Daria’s back!

by Lisa Kirchner

Need a reason to be stoked? Writer Emma Kat Richardson has the deets on Daria’s reemergence.

Recently, with infrequent bathroom breaks and meals brought straight to my futon perch, I consumed an innumerable amount of hours watching Daria on YouTube. Many of the episodes are crassly interrupted by a nauseating blur of static. Others had been uploaded backwards—a phenomenon that goes undetected until the title of Sick Sad World appears splashes across the screen in an even more demented format than usual.



Up until now, this was the only manner in which us devotees of this caustic cartoon were able to tie up our veins and tap in for Daria doses. Up until now, the fiendish suits at MTV have kept our favorite anti-social teen’s wit where she’d probably most prefer it: locked up, vaulted, and away from the prying eyes of human conformity. But as of today, all five seasons of this late-’90s gem have arrived on DVD. And perhaps not a moment too soon—these days, it’s hard not to give off a little constant Daria sourness while maintaining a consistent pining for the prosperity of the ’90s, the backdrop of which the series is set against. After all, each episode allows us to witness Daria and her vapid younger sister, Quinn, strolling about in their parents’ mini suburban mansion, each latching on to contrastingly different sources of misery and dissatisfaction. (The former sickened by flagrant materialism; the latter disgusted by what she perceives to be a dearth of it.)


But mainstream consumerism was never really the point. Or, at least, not the main point. Sharp-tongued cynicism, razor-fine intelligence, and the nagging perils of being a social pariah are where the show’s true heart lay.


It’s pretty hard to believe that it’s taken MTV nearly 10 years to put out the series’ DVD collection, but hey, it’s also pretty hard to believe that Daria the girl and Daria the TV show both evolved out of a walk-on character from Beavis and Butthead. There is much speculation that this massive delay had much to do with the exorbitant copyright fees for all the songs used in the series—a roadblock that has prevented many of the network’s past shows from seeing a DVD release. But apparently some legal magic was worked and we have the complete collection of one of the most hilarious, smart, and painfully ironic stories to prove it.


So take heart, misfits! There’ll be no more suffering through subpar video uploads. Get a hold of these DVDs and host a Daria marathon of your own. 

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