So this week College Humor put up a fake Daria trailer staring Aubrey Plaza as the titular character. (A link is at the end of this post.) Of course it is a huge deal on the internet, especially among us Generation Y’ers. (Is that right? Am I end of Gen X or beginning of Gen Y? I was born in ’82.) I loved the trailer as I own the DVD’s and watch the show about every two months, either using my discs or Hulu/Netflix.
I was a fan of the show when I was a teenager, and it was new. Lawndale High was pretty much a upper-middle class version of my high school. When Daria and Jane were complaining about the use of “dawn of the millenium”, it was pretty much my friends poking fun at the fact we were in high school at the “dawn of the millenium.” I knew a Kevin and a Britney. I knew a couple of UpChucks and Jodies. I definitely knew some Quinn’s and Sandy’s. Luckily, my sister and I were not Daria and Quinn. If I flip through my junior yearbook, which was at the height of Daria “mania” in 1999, I will see several brunette girls dressed as her for character day during Homecoming Week. Hell, Daria was MTV. If you are my age, you came home from school, watched TRL in the afternoon and watched Daria and Celebrity Death Match during the 10Spot. Hell, Daria did the musical episode before the much-loved Buffy episode. (My husband, a fan of Buffy in his high school days, was surprised by this.) Those were the days when they still showed music videos. Yeah, I went there.
What I love about this show is that the characters, while sometimes being very one-dimensional, could grow. This is definitely shown in the last two seasons and the movies, Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet? All the characters grow, go through real problems teenagers have to go through, etc. My favorite story lines are Quinn’s realization that she is intelligent and that she is selling herself short, the Tom/Jane/Daria “triangle”, the Tom/Daria relationship, and Daria coming to an understanding about how her personality can be a problem but understanding that she should not get rid of the better parts of her, if that makes sense. The last official episode of season 5, in which Daria figures this out by examining a painful memory of her parents having to deal with her anti-social behavior as a little girl, really touches a nerve for me because someone close to me has experienced that and still does. They know who they are.
Parts of Daria’s personality and problems really spoke to me. I was not very popular, but people knew me. I had some friends and two best friends. I was pretty bright, although I was one of those smart kids that had potential and didn’t really use it. Although, I was very involved in Chorus and by the end of high school, SGA. I was very outspoken. I wore glasses, dealt with trying to use contacts, and the idea of people seeing me differently because I didn’t have glasses. Hell, I am 31 and still feel like that not so popular, outspoken girl that Daria was.
Even though the show went off the air in 11 years ago and sometimes can seem dated (the “new” technology, Jake working for a start-up dot-com), its themes still hold up. My 18-year-old sister could definitely relate to this show. This may be one of the few things MTV ever created, and I am glad for that.
- Daria Movie Trailer (with Aubrey Plaza) (collegehumor.com)