Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Teenage Toons: Daria (1997)

Spun off from Beavis & Butt-Head, Daria launched on MTV a few months before Beavis ended its first run in 1997. Any fan of the two shows knows that Daria Morgandorffer was the nemesis of the Texas Twits for one good reason. She was their diametric opposite. Smart, cynical, & sassy as opposed to being dumber than a broken lightbulb. Then again.........

Daria did have its resident dimwits in Kevin, a quarterback on the football team who seemingly is never out of uniform, and Brittany, his cheerleader girlfriend, a regular Dumb Dora if you get my drift. We also met Daria's parents and sister, and Daria now had a sidekick in best pal Jane Lane, who probably would be another one that Beavis & Butt-Head couldn't deal with.

Daria lasted 5 seasons, but remember, in this day and age, cable networks define seasons differently than they have in the past. The series ended with the TV-movie, "Is It College Yet?", which aired in January 2002. Reruns were last seen on MTV a year ago, and prior to that, on sister network Logo in 2010. Viacom, of course, could put the series on any of their channels, but presently prefers to lock it back in the vaults. Yes, the series is available on DVD, by the way.

Here's the open:

According to the Wikipedia page on the series, MTV did have some discussions about reviving the show last year, but after the revival of Beavis did a sudden crash & burn (read: MTV, being run by idiots, decided not to renew it), well......!

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

Love Daria!

The series took its time getting to DVD because of the rights to the music the show used in the end credits during its first run. They ended up changing the music during its syndicated run, and the DVD releases. I don't remember most of those tunes, but fans have posted that it's a big loss to the show and its tone.

This show was a lot a fun the first couple of seasons although the show seemed to drag a bit when Daria (and Jane) were dating Tom. It seemed rather awkward - even though it was inevitable either of them would be dating a boy eventually.

I also liked "Is It College Yet?" and I think the show was possibly aiming for a spinoff in Boston. Both Jane and Daria would have been attending college, Jane's brother, Trent would probably be playing coffee houses, and there would have been room for new characters for the girls' college experiences. Plus there would always be room for old characters to drop in now and then.

Since a revival series is out of the question, I'd settle for another TV movie - to see what's become of Daria and the gang since college.

I find it odd the show has been running on LOGO. It's a gay oriented channel and neither Daria nor Jane were gay and the show certainly wasn't gay centric in the least.

hobbyfan said...

Logo is part of the MTV Networks family, and thus will carry some shows that aren't gay-centric in order to either retain copyrights for Viacom, or, if it's a 3rd party acquisition, to help fulfill a contract. In Daria's case, I'd say it was for copyright purps.

It was fun, but why do I think of Daria now as a human, female version of Droopy Dog? Because she hardly cracks a smile.