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In a very odd twist, Jane is coerced into joining the track team. And, unlike her best friend Daria, she actually turns out to be a natural athlete. However, something unexpected occurs--Jane learn that being a jock is like joining a secret club or a cult. In other words, as a jock you get special 'perks'--such as automatic passes on tests! While Jane likes the idea of not having to study and getting by, she doesn't like the sort of jerks that she now comes into contact with every day. So she now has a choice--should she 'play the game' and be a runner or should she stay true to herself and remain the same slacker she's always been? An interesting episode, yes, but not a particularly funny one. It did have some good things to say about athletes and scum-bag coaches, though, and is still well worth seeing--even if it is a tad weak.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When the gym teacher makes the girls do exercises that Daria and Jane
believe are just cheer-leading training by another name they decide to
sit it out even when told they will have to come back after school. To
show that she is quite willing to do proper sports Jane signs up for
the athletics team and is actually very good. While her friend busy
running Daria starts talking to herself causing her mother to worry
enough to bribe Quinn to hang out with her a bit. Eventually Jane has
to question certain aspects of being on the school team; is it right
that she should automatically pass a maths test just because she can
run fast? Daria doesn't think so and after giving it a little thought
neither does Jane.
This was an interesting episode; it had some funny moments, such as Britney falling flat on her face each time she did the splits in PE. It also has something to say about the idea that girls are mainly expected to just cheer on the boys and that those people who are athletic get automatic passes in tests. Whether this really happens in some US schools I don't know; it certainly seems a strange idea though! The way Daria and Jane's friendship changed while Jane was running provided more drama than humour but that was no bad thing; I'm just glad that they were back to their usual cynical selves by the end.
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