Run Time 1997-2001
“Daria” is a unique show because while it was popular for its time and remains a hot topic amid its cult-like following (Raises hand). The show’s original television run on MTV wasn’t that long (five seasons- 65 episodes). However, it has appeared on television on and off throughout the years since. (I think LOGO last had it run.)
“Daria” is about a sassy young intellectual and outcast named Daria Morgendorffer and her journey through high school. From pizza, best friends, sisterhood, dances, and first romances. The show covered a wide array of common dramatic high-school situations. Bringing in sometimes painfully accurate caricatures of various social clicks (jocks, cheerleaders, goths, etc). Yes it made generalizations and I’m sure some didn’t appreciate that, but in regards to the atmosphere of the show, it worked perfectly.
Daria was the teenage Lisa Simpson. Someone smarter than most of her peers who was unpopular in large part due to the anti-intellectualism of society (mixed with her trademark sarcasm). She had a talent for putting people in their place, but also writing and the arts (much like her friend Jane Lane). Yet, she was not evil and throughout the show shared moment of compassion and growth. Daria was incredible in many ways, but she was still human and had much to learn.
While the show did not expand to greater social issues, it brilliantly put educators, principles, and students into hilarious situations. While some may argue Daria wasn’t a positive role model, she was very smart and mature beyond her years. She may have liked a guy or two, but she was perfectly fine being independent. Daria often said what was on her mind and in a bind would reach out to her dysfunctional family when needed. In an animated world that is still dominated by Androcentrism-(male-centric) universes. Daria offered something refreshing and unique.
If the show had a flaw, it was that the characters never had much growth (though this is a common flaw in even the finest of animated shows. )
I loved the show Daria and still do. The characters are amazing and the jokes and scenarios take me back to high school. I still laugh at some of things because I experienced it. Having a very awkward high school experience (like many), I can say that Daria made me a bit more sane and understood. So it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
No animated show did high school right more than Daria. It nailed the social clicks of the 1990’s and early 2000’s in a masterful manner. The show kept sharp with interesting character, tons of running jokes by students and teachers, and social satire.