Daria, MTV's Queen Of Sarcasm
The Daria Universe
Born alienated. The world is my oyster... but I can't seem to get it open.
Back in the late nineties till early 2002 MTV aired one of its best cartoon series, Daria. Daria which is a spin of character from Beeves and Butthead became a very popular show on MTV, and managed to stay on for five seasons. Daria even yielded two cartoon movies. Daria is a very popular show about a very sarcastic girl. This show has a cult audience of millions of fans throughout the world. There are many websites that pay homage to the legend of Daria, and are filled with countless fan fiction stories written about this diva of sarcasm.
Daria first aired in 1997 and was an instant hit. Daria is considered by many to be a misfit, the girl with the oversized, black Doctor Martin boots, green polyester outfit, and glasses. She is also the smart girl, who can hold her own in a superficial world. Daria's number one weapon of choice is sarcasm. She has a sarcastic answer for everything. Her greatest foe is her insensitive, and superficial sister Quinn.
Quinn, who is vice president of the fashion club, and high school hottie, tells her friends that Daria is her cousin. Even though, Quinn’s insensitivity is hurtful to Daria, it does not phase Daria’s tough exterior. As Daria says “The world is my oyster, if I could only get it opened.” Daria is the ultimate realist. She even once told her friend, Jody in the second season episode, titled “Gifted” “Look, Jodie, I'm too smart and too sensitive to live in a world like ours at a time like this with a sister like mine. Maybe I do miss out on stuff, but this attitude is what works for me now.” There you have it, Daria’s confession to a close friend regarding her guarded manner.
Daria has but one good friend. Jane Lane a girl who lives down the street and pretty much understands what its like not to be one of the popular people. Daria is into writing, and Jane is passionate about art. They both make great companions and have a very solid friendship. Only one force could split these two good friends, a guy. During the forth season Daria and Jane have a falling out over Jane’s boyfriend Tom, who suddenly became attracted to Daria. A cartoon love triangle, what will they think of next. Let us not forget, Jane’s brother, Trent Lane, who is an expert slacker, head of is own rock band, Mystic Spiral and Daria’s greatest torment in terms of unrequited love. Trent is the one man, who has the power to leave Daria speechless; she is literally unable to talk, because being around Trent brings out those jitters that only being in love can produce.
On the show Daria deals with many types of different characters. There are the two nitwits on the show, the school’s lug head quarterback, Kevin and his airhead, cheerleader girlfriend Brittany. There are also Quinn’s stuck up friends from the fashion club, Tiffany, Sandi and Stacy, these girls are what you call shallowness personified. Then there are the many guys whom Quinn dates and takes for granted. Quinn’s greatest admirers are three guys by the name of Jeffy, Jamey, and Joey. What these three guys lack in intelligence they more than make up in testosterone.
Then there’s the faculty of Lawndale High School. The faculty has a wide range of personality types ranging from the angry and intimidating, Mr. DeMartino, to the gentle and forgetful, peacemaker, Mr.O’Niel, the bitter man hater, Mrs. Barch, the diagram obsessed, sweet collector of fuzzy, wuzzy wee bits, Mrs. Bennet , the truly down to earth art teacher, Mrs. Defoe, and the ego maniacal school principal, who can’t seem to figure Daria out, Mrs. Li.
Daria’s universe would not be complete without a description of her immediate family, the Morgendorffers. Helen Morgendorffer, Daria’s mother is the matriarch of the family and pretty much the boss. Helen is a lawyer and a big believer in women’s rights. Jake Morgendorffer, Daria’s father is what you would call a “yes man” who is usually happy when he’s in front of the stove cooking something, and pretty much lets Helen be in charge. Then there’s Quinn Morgendorffer, Daria’s younger sister and nemesis. Quinn is shallowness personified. Quinn is spoiled beyond belief and believes she deserves every guy’s attention. Although Quinn is intelligent, she dumbs herself down because she does not want to be anything like her sister, Daria, whose nick name is “the brain.”
There are other characters that play significant roles on the show. These characters would include Jodi, the smart and popular African American girl, Jodi’s boyfriend Mack, Upchuck, who happens to be a geek, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to romance all the ladies, and then there’s the gothic girl, Andrea, who doesn’t say much, but you can definitely sense her presence on the show. Daria, who is wise beyond her years pretty much, knows how to get along with most of the people in her life, even if she does so in a guarded way.
Daria proves that you do not need looks or popularity to get by. To Daria integrity is paramount. She’s not only smart, but is also known for her smart remarks, and cutting edge wit. In her own way, Daria tries to challenge what is unfair about life. This is really one of the ironies of the show, the ultimate realist trying to challenge a system that she knows to well, to be nothing, but unfair and superficial, she often ends up humiliated despite her best efforts. However, there are episodes where Daria does win. In the episode titled “It Happened One Nut” Daria after going through some humiliation on the job, finally has her turn. At the end of the episode it turns out that Quinn is allergic to peanuts and is itching like mad thanks to Daria’s job at the nut stand, to which Daria says to Jane “I think I just found job satisfaction.”
Daria, which aired for five seasons, also has two cartoon movies titled Is It Fall Yet?And Is ItCollege Yet?. If you would like to experience this wonderful show you can get all the information you want at http://www.outpost-daria.com/. There are many other great Daria websites, but as far as I’m concerned Outpost Daria is by far the most complete. At the Outpost you will find descriptions of all the characters, transcripts of all the episodes, as well as the two movies, tons of fan fiction written by many Daria fans, Daria news, a gallery of Daria artwork, computer add-ons, and answers to frequently asked questions about the characters and the show. Outpost Daria is hosted by webmaster extraordinaire, Martin J. Pollard, who has kept the site going for twelve years. So if you are in the mood for some quality sarcasm and wits from MTV’s queen of sarcasm, Daria, go to the Outpost, I promise, you won’t be disappointed.