Everytime I hear Splendora’s “You’re standing on my neck” I know an awesome episode of “Daria” is just about to begin. I remember watching this show on TV when we had the good MTV in Romania, but I didn’t have enough wit or knew enough English to understand the jokes. It’s been a week or two since I started watching the show and I already miss it. You guessed it! I finished it and I regret it. The show originally aired on MTV from 1997 to 2002. The series included five seasons and two Daria specials “Is it fall yet?” and “Is it college yet?”.
I’m trying to say something more original that “I just love this show!”, but it’s so hard, taking into consideration the genius within it! Any show that emanates girl power as subtle yet strong like “Daria” does… now that’s a show I could consider my favourite! The character of Daria is not your average teenager. She is the kind of girl that doesn’t fit in but manages to get by with her dry wit and sarcasm. Daria Morgendorffer is the definition of teen misfit and she uses her sharp tongue to attack superficiality and shallowness. Her parents (Hellen and Jake) are overachieving businessmen and her sister Quinn is the IT girl at Lawndale High. To them, Daria is not a normal girl and they often felt rather embarresed by her. Quinn didn’t reffer to her as her sister until the season finale and, until then, Daria was either “the adopted kid” or her cousin. Her parents, especially Hellen, wanted Daria to engage in extracurricular activities to boost her social skills and to look good on her college application.
Daria wears rounded, thick glasses and shapeless, earth toned clothes to match her down to earth personality. Her monotone voice perfectly matched her two cents on life. She never laughed during the show, mildly smiling when something went her way or when her sister Quinn was in some kind of trouble. The only times when Daria would raise her voice a little more were when she was trying to put forward a strong argument or when she would fight with people around her. Even when she is excited, Daria would have the same monotone voice that we all know and love.
To me, Daria is like a ’90s super hero without a cape. Her graduation speech in “Is it College yet?” made me realize that:
Um… thank you. I’m not much for public speaking, or much for speaking, or, come to think of it, much for the public. And I’m not very good at lying. So let me just say that, in my experience, high school sucks. If I had to do it all over again, I’d have started advanced placement classes in preschool so I could go from eighth grade straight to college. However, given the unalterable fact that high school sucks, I’d like to add that if you’re lucky enough to have a good friend and a family that cares, it doesn’t have to suck quite as much. Otherwise, my advice is: stand firm for what you believe in, until and unless logic and experience prove you wrong; remember, when the emperor looks naked, the emperor is naked; the truth and a lie are not “sort of the same thing”; and there is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with pizza. Thank you.
I wonder where was this speech when I was graduating? These are true pearls of wisdom that should be passed on from generation to generation. This speech was enough of an argument to prove that Daria Morgendorffer is my hero!
Like any super hero, Daria had a sidekick: her best friend Jane Lane. Like Daria, Jane wasn’t popular and she was also proud to have low self esteem. The two classmates met in Timothy O’Neil’s self esteem class in the first episode of the series, Esteemsters. Jane is an open-minded artist who, like Daria, hates the shalowness of the ones around her and who treats life with cynism and sarcasm. The two never show much friendly affection throughout the show, but their bond is strong enough to maintain the relationship through college as well.
Daria had a crush on Jane’s older brother, Trent and I was hoping they would end up together eventually. After Daria immagined how life with slacker extraordinaire Trent would be, she eventually got over her crush. The two never actually went on a date or even kissed, but there was definite chemistry between them and the writers should have given them a chance. I was hoping to see an on screen teen couple and an expantion of the Lane family. Daria and Jane would have become sisters-in-law and her and Trent would have made a lot of Daria fans happy. It would have been great to see the geeky girl end up with the much older rocker with the tatoos and piercings, the lead singer of Mystic Spiral. That’s like a high school-ish dream that never came true.
Instead, Daria dated Tom Sloane, Jane’s former boyfriend. Tom cheated on Jane with her best friend. This brought tension between Daria and Jane, tension that we could easily see during the last season of the show. Whenever Daria had a problem with Tom, Jane would ironically remind her that he’s her ex or something like that. The tension wasn’t eliminated, not even when Jane suggested Daria should give Tom a chance. They were together until the season finale, but Daria didn’t seem to have those butterflies in her stomach that she had when she had her crush on Trent. Tom was a bright young man that came from a rich family. He cared for Daria, but it didn’t seem to be enough. They eventually split in “Is it College yet?” when Tom got into Bromwell University by nepotism and Daria was rejected. Daria was the one to call it quits with Tom and Jane was proud of her.
I loved this show so very much, but I don’t understand why Tom had to be in the picture. I believe he was a good first relationship for Daria, due to the fact that they were both on the same page of intelligence, but he didn’t seem to have much of a personality. He seemed more like the cardboard cheater that lacks in personality, but could be a one season boyfriend. Daria needed someone with personality, not just brains and money. It was cool that he could accept her negativity and misantrophy, but the first boyfriend never seems to be “The One”.
Daria and Jane headed for the same town for college and maybe there each of them found true love. I said each of them, not both of them to be clear that the Tom episode should never to be repeated. For Daria’s sake, I hope Trent matures enough to become her love interest once again and maybe, after college they will end up together and pick up where they left off.
As you can see, I’m a romantic at heart and I want the main character to end up with Mister Right. And if Trent wasn’t “The One” during the five seasons, maybe he’ll become more mature, have a real career and end up with Daria and all us romantics would get the happy ending we were hoping for.
Daria reminded me that high school sucked and that being popular was never a plus. Having one true friend, a family that supports you, more or less, is the key to a path of success. I’m happy I survived four years of high school and I’m actually happy I have Daria to thank that she made geeks with glasses cool!
A herd of beautiful wild ponies running free across the plains is what I see too when I don’t want to accept the crap around me. Thank you MTV! Thank you Daria!