Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Oh, the summer of 2004 changed me. Of course, you, the reader, have been assiduously following my blog, and already know of my tiki fetish. But that same summer, I also regressed emotionally back to college. And one of my loves at the time was Daria.

I was lucky enough to find it on The N, basically to the Noggin what Nick at Nite was to Nickelodeon. The N was, uh, edgy enough to show teenage dramas like Radio Free Roscoe and Degrassi (which was a Canadian show apparently too extreme to make it onto syndicated American TV). But I didn't want messy reality drama. I wanted my sarcasm, plain and simple. I wanted humor just this side of Beavis and Butthead. I wanted a cartoon to pander to my basest brainwave frequencies. I wanted to hear Daria Morgendorffer and her indomitable sidekick Jane Lane wax sardonic about life, high school, boys, the popular people, name it, nothing was immune to their withering observations. They said all the things I never felt I could say as a high school or college kid for some reason.

Daria delivered the wicked goods. The show actually was an offshoot of Beavis and Butthead; one episode finds Daria correcting the two moronically chuckling in a museum: "He said master painters." But Daria was too much of a character to be denied a show of her own. Who couldn't relate to being a misfit prone to snarky comments in high school? Millions could. So one day in 1997, Daria and her family moved away from their former home in Texas, settled in Lawndale, and one of the best cartoons ever created began its five-year stint on MTV.

The unfortunate thing about Daria is that chances of it being officially released on DVD are slim to none. The background music was sampled from scads of alternative artists, all from different music labels. The possibility of securing the rights to each and every one of those songs is pretty slim...although in this day and age where Girl Talk can sample hundreds of artists in one single 53 minute-long song and probably not get prosecuted, hey...anything's possible, right? Just don't hold your breath is all I'm sayin'.

The other unfortunate thing about Daria is that it stopped being aired on MTV in 2002, and although picked up by The N sometime after that (albeit in edited form), it was dropped unceremoniously in 2005. It now lives an ignominious existence on YouTube. Still, check the ads on the side...maybe there is hope after all.

But in the meantime, we have websites like this to fulfill our Daria-philia. And my love for Daria knows few bounds. This shall not be the last you hear from me about Ms. Morgendorffer.

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