them, they want you, all that remains is to find someplace to let desire run free.
(the other girls start rubbing the guys' chests, all except for Quinn, who just stands there with a "no freakin' way!" look on her face)
Quinn - Um, I have to go to the bathroom.
Romonica - Are you sure that's what you're feeling?
Quinn - Yes! (leaves quickly)
Claude - All right, girls, caress those perfect pectorals.
(upon seeing Kevin, Brittany angrily exits, passing a returning Daria)
Romonica - Toy with the silky chest hair, or where the areas that hair may eventually be. That's it!
(Ms. Li enters on stage)
Ms. Li - Carry, on, carry on. I just thought I'd drop in to see how things... what the hell is going on here?!!
(Ms. Li separates the boys and girls on stage from their poses)
Ms. Li - You there! Stop that! You, stop that! Put your shirt back on! I don't want to see that! Put that jersey back on.
Daria - Uh-oh.
Jane - They're all going to kitty heaven.
Trent - I knew I should've stayed home.
(at the Morgendorffer house)
(Daria, Helen, and Jake seated at the kitchen table, while Quinn stands)
Quinn - And then I thought, if I sign up with a charity now, before I'm famous, later on I can say, "Oh! I was helping others long before I started modeling."
Helen - We agreed that you would take that one class and that was it.
Quinn - I was thinking maybe some group that wants to help animals, but cute animals.
Helen - Quinn, we made a commitment to each other. Now it's time to honor that commitment. No more modeling classes.
Quinn - Muh-om! I'm not talking about taking classes! I'm talking about winning the modeling contract.
Helen - Sweetheart, please don't take this the wrong way, but what if you don't win?
Quinn - Don't win?
Daria - Then I guess the animals are on their own. Even the cute ones.
Quinn - You don't get it. I'm writing a poem about what a great model I'd be. I'm going to recite it for Claude and Romonica. (clears throat) "A model's what I'd like to be... looking good comes naturally... da da da da, da da, me."
Daria - That's it, send the other girls home.
(in the school auditorium)
(Ms. Li stands on stage at the podium during school assembly)
Ms. Li - I know you're all anxious to find out who the winner of the Amazon Modeling Agency contract is, but first, I must say something about what happened here the other day. I don't want you students to think that modeling has to have anything to do with sex.
(several students laugh, drawing an annoyed glare from Ms. Li)
Ms. Li - Anyway, as I was saying...
Brittany - How could you do that to me? In front of everyone!
Kevin - I was just modeling, babe!
Brittany - Maybe you call it modeling. I call it hormones!
(Brittany marches up aisle, stops at plump girl Kevin had posed with)
Brittany - All right, he's yours now, but I'll always be his first. You can't take that away from me.
Slutty Girl - I can.
Brittany - Ooooh! (storms out)
Kevin - (sees Slutty Girl) Hey, hey!
(Slutty Girl blows him a kiss and winks as the auditorium door closes behind Brittany)
Kevin - Hey!
(Kevin follows Brittany while scattered laughter is heard)
Ms. Li - See, students? That's what happens when gonads rule the roost! Now, I believe we are ready to announce the winner of the modeling contract. The Amazon Modeling Agency of New York has decided to...
(a group of mercenary soldiers suddenly enters the auditorium and marches up to the podium; one soldier carries a boom box)
Song on boom box - "Kill the enemy! Whoever it happens to be! Huh! Huh!"
Jane - What?
Daria - Just watch.
Song on boom box - "Kill the enemy!"
(the soldier in charge, General Buck Conroy, approaches the podium)
General Conroy - Ms. Li, I presume. Thanks, I'll take it from here.
(General Conroy nudges Ms. Li away and draws finger across throat to have boom box turned off)
General Conroy - Students, young people, red-blooded youth of America! I'm General Buck Conroy, publisher of Brutal Mercenary Magazine, and I've come to your school today to find out who among you has what it takes to become a soldier for hire in today's exciting world of geopolitical violence!
Ms. Li - What in the name of God?
General Conroy - Now, now, ma'am, a deal's a deal. Sad to say, America no longer engages in the kind of ground wars that made this country great! But that doesn't mean that savage hand-to-hand combat is out of your reach. Mercenary soldiers go where the money is. You not only kill, but get paid well for doing it! Whew! What a racket! In a few days, we'll have a complimentary class right in the auditorium.
Ms. Li - What are you talking about? Who invited you here?
General Conroy - Why, you did, ma'am. I have your letter right here, and here's the fee we agreed on.
(he holds up letter and check)
General Conroy - Oh, look! The media!
(television news crew walks into the auditorium)
(at the Morgendorffer house)
(the family is watching television in the living room; on the screen, General Conroy waves the check while he has his arm around a shocked Ms. Li)
TV Announcer - And while Principal Angela Li denies inviting the mercenary recruiters to Lawndale High, News Five has learned that she did recently allow a modeling school to solicit students on school grounds.
Jake - Wow! That's all I can say. Wow! Does no one have any ethics anymore?
Daria - Only you and Thoreau, Dad.
Jake - You are so right! (looks at watch) I gotta call that baby formula guy. (leaves)
Quinn - If that... that General hadn't showed up, Ms. Li wouldn't have banned Claude and Romonica from school, and I would have won that modeling contract. I know it.
Daria - Don't be so sure. (reads from newspaper) "Football start has winning look, too." (Quinn looks at the paper in disbelief) "Lawndale High quarterback Kevin Thompson apparently has a winning form off the field, too. Thompson has just been signed to an exclusive contract with the Amazon Modeling Agency."
Quinn - Ugh!
Daria - Who would have guessed? Kevin's a pearl in a bed of oysters.
Quinn - That should have been me! I never had a chance to read my poem! (stands and leaves)
Daria - That's a loss for all of us.
(in her room, Daria reaches into her backpack and pulls out a copy of Brutal Mercenary magazine; with a self-satisfied smirk, she rips it up and throws it away)
(at Kevin's photo shoot)
(Claude, Romonica, and a camera crew are huddled around Kevin, who's posing in a pair of underwear; without his uniform and pads, he looks pretty scrawny)
Romonica - Come on, try not to look like the dull little high school boy you are.
Claude - Smirk, I said smirk, damn you!
Romonica - You call that a pose? You're not flexing for your milkmaid girlfriend anymore!
Claude - When did his caboose get so big? Was it that big when we signed him?
(beads of sweat roll off Kevin's forehead as he realizes just how out of his depth he is)