Daria (TV Series 1997–2001) Poster


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"Daria" epitomizes ironic ingenuity
morphion24 January 2006
The self-defeating world of MTV began as a spark in the mind of one perceptive demographics adviser or another, but soon it grew to epidemic proportions, numbing and sugarcoating all things rebellious in a depressingly successful attempt to convince the masses that nonconformity is all about styles and fads. Any sensible teenager will tell you that it is an unwitting mockery of the things it believes it is making available to an already converted audience, but amongst the throngs of bright colors and loud-but-not-too-loud noises that essentially is MTV, you will occasionally find a gem; an intelligent, insightful, informed show of independent thought, sincerity and sardonic subtlety. "Daria" is one such example.

Anybody who used to watch "Beavis and Butthead" (no comment) will recognize Daria already, as the plain girl with glasses and the monotone voice that would often foil the titular duo's moronic and half-baked plans. When the show began to think about packing it in, MTV approached the creators with the offer of giving Daria her own show. And thank heavens for that. Not only is "Daria" up there with "Frasier" as one of the greatest spin-offs of all time, but it threatens to take a place as one of the greatest stand-alone shows of all time.

Daria Morgendorffer, our bland anti-heroine, is not your average teenage girl. Smart, sarcastic, opinionated but highly unmotivated, her life revolves around observing the actions of others with her best friend Jane Lane, a misfit artist from a family of unconventional thinkers. Together Daria and Jane see fit to mock the sea of stereotypes that is their suburban hometown of Lawndale, mainly the student body of their high school. Daria's deep loathing of all things superficial is regularly tested by the presence of her shallow and materialistic sister Quinn, while her workaholic lawyer mother Helen and her perpetually stressed out and slightly unbalanced father Jake struggle to do the right thing by their daughters in the interactive jumble that is life in Lawndale.

At a mere glance, one might perceive "Daria" as a children's show, due to its animation. However, even the slightest exertion of further examination would reveal that it is no more a children's show than "The Angry Beavers" is a sophisticated portrayal of American Wildlife. Where a lot of shows sell their credibility for cheap laughs and mold their characters on popularity polls, "Daria" is firm in its subtlety, never wavering in its belief that, given time, its audience will get the joke. Some may take longer than others, but all that do never turn back.

The genius of the show lies in its ironic reflection of a culture that would never allow a show like this to get off the ground. Surrounded on all sides by the trivial and materialistic values she lives to hate, Daria takes refuge in the companionship of Jane, the isolated safety of her own room and the glow of the television (which will probably be tuned in to dissocial ironathon news program 'Sick Sad World'), emerging now and again for a futile attempt to significantly impact the alienating world around her. And perhaps the experience might be alienating to us, the audience, if it weren't for the shows strategic and successful ploy to get us to see the world through Daria's eyes. Once there, we're completely hooked, and all the rest of the show's intrinsic jokes fall into place.

Arguably the most enviable quality of animation is its freedom to let characters be exaggerated without being unrealistic. The most brilliant thing about this is that eventually, characters that are truly only meant to serve as tired clichés perversely become beloved, unique personalities. Trent, Jane's lazy soft spoken musician brother with delusions of future stardom with his garage band Mystik Spiral, Kevin and Brittany, quarterback of the football team and head of the cheerleaders respectively, two blissfully ignorant airhead lovers with no aspirations beyond their current high school status, Mr. O'Neal, the hypersensitive English teacher, balanced in the extreme by the borderline psychopathic Mr. DeMartino, an irate History teacher who has lost the will to educate. Even the unbearably shallow and conceited Fashion Club, four fashion-victimized teenage girls who believe their undeservedly elitist circle is doing the world around them a world of good, gradually grow on you until, like it or not, you couldn't imagine Lawndale without them.

It is because of this paradoxical attachment to the characters that serious plot developments towards the end of the series are able to engage the audience on a level that is more than just honesty for the sake of mockery. Once we've grown accustomed to Daria's detached and cynical attitude, the show begins to admit that perhaps it has been having us on a little bit, at least concerning the rigid personalities of our beloved caricature personas. Therefore, once Daria has opened up a smidgeon , so does her/our view of her world, in an event suspiciously symptomatic of personal growth. And from there it's a small step to actually caring about the students, teachers and residents of Lawndale as we farewell them in the "Daria" movie finale "Is It College Yet?", in which we see our little high-schoolers graduate and move on. It says a lot about the show that it is able to gradually soften its bite enough to let us feel for the characters without ever feeling inconsistent.

If one were to only catch a few episodes of "Daria", then they might like what they see, and they'd be well justified. But they'd ultimately be missing out. Because as entertaining as the self-contained half-hour segments of the show can be, the world of Daria is not about separate jokes, separate characters, separate stories or separate anything. Everything within the show works to build to a greater understanding about teenage life, indeed about life in general, and everything it entails; a simple masterpiece that's value only increases when put into social context.
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One of the best cartoons of the 90's
Idolprincess11 July 2004
I've read the user comments for "Daria" and I noticed one thing. All the bad reviews are written by elitist goth kids who disliked that an "alternative" show like it was aired on a "mainstream" TV channel like MTV. Don't let yourself fooled by these comments.

Sure, this show aired on MTV. Doesn't it seem a bit weird that it bashes everything MTV is all about? Sure, it is trendy to be different and artsy to some extent. Didn't MTV just want to take advantage of this? Personally, I think that Daria is one of the best and funniest shows that I've ever seen.

This show might seem like it's about teen angst. It might seem like Daria is your typical high school outcast with her artistic friend who are proud of being "different" yet aren't that much different after all. But this is not at all what it's like.

First, this show isn't particularly aired at teenagers. It's aired at any young people, I'd say anyone from 12 to 35 but people in their late teens and 20's can enjoy it more since they've gone through high school or are still in high school. Daria criticizes high school life. Aside from the "be yourself and screw what others think" moral, the goal of the show is to make it's watchers laugh. Daria lives in an exagerated version of reality where teenagers and adults are completely brainwashed by society and often act in ridiculous ways. This is what is so funny. Even though the show is so realistic, the fact that it's exagerated reminds us that it doesn't take itself too seriously and that the goal isn't to be preachy but to be humorous.

As I said earlier, Daria is not your typical rebellious teenager. Daria and her friend Jane are spectators in the show and their only roles are to let us see the world through their eyes. However, Jane and Daria are two completely different characters. Jane is a lot less negative than Daria about a lot of things, by example. This only makes the show more interesting because they aren't just two goth teenagers whining about the world around them. Daria is a realistic character while not being a stereotype. Many people view her as a person who's unconfident but I think she's more confident than most characters in the show. She just views things as they are, with a tint of bitterness, without falling into the "gothic" category, yet she still treats her surroundings with respect.

If you disliked the superficial world that is high school, I suggest this show for a lot of laughs.
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Perhaps the best written American cartoon ever
pacmanfan4evr19 September 2004
Considering multiple aspects, this is a wonderful show. Every character has a very specific personality, and most all of them actually develop as the show goes on. The humor can be dry, but is incredible if you actually get it. If you were expecting Beavis and Butthead, sorry, you will be disappointed. I've noticed that most of the negative comments talk about how Beavis and Butthead was so much better. I think it can be best said that you have to be able to appreciate intelligent humor to laugh at this. If you think, say, that Jackass is the greatest show ever, then you will most likely hate this.

However, if you like a humorous show that's incredibly well developed for a cartoon (the character development, themes, etc.), then you will enjoy this.
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Funny, Smart, and dare I say it,...CUTE(for a cartoon character)!
Ddey6530 November 1999
I'm 34 years old as of this writing, so why do I like this spin-off of Beavis and Butt-head? The sarcasm of Tracy Grandstaff will sting you with laughter, not to mention Miss Morgendorffer's refusal to go along with the "conform-or-die" mentality that's forced upon teenagers, whether it's from her elders, the popular creeps, or the various counter-cultures. Imagine a girl like her in previous decades of teen-dom. Her attitude toward peer pressure is close to the one I had when I was in high school (..and now feel even stronger about), as is her Dad's seething resentment toward the people who robbed him of the "joy of youth."

Long live Daria. If the show doesn't last, may it's legacy do so.
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A Wonderful Show!
bloodredroses11 January 2005
I started watching Daria when I was in college and absolutely fell in love with the show. Daria and Jane's friendship is probably the best aspect of the show, and anyone who has had a close friendship like that will probably agree with me. As a matter of fact, I still hang out with my Daria (I'm definitely more the Jane) to this day. And I totally have the memories of High School and my Brittany and Kevin - like schoolmates as well. Most people didn't like the whole Jane/Tom/Daria love triangle, but I think it was one of the things that made Daria's character more vulnerable and more human. And I really loved how the series ended with Daria realizing that shutting everyone out in her life was not the answer. I only wish I had made such a realization at that age! All in all, I say that Daria is a wonderful coming-of-age show that should be enjoyed for generations to come.
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More than the sum of its sardonic parts
liquidcelluloid-15 February 2004
Network: MTV; Genre: Animated Comedy; Average Content Rating: TV-PG; Classification: contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Season Reviewed: Completed series

'Daria' was a show that I didn't like for a long time. At some point during that time it attached to my unsuspecting self and grew on me like a leech. I found that it is a show that is unable to fully articulate itself in isolated episodes. Instead, 'Daria' is more about it's tone and an attitude that works more than any story it can come up with. It throws together a small world of conflicting characters and lets the sparks fly. As all their adventures begin to pile up the show's real vision comes together. I wonder if even MTV got it. 'Daria' mocked fads & shallow teenagers (and the culture that feeds off them), regularly taking aim at the heart of everything the network makes a living on.

The world around Daria Morgendorffer is filled with ditsy cheerleaders, brain-dead jocks, zit-faced nerds, miserable artists, touchy-feely teachers, favorite siblings, condescending or aloof parents and teenage garage bands trying to hit it big. If your willing to buy that Daria and the show share the same vision (not a big leap at all) you're one step closer to getting the show's great, subversive running gag: that the show is depicting what it believes are real teenagers, and that teenagers have been influenced and conditioned by the culture into acting out the stereotypes that come with their position in the high school caste system. It's art imitating life imitating art.

And in the middle of it all is Daria - our central axis to call everybody out. She knows her place in the world and stands outside it all. Daria herself is as daring a lead as TV gets. So (intentionally) abjectly dull that she sucks the air out of every room she enters. She rarely changes the bland expression on her face or raises the pitch of that monotone voice. It's not entirely clear if she has a low self-esteem or thinks she is above everybody. Even the most exciting weekend adventures are a nuisance to Daria. Everything just gets in her way and keeps her from lying around on the couch watching 'Sick Sad World' (a show within the show apparently based on the idea that there is an entire untapped niche of Daria Morgendorffers around the world).

The best and most admirable thing about this show is its unflinching guts to let Daria be Daria - in all her faceless, bland, monotone, personality devoid glory. It is also the only show in my memory (apart from occasionally 'Seinfeld') that was content to reduce it's leads to taking the role of spectators to the story. They never grew, they never learned a lesson, they never swoop in and save the day, they rarely even impacted the world around them. The show was not worried with contriving phony problems and solutions. Whether it was being dragged to camp or dragged to the mall with her sister Quinn, Daria and Jane where content to spend entire episodes hanging on the sidelines watching everyone else makes fools of themselves.

Picking up the slack where our heroine can't was a well constructed cast of supporting characters. Jane's deadbeat brother Trent, would-be Casanova Charles Ruttheimer the 3rd & Daria's rage-filled father Jake (who longs for his hippie days) all walk off with the biggest laughs.

'Daria' was a sharp, sardonic, timely, funny and substantive series that dared to bite the hand of it's own demographic on a network that is to dumb to know the difference. It had a learning curve, but if you can get over that hump it can be rather addicting. A contemporary classic that ranks with 'The Sifl and Olly Show' as one of the few really great MTV offerings.

* * * ½ / 4
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The best show MTV ever ran
eskovan126 October 2003
Most of what should be said about Daria has already been (in previous reviews) so let me just add a few things.

First, contrary to what everyone keeps saying Daria was NOT canceled by MTV. Glenn Eicler, the creator & exec producer, decided to stop at five seasons (actually five 13-episode half seasons & two 90 min episodes). MTV would have ordered a sixth, but he felt the show had run its course. And to MTV's credit they didn't hand the show over to someone else just to try and milk some more money out of it with what would have undoubtedly been inferior episodes.

Not to MTV's credit however, Daria reruns were yanked from the schedule almost immediately after the series finale. I guess its just the nature of the beast. MTV just doesn't 'do' reruns. They're so last season...

What really annoys me though is that they decided to rerun Daria on Noggin', a cable channel which is a joint venture between PBS & Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon is owned by Viacom which also owns MTV. Which means Daria reruns were essentially 'dumped' there (i.e. since they own Noggin' they didn't sell it to them and since Noggin' is non-commercial it isn't generating any revenue for them). A very indignant way to treat a show that was both a critical and ratings success, to essentially treat it as worthless filler material.

And to really add insult to injury Noggin' is absolutely the wrong place for Daria. Yes it features a very smart, semi-realistic, teenage girl lead character, but again contrary to what others have said, Daria is not and never was a show for teenage girls (let alone pre-teens)!! It was always aimed at a 20-something and up audience. And not just female. Its true that most of the main characters were women (and a lot of the male characters had 'interesting' eccentricities) but the show never, EVER pushed any kind of feminist agenda (or any other kind of agenda except for maybe 'damn what others think, just be yourself').

And since Noggin' IS aimed at pre-teen girls Daria episodes have not just been edited, they've been emasculated. They've been stripped of all the adult wit and gritty, biting satire that was the essence of the series. Airing them this way is, IMO, worse than not showing them at all. In fact at least a half dozen episodes are so adult that Noggin' has never shown them. Please, PLEASE Viacom sell the series to Cartoon Network. They'd buy & air it (unedited) in a heartbeat!

If you've never seen Daria I beg you, don't watch it on Noggin'! A few episodes are out on video & DVD (search for 'daria DVD' on eBay).
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Not Your Typical High School Show
No1insight19 June 2004
It amazing to see what MTV airs now, and to see Daria. Daria is a twisted view of what MTV portrays now: Skinny, white, girls that only talk about fashion, sex, and boys. Daria shows our world through the eyes of a jaded girl who doesn't give a crap for anything.

It is a comedy that, give it time, and you'll be cracking up. Daria's delivery of all her lines is still hilarious today. Quinn's voice might get to you, but soon it doesn't matter. Every character is interesting, and it is just a show. Funny show.

It lost its steam when Daria got a boyfriend, but don't watch those episodes. Just keep to seasons 1-3 and you'll be laughing your ass off.
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"You're Standing on My Neck"
Rectangular_businessman5 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Daria" is simply one of the best shows about teens that I've seen in my entire life. More than being just a good spin-off of "Beavis & Butthead", "Daria" was a great series with its own merits. It was funny, clever and ironic, but at the same time managed to have many sincere heartwarming moments. It was even cute occasionally, without being corny.

What made "Daria" so good (Besides of the excellent jokes) were the characters, which were much more complex that one could expect: At first sight, each one of them seems like the classic cliques and stereotypes from many other teen stories (The dumb blonde cheerleader, the Gothic girl, the dumb jock and the eccentric teachers) but a closer look showed that each one of them had a much more interesting and well developed personality, being each one of them very funny and likable. I have to admit, that at first, I didn't like Daria (I mean the character, not the show, which I liked from the first episode) but as I saw more episodes, I started to understand why she was sarcastic about almost everything, and the way in which she interacted with her family and the other students.

I miss animated shows like this. Now, almost all the recent "adult" animated shows are way too much focused in shock value and mean-spirited jokes, but "Daria" remains to be one of the best series from all the history of television, being a witty and honest portrayal of teen life.

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Back off, Beavis and Butt-head! Daria has her own show!
Michael_Pilkington21 July 1999
Daria Morgendorffer gets her own show, after being featured in some of Beavis and Butt-head's episodes. Daria gets a new look and personality. What makes this show so unique is that it focuses on adolescent life seen through the eyes of a teenage girl. What makes her funny is that she communicates with everyone in a sarcastic manner, including her family. She is very unpopular in school whereas her sister, Quinn, tries to be so cute and awards herself too much credit for it. Let's not forget her parents, Jake and Helen. They are the stereotypical career-minded type, enough said. Jane is Daria's best friend who always stands by her through good and bad times. Daria may not be a laugh-a-minute show, but rather a social satire about growing up. If you love Beavis and Butt-Head, then give this one a try.

My evaluation: B+
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A great high school comedy that just happens to be animated
Tweekums1 February 2013
Daria is an unlikely protagonist; an unpopular high school girl who moves to a new town in the opening episode. To make matters worse she speaks in a constant monotone. She may be an unlikely protagonist but she is a good one due to her biting commentary on those around her. Her only friend is Jane an artistic girl who shares Daria's disdain for those around her.

The rest of the cast might sound like a collection of clichés; the cute popular sister, mother who lives for her job, blonde bimbo cheer leaders dating an equally stupid football star... but they are hilarious. Her teachers are equally funny; a history teacher with anger issues, an overly sensitive English teacher, a man-hating science teacher and a principal who only cares about making money.

The episodes each focus various aspects of a teen's life; for the most part these are fairly typical events that are taken just a little bit further than likely in reality for amusement. Some episodes are a little far fetched but it is very rare that it goes too far... the 'holiday' episode being the only real failure I can think of.

I first watched this when it aired on a main channel many years ago and thought it was great; I had given up hope of ever seeing it again when I founding hidden away on Viva (UK Freeview Channel 21, which belongs to MTV); they clearly value it as it appears to show on a constant loop two episodes per week night. Watching again I was reminded just why I enjoyed it so much; the animation is decent and the writing is consistently sharp; even though I suspect the target demographic is teenaged girls it can be enjoyed by people of either gender and almost all ages; while there is nothing really offensive there are a few discreet jokes of a sexual nature. Overall I'd say that this series is well worth seeking out as it is consistently funny without resorting to gross out immature humour.
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One of the best cartoons ever
atomius23 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This would have to be one of my all time fave cartoons, and i have seen plenty. It would rank about third place, and thats pretty good when you consider that second place is Futurama and first is The Simpsons.

This is, put it simply, a hilarious look into the idiocies of modern American life and an exaggerated portrayal of stereotypical figures within youth culture. It was cancelled in 2002 after a movie, but i reckon it should've continued. The characters were really developing well. That is one interesting point, the show is almost overly realistic, what keeps it fun and watchable is the humour of Daria as observant one.

The show is generally shown as Daria and her friend Jane sees it. Generally the other characters, either stupid teenagers obsessed with their friendships (social people) or unimportant things and with no intelligence, or middle class workers unaware, or trying to forget, that the society has more than just a few hairline cracks in it's cement foundations. Daria and Jane, however, are, relative to their 'classmates', more rational, or at least more intelligent to a certain degree. The humour is very well made and it doesn't feel like a sitcom as the Simpsons or Futurama do, but rather an observation of life, a bit like a true 'reality show'. My favourite plot is when the cola company UltraCola takes over the high school and corrupts it's principal. That to me is the perfect mix of satire and humour. Exaggeration is necessary for this mix.

The main characters apart from the two aforementioned include Daria's sister, Quinn, who tries to alienate herself from Daria and pretends she isn't related for much of the series before becoming more 'mature', Daria's parents, her father a 'stressed out' middle class man and her mother a work-obsessed businesswoman. Also there is a broad range of exaggerated American stereotypical characters including the fashion club who are obsessed so much with clothes and social status it's like a cult of some sort.

The animation itself is very good quality, and the jokes about four thousand miles in front of many of it's cartoon brethren. All in all, it is a pity it ended so soon, it'll soon be in that nostalgic valhalla where seinfeld, fawlty towers and other shows cancelled before their time reside.

All in all i give the show ten out of ten. One of the 90s best cartoons.
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Watched it again 8 years later and its still great
migee_castaneda15 November 2008
I first watched Daria when i was in high school (up to the first part of college). I just finished watching the whole series again ..after finishing undergraduate and realizing how much working sucks. but it still rocks (unlike the Simpson's which feels a bit stale once you get older) What I liked best about this series is how much balanced the characters are. The producers definitely took time to develop them that you really feel empathy (well except for sandy ..hehe) Despite all their quirkiness and faults (including Daria) all the characters had redeeming values at certain points of the series.

Cheers to one of the great cartoons ever!
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Best show on TV (IQ required)
idiotoff20 November 2001
Daria is great. Together with now defunct Dr. Katz and Cartoon Network's Home Movies (stupid UPN - your loss!) it's the best TV show of the 90's-00's. Well all right, all right, add the Simpsons to that list :)

I could say a lot about Daria but most of it has been said by other reviewers. What hasn't been said yet is the fact that all characters in Daria are likable. None of them is a villain or a hopelessly lost person. If you watch the show long enough you will start liking all of them: Helen, Quinn, Jake, Kevin, Brittany, Mr. O'Neil, well - all... Everybody has their redeeming qualities and shows an unexpected appealing side once in a while. I am still yet to find anything likable about Upchuck but that's the exception that proves the rule. And im not even talking about the super cool Jane and Trent Lane.

Another point i wanted to make was that it is NOT a chick show. I am male and not gay and i can't stand chick flicks but i identify more with Daria than with almost any male character of any other show... (its between her and Mad Max of the Road Warrior :))))

Oh, almost forgot: i liked B&BH but this is the classic example when the mouse gave birth to a mountain. Daria owns and Daria rocks and Daria is the coolest chick around (well Jane ain't bad either :)))

Thank you MTV, you've redeemed yourself in my eyes for all the mindless drivel that fills your programming 24/7.

Long live Daria! Daria for president!

10 out of 10 for the Misery Chick :)
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This serious show oozes 90s MTV and it's awesome.
highnemonkey19 January 2018
Back in the 1990s MTV used to be a driving force in world wide subculture. This show is a timeless container for the spirit of grunge, early internet, high school-horror and teenage angst. The characters are so well-crafted, it is actually shoking and surprising throughout the whole series. Many cartoons tried character development, more mature narratives and reoccuring themes but in Daria it feels unforced and fits so well. I would not even describe the cartoon with a "serious tone", its simply not a quirky kids show. The relationship between Daria and Jane, which has its ups and downs, is beautifully displayed and closer to real human experience than I have seen in almost anything. Daria is the cynical teenage proto-hipster that might have inspired many after her (when College Humor made a fake real-action-trailer Aubrey Plaza was an unsurprising casting) but has moments that make her more vivid, self-reflecting and plastic than most of the Simpsons. Even the stereotypes like Quinn show depth at times that catches you by surprise and make you forget you're watching a teenage cartoon.

Entertaining, serious, poetic, rewatchable, funny, cool - Daria has it all.
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Mazel Tov to MTV for finally creating a TV show worth watching
White Dolphin15 October 2000
Daria is so much better than Beavis and Butthead. I started watching Beavis and Butthead Do America on TV, I turned it off after ten minutes it was so bad. Daria (a female version of me) is an anti-social school girl. Besides the fact that they look different she and her only friend Jane are more or less duplicates of each other. Every character on this show is pure 100 percent stereotype. The mature anti-social hating sister, the immature utterly stupid fashion loving popular sister, the popular sister's even stupider friends, one of the stupid friend's stupid football thinks-he-knows-it-all boyfriend, the mean insane teacher, the kind loving thinks-everybody-is-a-saint innocent teacher, the mature sister's exact same personality best friend and the sisters' loving parents utterly oblivious about what goes on in Generation X. A lot of people think it's stupid but it's not, it's actually quite clever. Very enjoyable.
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Daria: the best show on earth.
JaneLane15 November 1998
I can't say enough great things about this show. Finally a show that shows what high school is like from an outcast's point of view rather than a superficial, air-head, popular chick. Stars Daria Morgendorffer as a cynical outcast, with Jane Lane a fellow misfit. Shows Daria coping with a work-a-holic mother, a detached father, a teeny bop sister (who is in "The Fashion Club"), dumb cheerleaders, teachers, jocks, and high school. Plus, Daria's "crush", Trent, is in a band. Lots of sarcastic comments and funny-real-life situations. Definitely one of the best shows on TV.
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The truth about being a brain...
saraarts5 November 1999
There are now but four televisions shows I watch with any regularity. Daria is one of them. Daria is also the only thing on MTV that I can ever stand to watch anymore. MTV used to be the home of some really intriguing animation. This is all that's left, as far as I can tell.

Once upon a time, Ally McBeal, which I loathe for its shallowness and cruelty, was marketed to us, the American public, as the show that would finally reveal "what women are really thinking." This marketing was a lie. The only show I've seen on TV that even comes close to fulfilling this promise is Daria.

Scathing and true, this show never fails to make me, or my boyfriend, or anyone in my circle of friends (ages 20+ to 50+) laugh hysterically. I dunno; maybe we're just all a bunch of overgrown outcast brains who can't help but feel kinship for the popularity exiles of Lawndale High. Maybe it's because we were once suburban youth. Or maybe it's because, with all their various base and frivolous traits, there isn't a single character in this program who is not, at some point, sympathetic, and there isn't a single character who doesn't represent more than just a high school student.

The only bad thing I have to say about this program is that MTV seems to have misplaced it. When oh when will we be graced with new episodes? We wait with 'bated breath...
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MTV's Smartest Show, Spun-off From Its "Dumbest!"
DeanNYC6 February 2007
Daria Morgendorffer began as a minor character on the iconic MTV animated series, "Beavis & Butthead." She was briefly the super smart foil for the doofus stars of that program in a couple of crucial episodes. But it was clear there was much more to explore in her mind and her world and she graduated to her own series in short order.

In a perfect sense of reversal, the resulting program was arguably the most brilliantly crafted program ever offered by MTV, save perhaps some of the documentary news programs they occasionally presented.

Daria moved with her family to Lawndale, a suburban Everytown U.S.A. setting with her overachieving, overworking parents and her spoiled brat and scholastically challenged fashion plate sister, Quinn. Where Quinn had no problem finding a place to fit in at this new locale, with new pals and boyfriends aplenty, Daria was instantly marginalized, even from her younger sib, who denied even being related to her as they both attended the same high school! Luckily, she found a friend in "self esteem" class, artistic outcast Jane Lane, and the instant simpatico created meant a case of permanent bonding between the two, which stood them in good stead throughout the run of the series.

The intelligence of the show was rooted in the constant annoyances created by the situations Daria faced and her matter-of-fact methods of reasoning her way out of them. There were a series of stock characters, from faculty to fellow students, but this only added to the appeal of the program, as they could be relied on to provide actions and reactions that moved the stories in different ways, and gave a certain stability to the plots.

Daria's severe sense of irony and her withering view of what the world was all about was fodder for nearly every episode of the program and provided most of the truth and the humor for it. Kudos to the two lead voices: Tracy Grandstaff who gave v/o to the bespectacled title character, and Wendy Hoopes who was talented enough to portray Daria's mom, her friend Jane, AND her main nemesis, Quinn!

The show had something to say about families, dysfunction, sibling rivalry, the school system, athletics, mall culture, trendiness, television, greed, love, entertainment, friendship and our country's values as a whole, and maybe that was all summed up in the title of the popularly watched television show within the show: "Sick Sad World." Still, they somehow managed to perform a musical episode, so how sick or sad could it truly be?

There's still a need for Daria... and looking at the current programming on MTV, perhaps now more than ever! Any chance of new episodes for our favorite critic/genius?
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Billy Wilder on MTV
IkuharaKunihiko28 March 2005
1) "I don't": Aunt Amy making grimaces at the wedding.

2) "Lab brats": Jake: My childhood was full of humiliation. They didn't call it self-love then. They called it...self-abuse.

3) "This years model": Jane making a caricature of the two model "hunters" by portraying them as vultures.

4) "Jake of hearts": Daria enters the bedroom. Jake is lying in bed after a heart attack, blaming his dead father. Suddenly his mother starts blaming his father too but becomes weak and has to lie down on the bed too. Jake: "Mom?! Are you all right?! ( raises his arm towards the ceiling )How many more lives, old man? HOW MANY MORE LIVES?!!" Daria exits the room.

5) "Marts of darkness": Sick sad world commentator; Jesus Christ appearing in a chocolate bar.

These were all the episodes in "Daria" that made me laugh and you get the impression that the authors were inspired by a more intelligent way of humor, the one Billy Wilder used to write in his comedies. Daria Morgendorffer ( voiced by Tracy Granstaff, a woman that lately disappeared from the public life )herself is a unique creation, a sassy, fascinating female version of Woody Allen and Bill Murray, a typical supporting character that was turned into the main character. The theme of the funny/sad story is the loss of unused youth.


It's hard for me to explain why I find that the famous sitcoms like "The Simpsons"( 6/10 ) and "South Park"( 7/10 )will always be only an empty display of jokes while "Daria" will always be a shining animated feature. I guess one of the reasons is that "Daria" has only 5 seasons ( while "The Simpsons" have 15 )and there for a better density of events. The other one is that "Daria" has a soul, emotions and a feeling like it was made out of love. Truly, Glen Eichler obviously decided to create a monument for all the people that were ignored by the masses. Yet, despite being a loser, Daria is actually a hero. And the closing credits are almost like an higher justice because there all the "bad guys" get punished: In one of them Tiffany is tied up like Hannibal Lecter, while Stacy is presented like a girl falling from the sky without a parachute, Britany as Kevins assassin...My favorite episode was "I loathe a parade": Dan Vebber constructed it as a Robert Altman film in which all the characters from previous seasons appear in a cameo.

I would love to give "Daria" the highest grade, but I can't. Some episodes were truly very weak and the relationship between Daria and Tom was not romantic at all! I guess I expected that their love episode "My night at Daria's" would end like "My night at Maud's".

Grade: 9/10
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An absolute masterpiece
beatnick492 March 2003
Daria is a masterpiece, it succeeds where The Simpsons (the worst show on tv) fails. With quick wit, cynicism, dry humour, sarcasm, and satire, it rips into the popular culture establishment with such ferocity, portrayiong embracers of the establishment as complete morons devoid and fearful of rational thought( like Kevin, Brittany, Quin and her mates in the Fashion Club), yet is subtle enough not to offend any one except for those who deserve it.(Like the Taliban where Helen goes "We can't punish Quin if she hasn't done anything wrong" and Daria replies "Why they do it all the time in Afghanistan", just priceless that). Unlike The Simpsons which panders to celebrities (many of whom Australians haven't even heard of and really couldn't care less about) Daria spares no expense at mocking those who wish to immitate the rich, famous, and glamourous (like the Fashion Club), whilst not bombarding us with names of people who are unknown outside America.

It also does not shove down our faces the whole girlfriend/boyfriend scenarios, and the obsessiveness with dating (it really isn't that important getting a date but any way), nor does it deliver stereotypes of other countries. It also breaks the stereotype of smart people being ugly or unpopular, with Mike and Jodie (not that Daria and Jane are ugly of course).

Series 1, 2, 3, and were the best, 4 was pretty good. I have not seen the movies yet but from what I read the first one was all about relationships and boyfriend/girlfriend stuff concerning Daria, Jane and Tom, thats not what Daria is about. Series 5 was not my favourite as like the first movie it dealt with relationships, even though there were still the elements I mentioned at the beginning present, they seemed to take an equal if not back seat to the whole relationship thing, whereas in the other series those elements were all that the show consisted of which was what made it great and original.

And on Daria herself, she is a gem, her intellect, sarcasm, dry attitude and cynical look to just about everthing in life was brilliant. She made no secret of her attitude towards whatever she saw as negative, which was just about anything really. Like Enid and Rebecca in Ghostwhorld, she was happy to be an out-cast and was just fine about not fitting in, like me at one stage in my life. Jane was just the same and just as good. Both great characters in a world where the subjects for entertainment are either fitting in, trying to get a date, beating up and killing people (I do like some movies with those last too words, I just don't like being bombarded with it). And another thing, Daria was genuinely funny, funnier than any sit-com or breakfast radio programme, or supposedly funny movies I've seen recently (Jakes fits along with Mr Delmartino's were a laugh riot).

Daria is an excellent show, but I'm sorry to see it's gone, but they made the right decision and it will be preserved as an original work, and not go stale (like The Simpsons and other sitcoms)

Praise to all those involved with Daria, whatever it was you had to do.
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Now this is high school!
Skyrcket30 July 1999
Since MTV isn't in the business of play music videos anymore (watch a few hours if you don't believe me) it's become a home to some of most offbeat comedies this side of FOX. The best of these shows is Daria. Now this is a show for those of us who were outcasts in high school! Daria navigates her suburban world of dumb jocks, mall chicks, detached parents, annoying siblings, teen angst, useless teachers, and all the other hells of teen life with a sharp wit and a sense of irony. Together with bohemian pal Jane Lane, Daria goes though her life just trying to get though high school with some sense of self-worth intact. As she once said, "I don't have low self-esteem. I just have low esteem for everyone else." This girl is my hero.
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This a comedy not for kids animated series
srchinmaya21 July 2018
It's is one of the best show if you like anecdotal and observational comics. It's more of realistic view of the world, and it has dank and dark jokes. Lots of sarcasm is revolving in the series. It's about how a girl called Daria looks out the world and how she sees it. Story is well built, it's all about everyday things, and how different age groups sees things differently as well as how same age groups have different views even though they have the same age and taking all the things is comedic way.
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Daria- Is it a review yet?
Dakaknapp2 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Daria Morgendorffer, She's Cynical, Monotone and perhaps the only person who was on "Beavis and Butthead" who is worthy of the title... spin-off. Daria is a show that starts off with Daria and her family moving from Highland to Lawndale. A perfect transition if there ever was one as Daria instantly starts out as the social outcast of the century while her sister Quinn on the other hand takes her first step out of the car and becomes one of the most popular girls in the school. With memorable side characters and outstanding plots, this show deserves to be the definition of the word excellent spin-off. Overall I give this show an 8 out of 10. Even though this show is a really good spin-off there is just one thing wrong with it... some of the characters voices are just downright annoying. But you get passed it and see that this show is really great.
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used to be good, coulda been great, failed
redundantnimrod31 December 2000
This is a response to my original comment about how great this show is. It used to be good, coulda been great, but then it turned into the exact show that it was against. Daria stealing Jane's boyfriend? Did they steal that plot from Dawsons Creek or Saved By The Bell The New Class? It used to be Daria and Jane take on everything else, and they would change it, or atleast mock it. Now Daria just whines, becomes a giant martyr and is almost like....Quinn. I wouldn't even mind the cliched plot if they used some of the wit the show used to have. The show is taking itself way too seriously trying to appeal to the regular teeny bopping MTVers who swoon over tired melodramatic pseudo-soap opera plots. I used to get so excited and had my eyes glued to the tv whenever a new episode aired, then watch it over and over, now I can barely stomach one run through. I miss the oldschool Daria, and wish they could bring it back.
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