Triumph of the Retart

MSTed by Matt Blackwell (editor), Alex Gareipy, Bill Livingston, Cory McCasland, Keith Palmer, D. Reed, and Rebo Valance

Story by Peter Guerin

Read this MSTing: Web Site #9 version or uncut version (reader discretion advised).

Fanfic: It's the beginning of a new school year for the cynical but brainy teenager Daria Morgendorffer. And, since school is all about learning, what better way for her to start it than by learning that Lawndale High just happens to have a run-down wing hundreds of Special Education students are warehoused in? Immediately afterwards, Daria gets involved and beats up the people beating up the Special Ed student David MacAllister. David, overjoyed by this attention, French kisses her and then decides on the spur of the moment to run for Student Government President to make a difference. Unfortunately, the stylish but nasty president of the Fashion Club Sandi decides even more on the spur of the moment to run to keep David out of office, and we've got our one-issue race!

What with Daria's mother Helen presenting injunctions against the school, David would seem to have a clear path to the presidency. Sandi, however, is not deterred. When the school's football players aren't sufficiently thuggish to deter David, she heads to Highland, site of Daria's pre-spinoff days, to enlist the aid of the hitman-for-hire Todd. Following a cameo appearance by Hank Hill, we learn that Todd also just happened to have sexually abused Daria years ago. This doesn't stop her from ripping off the shirt of her sister and Fashion Club member Quinn, though.

Things are really starting to escalate by now, what with Daria's slacker squeeze Trent bringing in protest rockers Rage Against the Machine. They happen to be useful to get David out of jail after he beats up a football player, though, and to bring in Straight-Edgers to beat up the thugs Todd has assembled to beat up David. By now, Quinn is getting worried, but that doesn't stop her from being kicked out of the Fashion Club by Sandi or from having her shirt ripped off again. Quinn stumbles over to David's camp just in time for the big debate, which of course culminates in a huge brawl.

Following an interlude with a singing minister, Daria finally decides to make love, not war. She and David have fallen for each other in record time, and they have a clinically if ludicrously detailed sex scene excised from the Web Site #9 version. Fortunately, the hidden camera footage of this is destroyed just in time for the election. To practically nobody's surprise, David wins.

Sandi finally decides to have Todd shoot David during the first Student Government meeting. There's one last huge brawl in which Quinn takes the bullet and Todd is knocked out of a projection booth and killed, and then it's clear sailing at last, except for the little problem of the student who comes out of nowhere and blows David up with a suicide bomb. Luckily, the singing minister is there to pick another Special Education student at random to run for president again, and a big musical number and an attempt to gloss over some criminal convictions concludes our story.

Host Segments: Prologue: Tom and Crow's string of lyric quizzes are finally interrupted when a mysterious figure attempts to warn our heroes of an oncoming ordeal.
Segment One: Mike and the bots have been frantically prepping for the worst. Pearl declares that she's treating them to "a feel good story from one of your favorite authors, Peter Guerin."
Segment Two: To demonstrate the theory that new characters in stories are instantly accepted and loved by the regulars, Mike builds the new bot Scooter. Scooter, though, has an agenda of his own.
Segment Three: Mike and Tom just can't tell their Quentin Tarentino trivia to enough people.
Segment Four: Crow and Tom discuss just what makes Todd tick as Mike does a series of "King of the Hill" impressions.
Segment Five: Our heroes attempt to demonstrate the romantic effects of the diner. Rock/rap fusion artists Limp Bizkit interrupt them.
Segment Six: Straight-Edgers board the Satellite of Love, if only briefly. They do manage to misinterpret quite a lot of dialogue, though.
Segment Seven: Recovering from "one of the longest chapters of anything" they've ever endured, Mike and the bots attempt to match Pearl's attempts to break their spirits. Lounge Against the Machine, banjo gospel, and a tinfoil ball all make their appearance before the duel ends.
Segment Eight: Mike enlightens the bots as to what high school politics is really like, briefly distracting them from intense C-SPAN action.
Segment Nine: Mike and the bots hold a well-attended wake for David MacAllister. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones board the Satellite of Love, but where they're going next is too dangerous for our heroes to follow.
Stinger: Zack de la Rocha introduces himself.

Reflections: First of all, I am not the Keith mentioned in the first host segment. More information on him can be found in Matt Blackwell's earlier solo MSTing, "A comment from apparently the most 'annoying' man on the BBS".

With that taken care of, I can say I had a fun time working on a MSTing of a Peter Guerin story. I had generally enjoyed the MSTing of "The Misery Senshi Neo-Zero Double Blitzkrieg Debacle"; it got me watching Daria to see what sort of show had been got so consistently and entertainingly wrong. Then, after greatly enjoying the MSTing of "The Return of the Lawndale Militia", I decided to try and give something back to others. There weren't any of the anime crossovers that had enlivened the first two stories for me, but there was still a more than generous helping of Guerin-isms.

In a way, though, Guerin had a kind of revenge on me. After dipping into Daria web pages to see what she looked like in her pre-spinoff days, I started reading Daria fanfics by other people. Ultimately, I followed the fandom so far as to become worried what would happen to its members after the show they followed came to an end. There's probably a lesson in that somewhere.

As a postscript, many other people enjoyed this MSTing as well. It won Web Site #9 MSTing Awards for Best Group MSTing and Best Characterization of the Standard MST3K Characters, and shared in a three-way tie for the Best Riffing award. The original story probably helped a good deal with those awards, though; the fanfic in the MSTing also won awards for Worst Fanfic, Worst Plot Contrivance, Worst New Character, Worst Scientific Explanation/Technobabble, and Worst Typo, and was nominated for Worst Characterization of an Established Character. That, perhaps, puts things in some sort of perspective.

Return to my home page.