Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
Offhand remarks about the alienating nature of the Internet get Daria (voice of Tracy Grandstaff) embroiled in an open mike event at a new student cafe in this episode of the animated MTV series Daria. As with many other school projects in various episodes, Daria's participation here comes at the insistence of her shrill mother, Helen (voice of Wendy Hoopes); her autocratic principal, Ms. Li (voice of Nora Laudani); and her touchy-feely English teacher, Mr. O'Neill (voice of Marc Thompson), who comes up with the cafe concept after Daria's participation in a class discussion about the role of technology in society. Dismayed that her ideas are being twisted into another new-age enterprise, Daria tries to get away with simply helping raise funds for the cafe's construction. But her steadfast refusal to sell candy bars to a morbidly obese hypoglycemic woman gets her bumped from that plum assignment. Reluctantly, she agrees to humiliate herself on opening night by reading one of her short stories: an adventure yarn about Melody Powers, a communist-fighting secret agent/intellectual. The story is such a rousing success, however, that it inspires riots from the students, who've grown bored with their other classmates' wretched performances. Soon, the doors to Mr. O'Neill's pet project have been shackled forever, which is fine with Daria, who hated the idea in the first place. One of the students who shares the Cafe Lawndale bill with Daria is goth chick Andrea (voice of Susie Lewis), a cult-favorite character who is usually seen only in the background of scenes but occasionally, as in this episode, takes a more active role.