|Based on||The character of Daria Morgendorffer from Beavis and Butt-Head, created|
by Mike Judge
|Opening theme||"You're Standing on My Neck" by Splendora|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||70 (including one unaired pilot, two television movies, and two specials) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||21–22 minutes|
|Picture format||4:3 (NTSC)|
|Original release||March 3, 1997 –|
January 21, 2002
|Preceded by||Beavis and Butt-Head|
It is a spin-off of Mike Judge's earlier animated Beavis and Butt-Head series, in which Daria appeared as a recurring character. Although Judge agreed to release the character to allow her to appear in the spin-off, he had no involvement in the production of Daria, as he was busy working on King of the Hill.
In June 2019, MTV announced a new Daria spin-off series, Jodie (originally Daria & Jodie) with actress Tracee Ellis Ross starring as the titular character, as well as executive producing. The show is the first in a series of spin-offs planned by the network based on the Daria franchise.
The series focuses on Daria Morgendorffer, a smart, acerbic, somewhat misanthropic teenage girl who, along with her best friend, aspiring artist Jane Lane, observes the world around her. The show is set in the fictional suburban American town of Lawndale and is a satire of high school life, full of allusions to and criticisms of popular culture and social classes. As the show's eponymous protagonist, Daria appears in most scenes with her immediate family (mother Helen, father Jake, and younger sister Quinn) and/or Jane. It is set during Daria's high-school years and ends with her graduation and acceptance into college. The principal location used for the show (outside of the Morgendorffer home) is Lawndale High School, a public-education institution filled with colorful and dysfunctional characters. The dynamics among the two lead characters changed during season four, when Jane began a relationship with Tom Sloane. Though Daria is hesitant to accept Tom at first, fearing she will lose her best friend, she and Tom find themselves becoming closer, culminating in a kiss in the season finale. The emotional and comedic turmoil among Jane, Tom, and Daria was the centerpiece of the TV movie Is It Fall Yet?, and the relationship between Tom and Daria fueled several of season five's plotlines.
The plots of Daria largely concern a juxtaposition between the central character's jaded, sardonic cynicism and the values/preoccupations of her suburban American hometown of Lawndale. In a 2005 interview, series co-creator Glenn Eichler described the otherwise unspecified locale as "a mid-Atlantic suburb, outside somewhere like Baltimore or Washington, D.C. They could have lived in Pennsylvania near the Main Line, though".
For comedic and illustrative purposes, the show's depiction of suburban American life was a deliberately exaggerated one. In The New York Times, the protagonist was described as "a blend of Dorothy Parker, Fran Lebowitz, and Janeane Garofalo, wearing Carrie Donovan's glasses. Daria Morgendorffer, 16 and cursed with a functioning brain, has the misfortune to see high school, her family, and her life for exactly what they are and the temerity to comment on it."
Daria Morgendorffer, the show's title character and protagonist, first appeared on MTV as a recurring character in Mike Judge's Beavis and Butt-Head. MTV senior vice president and creative director Abby Terkuhle explained that when that show "became successful, we ... created Daria's character because we wanted a smart female who could serve as the foil". Daria's original design was created by Bill Peckmann while working for J.J. Sedelmaier Productions during Beavis and Butt-Head's first season. During production of Beavis and Butt-Head's final seasons, MTV representatives, wanting to bring in a higher female demographic to the channel, approached story editor Glenn Eichler, offering a spin-off series for Daria. In 1995, a five-minute pilot, "Sealed with a Kick", was created by Eichler and Beavis and Butt-Head staffer Susie Lewis (although written by Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil). MTV approved a series order of 13 episodes; both Eichler and Lewis were signed onto the series as executive producers.
The first episode of Daria aired on March 3, 1997, roughly nine months before Beavis and Butt-Head ended its original run. Titled "Esteemsters", the episode established Daria and her family's move from fictional Highland, the setting of Beavis and Butt-Head, due to uranium in the water to the new series' equally fictional locale of Lawndale. As well as introducing Daria's parents and younger sister as principal supporting characters, the first episode also introduced Jane Lane, Daria's best friend and confidante. Other than a brief mention of Highland, Daria did not contain any references to Beavis and Butt-Head.
The series ran for five seasons, with 13 episodes each, as well as two TV movies and two TV specials. The first movie, Is It Fall Yet?, aired on August 27, 2000, and took place between seasons four and five. MTV planned an abbreviated six-episode sixth season, but at Eichler's request this project was cut down to a second movie, Is It College Yet?, which served as the series finale on January 21, 2002.
No other characters from Beavis and Butt-Head appeared on Daria; the only direct reference to them was in promotions. Glenn Eichler, in an interview conducted after the series' run, explained:
B&B were very strong characters, with a very specific type of humor and very loyal fans, and of course they were instantly identifiable. I felt that referencing them in Daria, while we were trying to establish the new characters and the different type of humor, ran the risk of setting up false expectations and disappointment in the viewers – which could lead to a negative reaction to the new show and its different tone. So we steered clear of B&B in the early going, and once the new show was established, there was really no need to harken back to the old one.
In the TV movie Is It Fall Yet?, several celebrities provided guest voices. Talk show host Carson Daly played Quinn's summer tutor, female pop punk singer Bif Naked played Jane's art camp companion, and rock musician Dave Grohl played Jane's pretentious art camp host. Several songs by the band Foo Fighters (for which Grohl is frontman) were featured in the series.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||March 3, 1997||July 21, 1997|
|2||13||February 16, 1998||August 3, 1998|
|3||13||February 17, 1999||August 18, 1999|
|4||13||February 25, 2000||August 2, 2000|
|5||13||February 19, 2001||June 25, 2001|
|Films||2||August 27, 2000||January 21, 2002|
|Specials||2||February 18, 2000||January 14, 2002|
There have been 65 episodes of Daria in total, spanning five seasons, each with thirteen episodes. The series first went into production with a pilot episode, titled "Sealed with a Kick". The first season was broadcast between March 3 and July 21, 1997, while season two was aired from February 16 to August 2, 1998; season three was shown from February 17 to August 18, 1999; season four from February 25 to August 2, 2000, and finally, season five between February 19 and June 25, 2001.
The series also includes two feature-length television films; the first, Is It Fall Yet?, which aired between seasons four and five, and chronicles the lives of the characters during summer break, and the second film, Is It College Yet?, which followed the fifth season, serving as the official finale to the series.
Two specials were also aired; Daria: Behind the Scenes was hosted by Janeane Garofalo and aired on February 18, 2000, one week prior to the season four premiere, and featured how the show was created, the making of the show, and the voices behind the characters. The second special, Look Back in Annoyance, aired January 14, 2002, and is a retrospective hosted by Daria and Jane and highlights all the major events from the series before the lead-up to the television film finale, which was aired one week later.
Music and licensingEdit
Daria's theme song is "You're Standing on My Neck", written and performed by Splendora. The band later created original themes for the two Daria TV movies, "Turn the Sun Down" (for Is It Fall Yet?) and "College Try (Gives Me Blisters)" (for Is It College Yet?), along with some background music.
The show itself had no original score. Though elements from Splendora's theme were used on occasion, Daria's incidental music was taken from pop music songs. Most of these were contemporary, inserted over exterior shots and some scenes, with rarely any story relevance or awareness from the characters. For example, one episode depicts characters dancing to Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy wit It" mere weeks after the song's release, whereas the sequence itself was designed and animated months earlier.
Some story points were built around specific songs, such as in "Legends of the Mall", where Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" became a major plot point for a fantasy sequence. The closing credits also featured a licensed song on all but a few occasions, the lyrics or concept of which often reflected some aspect of the preceding episode.
For the 1998 and 1999 VHS releases of some Daria episodes, incidental music was replaced, and "You're Standing on My Neck" was only played over the closing credits. However, for the bonus episodes included on the DVD releases of the two TV movies, the music was removed almost entirely.
In the Complete Series DVD release, creator Glenn Eichler says in the notes "99 percent of the music has been changed, because the cost of licensing the many music bites we used would have made it impossible to release the collection (and for many years did)." He compared it to an episode of The Twilight Zone where the astronaut comes home, and his wife can't figure out what's different about him, "... until it dawns on her that instead of a cool song from 1997 playing ... it's some tune she's never heard. Yeah, it's just like that."
The song "Hearts on Fire" by 38 Special also enjoyed a brief comeback on some late 90's radio stations because of the popularity of the series as well as the Amy Grant b-side hit "I Love You" (from her popular crossover album Unguarded), "Silent Running" by Mike and the Mechanics, and "Stand and Deliver" by Mr. Mister.
Daria premiered to critical acclaim, John J. O'Connor of The New York Times wrote in March 1997, "As far as MTV and Beavis and Butt-Head are concerned, Daria is an indispensable blast of fresh air. I think I'm in love." Daria continued to receive positive reviews during the course of its run and was one of MTV's highest rated shows, with the network's manager Van Toffler viewing the character as "a good spokesperson for MTV, intelligent but subversive".
During the program's run on MTV, Daria was part of the Cool Crap Auction, giving an overview of the goods for auction and talking "live" to the winner of one prize. Daria and Jane also hosted MTV's Top Ten Animated Videos Countdown, poking fun at MTV's cheap animation. At the end of the series run, she had an "interview" on the CBS Early Show with Jane Clayson. Daria received a ratings share between 1 and 2 percent, about 1 to 2 million viewers.
G.J. Donnelly of TV Guide, writing about the series' finale, lamented, "I already miss that monotone. I already miss those boots. ... Even at its most far-fetched, this animated film approaches the teenage experience much more realistically than shows like Dawson's Creek." On the same occasion, Emily Nussbaum wrote at Slate that "the show is biting the dust without ever getting the credit it deserved: for social satire, witty writing, and most of all, for a truly original main character". She particularly singled out for praise that all the characters were heading "to very different paths in life, based on their economic prospects," giving the show an ambiguous end; "[the finale is] a bit of a classic: a sharply funny exploration of social class most teen films would render, well, cartoonish."
In 2002, TV Guide ranked Daria number 41 on its "50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time" list. In December 2013, the Daily Telegraph included Daria in its list of "best female cartoon characters".
In April 2017, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the series, co-creator Susie Lewis and character designer Karen Disher were contacted by the Entertainment Weekly magazine to reimagine the lives of the main characters 20 years after the events of the series. During that interview, Lewis admitted that she would "love to bring Daria back to TV".
On June 21, 2018, it was announced that a reboot series titled Daria & Jodie was one of several revival projects in development at MTV Studios, a production studio which intends to sell new series to over-the-top media services. The title was later changed to Jodie. In June 2018, it was announced that Daria would begin streaming on Hulu.
On October 21, 1997 Sony released Daria on VHS. On August 31, 1999 Sony released Daria: Disfranchised on VHS. The Daria TV movies Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet? were the sole two authorized DVD releases until 2010. Each DVD also includes two episodes from the series, from seasons 4 and 5 respectively, with licensed music removed. The latter disc uses a second-showing MTV version that was shortened by approximately seven minutes, rather than the original cablecast version. It does, however, include a short clip of a Daria appearance on Beavis and Butt-Head, accessed as a hidden Easter egg on the opening menu (by cycling among menu choices until the highlighting disappears).
These DVDs were ostensibly coded for Region 1 (North America), but found by purchasers to be region-free.
In July 2004, co-creator Glenn Eichler said of possible DVD releases, "There's no distributor and no release date, but what there is very strong interest from MTV in putting Daria out, and steady activity toward making that a reality".
In July 2009, TVShowsOnDVD.com announced that a DVD release for the series was planned for 2010. In November 2009, more details emerged about the upcoming release regarding how it would be distributed and potential extras. It was also revealed that due to high licensing costs, much of the music on the show will be replaced by covers or sound-alike songs on the DVD release (although the studio has not released an official word about this topic). In January 2010, MTV released a teaser trailer on its website for Daria's 2010 release.
On May 11, 2010, Daria: The Complete Animated Series was released on DVD in North America. All 65 episodes and both TV movies are included in the set, although the edited version of Is It College Yet? was again used for this release. Extras featured on the set include the pilot episode, the music video "Freakin' Friends" by Mystik Spiral, "Daria Day" introductions as well as a top ten video countdown on MTV by Jane and Daria, cast and crew interviews, and (as a DVD-ROM feature) a script for an unproduced Mystik Spiral spin-off show. Most of the licensed music used in episodes has been replaced with other music. The region 2 collection is currently available to add to customer wish lists on Amazon's UK site. The set, with all special features intact, was released on Region 4 PAL DVD on June 1, 2011. The Region 4 set was found to be encoded region free.
- Nicoll, Peggy. The Daria Database, MTV, 1998. ISBN 0-671-02596-1
- Bernstein, Anne. The Daria Diaries, MTV, 1998. ISBN 0-671-01709-8
- MTV Video Music Awards 1997 short animation featuring Daria (September 4, 1997)
- Daria called into MTV's 'Cool Crap Auction'
- Daria Day 1998 marathon of Daria episodes on the date of the premiere of the second season (February 16, 1998), hosted by Daria and Jane.
- Daria Day 1999 marathon of Daria episodes on February 15, 1999 for the premiere episode of the third season, hosted by Daria and Jane.
- Daria and Jane hosted a Daria episode marathon titled Sarcastathon 3000 for the premiere episode of the fifth season.
- Daria and Jane hosted an episode of 'MTV's Top 10'. Commenting on the top 10 animated music videos
- Behind the Scenes at Daria hosted by Janeane Garofalo.
- MTV's Toonumentary detailed the history and details of MTV's animated shows.
- MTV New Year's Eve 2002 event featured a short appearance by Daria (December 31, 2001).
- Look Back in Annoyance was a half-hour retrospective of the series, hosted by Daria and Jane, that aired in January 2002, prior to the airing of the second telefilm.
- Daria was interviewed on CBS' The Early Show on January 21, 2002.
- In 2013, CollegeHumor created a fake trailer for a live-action Daria movie with Aubrey Plaza.
- Sepinwall, Alan & Zeits, Matt Stoller (2016). TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time. Grand Central Publishing. p. 352. ISBN 9781478912576.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Stabile, Carol (2013). Prime Time Animation: Television Animation and American Culture. Routledge Publishing. p. 200. ISBN 9781136481710.
- Venezia, Todd (August 25, 2000). "GIRL MEETS GIRL IN SEXY FIRST 'DARIA' MOVIE". New York Post. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Atchison, Sean (May 6, 2017). "For Mature Audiences: 16 Adult Cartoons You NEED To Watch". Comic Book Resource. Retrieved April 9, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- O'Donnell, Kevin (May 11, 2010). "Kool Thing: '90s Cult Hit 'Daria' Finally Hits DVD". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Rosenberg, Howard (March 3, 1997). "Brainy 'Beavis' Pal 'Daria' Spins Off". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
- Gates, Anita (January 26, 2002). "Still the Sane if Not Successful Voice, Daria Bows Out". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- Suskind, Alex (April 7, 2017). "11 Animated Shows for Grownups". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Kuczynski, Alex (May 11, 1998). "Beavis and Butt-head's Feminine Side". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
- "Tracee Ellis Ross To Star & Exec Produce 'Daria' Spinoff From MTV Studios". Deadline. June 13, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- "DVDaria Petition - Buy Daria DVDs!". The-wildone.com. March 16, 2005. Archived from the original on August 22, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "Follow-up Questions (Set #3) with Glenn Eichler" Archived August 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, the-wildone.com, June 11, 2005. "... The whole world of Daria was a bit unreal."
- Gates, Anita. "'Daria': In Praise of the Most Unpopular Girl at Lawndale", The New York Times. May 16, 1999. Retrieved on March 19, 2012.
- "'Daria': Brainy = Zany in MTV's irreverent view of 'girl humor,'" Chicago Tribune TV Week, August 17–23, 1997. Retrieved on November 1, 2009.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "Outpost Daria". Webcitiation.org. Archived from the original on June 23, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "Follow-up Questions (Set #2) with Glenn Eichler". the-wildone.com. April 20, 2005. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- Gates, Anita (August 27, 2000). "SPOTLIGHT; Daria: Smart, Alienated and ... Dating?". New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
- Span, Paula (June 1, 1997). "WITHER DARIA: MEET THE TEEN TERMINATOR". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- "Tuning In: Daria on DVD". Bitch Media. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- O'Connor, John J. (March 3, 1997). "Teen-Ager's Scornful Look at Cuteness". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
- Inness, S. (2016). Geek Chic: Smart Women in Popular Culture. Springer. p. 58. ISBN 9781137084217.
- "Cool Crap Auction transcript". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "CBS Daily Show transcript; Outpost Daria". Outpost-dario.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Donnelly, G.J., "Senior Citizen", TV Guide Online, January 21, 2002, outpost-daria.com[dead link]
- "Requiem for Daria: Daria slips into the Ghost World of great high-school drama" Archived October 25, 2005, at the Wayback Machine, Slate.com, Emily Nussbaum, January 21, 2002
- TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 158. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.
- "The best female cartoon characters". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. December 3, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- Brody, Caitlin (April 3, 2017). "Daria exclusive: See what Daria and her friends look like today!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 21, 2018). "MTV Launches MTV Studios With 'Daria', 'Made', 'Real World' & 'Aeon Flux' Revivals". Deadline. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
- Jarvey, Natalie (June 25, 2018). "'Daria,' 'My Super Sweet 16' to Stream Exclusively on Hulu". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Is It College Yet?, MTV Home Video DVD. Released August 27, 2002.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "TVShowsOnDVD.com". Tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "TVShowsOnDVD.com". Tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "Daria DVD Teaser". MTV. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Daria DVD news: Announcement for Daria - The Complete Animated Series Archived February 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, TVShowsOnDVD.com
- Daria - The Complete MTV Series DVD, Amazon.co.uk
- Daria: The Complete Series (8 DVD Set) Archived May 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- Navtones.com Archived October 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- Transcript Archived January 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Gates, Anita (February 16, 1998). "Such an Attitude, and So Proud of It". The New York Times.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- Gates, Anita (May 16, 1999). "In Praise of the Most Unpopular Girl at Lawndale". The New York Times.
- "Glitter Berries". Glitterberries.freehostia.com. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on May 2, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "Janeane Garofalo on music, comedy and the fight against Hollywood typecasting". Westword.com. 2001.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- "outpost-daria Resources and Information". Outpost-daria.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- CH Staff (July 24, 2013). "Daria Movie Trailer (with Aubrey Plaza)". CollegeHumor. Retrieved November 24, 2014.