The spin-off show has long been a part of television. All In The Family begat Maude. Happy Days begat Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. He-Man begat She-Ra and of all things Beavis & Butt-Head begat Daria. Who would have thought that a minor character about two of the stupidest characters in animation history would become the focus of the smartest thing ever produced on MTV?
Daria Morgendorffer’s life as a star character began when her family moved to Lawndale High leaving the world of Beavis & Butt-Head in the dust. The smart, sarcastic monotone Daria quickly befriends fellow outcast, Jane and quickly alienates herself from all of her other classmates including her super perky and popular young sister, Quinn.
The show follows Daria and Lawndale High’s cornucopia of eclectic and very true to life characters. Reflecting back to high school now I knew someone who was just like every one of these characters: Brittany the ditzy cheerleader; Jodie and Mack, the token African American students; Upchuck, the sleazy dork; Kevin, the stupid jock; Sandi, Stacy and Tiffany; The Fashion Club; and Joey, Jeffy and Jamie as the lame guys who always follow around Quinn like puppy dogs and all the rest. If you were in high school, you knew most if not all of these people.
However, now that I’m in my 30s what really struck me about this show was not only how the teenager still inside me still related to all the kids. But the thirty-something I am now could really relate to Daria’s parents. This show really stretches across many generations.
The show is extremely well written and the issues they deal with are issues every teenager goes through, whether in the ’90s when this show was produced or today. While revisiting the show I was wondering if the show might be a little dated, but a friend of mine who works with teenagers told me that high school kids are still just like this.
This is a solid show through all five seasons. The only episode that really struck me as a stinker was “Daria!,” the musical episode. Musical episodes are really hit or miss with TV shows and this one really didn’t do it for me. Other than that, I really had no complaints. I laughed hard and loud all the way through all 65 episodes and two TV movies and when all was said and done I was sad to see it end.
Esteemsters 3-3-1997 The Invitation 3-10-1997 College Bored 3-17-1997 Café Disaffecto 3-24-1997 Malled 3-31-1997 This Year’s Model 4-7-1997 The Lab Brat 4-14-1997 Pinch Sitter 6-9-1997 Too Cute 6-16-1997
The Big House 6-30-1997 Road Worrier 7-7-1997 The Teachings Of Don Jake 7-14-1997 The Misery Chick 7-21-1997
Arts ‘N’ Crass 2-16-1998 The Daria Hunter 2-23-1998 Quinn The Brain 3-2-1998 I Don’t 3-9-1998 That Was Then, This Is Dumb 3-16-1998
Monster 3-23-1998 The New Kid 3-30-1998 Gifted 6-29-1998 Ill 7-6-1998 Fair Enough 7-13-1998 See Jane Run 7-20-1998 Pierce Me 7-27-1998 Write Where It Hurts 8-3-1998
Through A Lens Darkly 2-24-1999
The Old And The Beautiful 3-3-1999 Depth Takes A Holiday 3-10-1999 Daria Dance Party 3-17-1999 The Lost Girls 3-24-1999 It Happened One Nut 7-7-1999 Daria! 2-17-1999 Lane Miserables 7-14-1999 Jake Of Hearts 7-21-1999 Speedtrapped 7-28-1999
The Lawndale File 8-4-1999 Just Add Water 8-11-1999 Jane’s Addiction 8-18-1999
Partner’s Complaint 2-25-2000 Antisocial Climbers 3-3-2000 A Tree Grows In Lawndale 3-10-2000 Murder, She Snored 3-17-2000 The F Word 3-31-2000 I Loath A Parade 4-7-2000
Of Human Bonding 4-14-2000 Psycho Therapy 6-28-2000 Mart Of Darkness 7-5-2000 Legends Of The Mall 7-12-2000 Groped By An Angel 7-26-2000 Fire! 7-26-2000 Dye! Dye! My Darling 8-2-2000
Fizz Ed 2-19-2001 Sappy Anniversary 2-26-2001
Fat Like Me 3-5-2001 Camp Fear 3-12-2001 The Story Of D 3-19-2001 Lucky Strike 3-26-2001 Art Burn 4-2-2001 One J At A Time 5-21-2001 Life In The Past Lane 5-28-2001 Aunt Nauseam 6-4-2001 Prize Fighters 6-11-2001
My Night At Daria’s 6-18-2001 Boxing Daria 6-25-2001
Is It Fall Yet? 8-27-2000 Is It College Yet? 1-21-2002
The episodes are presented in fullscreen 1:33.1. Sound is Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound. This show holds up and looks and sounds fantastic. Sure the hit tunes of the ’90s are missing, but frankly, I didn’t even notice.
Pilot Episode: Sealed With A Kick: (5 min.) Original airdate: 12-29-1996. It’s amazing that this crude short turned into such a fantastic show.
Mystik Spiral Music Video: “Freakin’ Friends: (2 min.) This is a pretty silly song.
Daria Day Intros: A chunk of episodes have these short intros by Daria and Jane when MTV would have big Daria marathons. Or as my friends and I used to call them “Dariathons.”
Top Ten Video Countdown with Daria & Jane: (6 min.) While clever in of themselves, it’s annoying that you don’t actually get to see the videos and they don’t even announce the #1.
Cast And Crew Interviews: (6 min.) Nice retrospective from the cast and crew about the show.
Mystik Spiral Spin-Off Script
Character bios and sketches
I loved this show when if first came out, yet I was surprised at how much I loved rewatching this show. It is amazingly well written and truly stands the test of time. It’s got a decent amount of special features and all-in-all this is a fantastic DVD set. Highly Recommended.
MTV and Paramount Pictures present Daria: The Complete Animated Series. Created by Glenn Eichler. Starring: Tracy Grandstaff, Wendy Hoopes, Julian Rebolledo and Marc Thompson. Running time: 1586 minutes on 8 discs. Not Rated. Released on DVD: May 11, 2010. Available at Amazon.com.
Mike Noyes received his Masters Degree in Film from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. A few of his short films can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/user/mikebnoyes. He recently published his first novel which you can buy here: https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Days-Years-Mike-Noyes-ebook/dp/B07D48NT6B/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528774538&sr=8-1&keywords=seven+days+seven+years
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