Monday, November 5, 2007
If you were a teenager in the 1990s, you knew Daria. You understood characters in Daria. You could hum the theme song to Daria. You could even act out the introduction to Daria.
And then, they took Daria off the air.
Don't ask me how my strange mind landed on the topic of Daria (perhaps some are not too upset because Daria had a cult-like following and fan-base), but I wish we had a cartoon satire that was comical, intellectual, and represented the teenage generation as well as this television show did.
The theme song randomly popped in my head, and when I put Daria in my away message, I was bombarded by a massive response. Thus, the blog post.
What do you remember about Daria? What did you like about it?
I will unload my thoughts and recent learnings on the program.
First, Daria was a spin-off of Beavis and Butthead. Daria was a minor character that had potential for her own show. Daria's cynicism and representation of a typical 90s teenager proved well at MTV who gave the green light to the pilot. I wish Jeannine Garofolo really did play the voice of Daria herself.
Daria was almost called The Esteemers. Good choice not to choose that.
Daria aired from 1997-2002, where Nogin picked up it and aired it for a while. Unfortunately, it only now airs in foreign countries like the UK, although I'm sure someone could purchase a bootleg copy of Daria's various seasons. Check out Daria's website if you are interested in recapping the memories of Lawndale High.
I will then make a list of reasons why I love Daria and why they should either put re-runs back on the air, or launch new episodes that focus on 1990s teenagers. The 2000s generation wouldn't really cut it:
1. Daria had the coolest single outfit, especially because none of it matched.
2. Trent was such a cool guy. Who wouldn't want to hang out with him?
3. Who else wouldn't want a best friend named Jane Lane who was incredibly amazing at artwork?
4. Daria lived in a bedroom with padded walls. Enough said.
5. The Morgendorffers portrayed suburban families to a T. Clueless. Hilarious.
6. Brittany and Kevin could not have satirized popular teenagers any better than they did, acting as head cheerleader and football captain.
7. Daria would always launch into these sophisticated rants that always confused the listener, but they were so true about life and our culture! Such wisdom...
8. They always made fun of popular music at the time, i.e. Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy with It."
9. Cartoon cameos never hurt anyone, especially if the writers were making fun of them as a pop icon. Otherwise, it was cool to see stars like Dave Grohl get incorporated into cartoon television.
10. The titles, that were puns, were always so witty and clever.
11. The end slideshow of characters dressed in obscene costumes always added an extra laugh at the end of the show.
12. Daria's favorite show, Sick Sad World, always depicted our culture in its true, natural, twisted state. How much more true is this now with reality TV?
13. They portrayed wacky teachers in an eerily accurate light, like Dr. Demartino with the bulging out eyes. Ah!
14. Quinn and Daria couldn't be farther from one another. Isn't that true with a lot of siblings? Quinn was so embarassed of Daria too, who always pushed her farther in order to embarass her more. Amazing sister.
15. We all loved that high school band that we thought would make it big but never would. Daria had Mystik Spiral. Trent, of course, made the band irresistible.
16. The love triangle between Tom, Daria, and Jane was so realistic, even though it was painful to watch, it portrayed teenage reality all too well.
17. We all had a gross nerd in high school like Upchuck. Unforunately, geeks like Upchuck are going to be richer than us someday. Sad but true, or sick sad world?
18. The Fashion Club, Quinn's popular clique of four, really showed how important cliques and popularity are to teenagers. In reality, they're not really all that smart, are they? At least it made us on the outside feel justified.
19. Didn't someone always have a crush on the older sibling? Daria was definitely victim to this misfortune with Trent...
20. Jamie, Joey, and Jeffy, Quinn's following boys, really showed how far boys will go for a girl's attention, yet the writers cleverly crafted their names to symbollically represent how similar they all really are with their near-identical names.
Did I miss any good ones? Care to add any?
Please respond to Daria. She has been neglected far too long from being cancelled. Something needs to be done to bring her back.