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I was just about the perfect age to watch "Daria" when it was airing, but I actually only watched it sporadically, and became a regular viewer during the last two seasons. Daria is just such an interesting character--she's smarter than most of the people around her, but she's also not always right, and the storyline often deals with her flaws. That's the main reason that the series is still interesting to me even as an adult, instead of becoming something you grow out of because you're no longer the same age as the title character.
I do prefer the first three seasons over the last two, though. I know what they were *trying* to do with Tom, but he's just such a bland character, and there are times when the later seasons sometimes tried too hard to show Daria's flaws, almost demeaning her in the process.
Tracy Grandstaff is named as the only voice of Daria everywhere, so I always just assumed her voice evolved over time to become the "Daria voice" that everybody remembers. Apparently there was also a persistent rumour that Janeane Garafalo was Daria's voice, which is weird.
Daria also shouldn't have gotten together with Trent, and I hate the way criticisms of Tom are often thought of as just being the result of shippers. Daria's attraction to Trent was fine as a running joke, but I'm glad the series had her wake up and realize what he's actually like.
The other teacher you're thinking of is Mr. DeMartino, the history teacher that screams all the time. I never thought of him as a "weak" character, but I guess it's true that for all his rage, he never accomplishes anything.
I never thought of Mr. O'Neil as gay, simply because he seemed to be into Mrs. Barch, the man-hating science teacher that was always tackling him for a quick make-out in the background. She obviously scared the hell out of him, but liked it anyway.
I was one of those who wasn't too broken up about the DVD sets lacking the music. I just wanted that damn show so much, I was like, "Okay."
Personally, I'd also rather have a show "like" Daria than a reboot or a remake, and especially not a continuation. Ending it as Daria prepared to go to college was just perfect.
There's so many episodes I like that it's hard to suggest ones to review. Let's see...
"Esteemers"--though you covered a lot of the material from the first episode already
"The Teachings of Don Jake"--the one where they all try to "rough it" in the woods. I always hated camping as a kid, so this one made me laugh hard.
"The Misery Chick"--interesting look at how Daria relates to the world, and vice versa.
"Arts N' Crass"--the anti-censorship stuff is great
"Quinn the Brain"--the role-switching episode
"Daria!"--the musical episode
"Jane's Addition"--for Thoughts on Tom
"Dye! Dye! My Darling"--more love triangle stuff
And either of the two movies--"Is It Fall Yet?" or "Is it College Yet?"
I loved Daria (still would; if they revived it like Beavis & Butthead, I'd watch it)
I actually didn't watch it to the very end, so I guess we can blame that on Daria getting a boring boyfriend.
You mentioned that Mike Judge didn't authorize this spin-off, which was an interesting tidbit I didn't know; but what I wonder is how Janeane Garofalo felt when she got all those questions from MTV kids.
"Do you do the voice of Daria?"
"Did they base Daria on you?"
I didn't know that MTV was considered to be a channel for "jocks" (maybe you made that up based on zero facts) I would think that Jocks don't watch as much TV as other kids do.
I'd like to see you do reviews on other MTV animation, Preferably The Maxx, since that has a lot to chew on. Aeon Flux is a no-duh choice.
You mentioned that Mike Judge didn't authorize this spin-off, which was an interesting tidbit I didn't know
Well, at that point, Beavis & Butt-head was MTV's property anyway, and I don't suppose Mike created the Daria character anyway so it was probably a moot point for him to complain (having left to do King of the Hill at that point). I didn't think as a poor spin-off of the original show she was in, but I did liked that it was about her anyway (the first episode though does reference that they came from "Highland" anyway).
I was already out of high school when the show started, but even then I could easily get into what they were trying to do in this since I had met many of those 'characters' in school myself (and grown up in much the same neighborhood, though not as upper-middle class per say). I sorta felt like I was in Daria or Jane's camp personally, and could relate to how they felt about their lives and what they wanted to do that was not unlike everything else. I suppose the shoe came out at a good time when it did since I don't think I could stand to watch a show like this today with the whole "Hipster" thing and all that.
Of course like some others, I don't think I got past the first couple seasons to notice the new guy in Daria's life, though I thought she had it better with Trent too. One of these days I need to watch the later stuff and TV specials to see how it turns out, though my memories are still locked within the earlier episodes personally. Though you didn't cover it in this podcast, I rather enjoyed the one called "Malled" that's pictured on the VHS cover above and perhaps the one where she had to take Quinn's place in babysitting a couple of wimpy kids and eventually turns them around to actually 'thinking'.
Thinking about the "Internet Cafe" thing and how that slowly eroded to the bingo hall substitutes of today, I suppose I didn't miss much over not going to them (my town didn't really have them much back then anyway, though it almost seems pointless now as long as the place had Free WiFi and you could just bring your laptop or tablet over anyway). The story she reads to the students always made me laugh thinking how 'dated' it seemed for the time itself, yet she was able to get these guys into searching for the embassy anyway! Wished I had wrote something that good in school myself!
Glad to hear a shout-out to me on the show a while back. I suppose that's all I am then, still you have to have someone for that too!
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