The “Daria” Box Set: Why We Want, No NEED, It

Today is a big deal, folks. Yes, it’s my birthday, but that’s not even what I’m talking about here. Today, “Daria: The Complete Animated Series” has been unleashed on the universe, and it’s only $45 over at Amazon. The eight-disc set includes all five seasons of “Daria,” plus special features like cast interviews, the two “Daria” movies, and the show’s original five-minute pilot. But there is one big bummer here. Apparently, the reason it took so freaking long for this set to be released is because of all the ’90s music incorporated into the show. In the end, it would’ve cost MTV an arm and a leg to secure all the rights—so instead, they’ve ditched the R.E.M., Fiona Apple, and Alice in Chains original tracks in favor of newly composed background songs. In other words, elevator music. Sigh. [The Gloss, Express Night Out]

But still, “Daria” is the ultimate show for nerds, weirdos, smarties and outcasts. After the jump, 10 reasons we still adore this series.

  1. It’s the only good thing to come out of “Beavis and Butt-Head,” ever. I’m not including your boyfriend’s Beavis imitation, for obvious reasons.
  2. Eight years after the show went off the air, Daria Morgendorffer remains one of the best female characters on TV ever. Whip smart, bitingly sarcastic, monotone, and average-looking, Daria was a true original. But she wasn’t just a sad girl! As she famously put it on the show, “I’m not miserable. I’m just not like you.”
  3. Speaking of, Daria’s one-liners are still high-larious. Who else can get away with lines like, “I don’t have low self esteem. I have low esteem for everyone else.”
  4. La la la la la. “Daria” had a great theme song, a grand tradition shows today seem to have given up on. “You’re Standing On My Neck” — don’t pretend like it’s not in your head.
  5. The supporting characters on “Daria” were amazing. We love them all: Jane, Daria’s arty best friend; Quinn, her popularity-obsessed sister; Brittany, the ultimate ditzy cheerleader; Kevin, the football player who’s taken a few too many hits to the head; and of course, Trent, Daria’s unrequited rocker-boy crush who was totally dreamy.
  6. Naturally, all of the adults on the show were insane, from Daria’s uppity mom and bumbling dad to her man-hating science teacher and high-strung, Vietnam Vet history teacher whose eye was always popping out of the socket.
  7. Lawndale was the quintessential “Any Suburban Town, USA,” so Daria and Jane’s desire to get out of the inanity felt as authentic as our own.
  8. One of the best running gags on “Daria”—the TV show “Sick, Sad World.” It totally predicted our bottom-of-the-barrel tabloid culture. I’m shocked no one has spun this into a series. “Jesse James’ affair with a white supremacist stripper, on the next ‘Sick, Sad World.'” It would work!
  9. The animation was charmingly simple. Do we really need everything in our lives to be 3D and “Avatar”-style?
  10. Overall, watching “Daria” is like getting in a late ’90s time capsule. It’s a Generation X show made at a specific moment in time when Britney Spears and ‘N Sync started to eclipse Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and rock in general. This show makes us oh-so nostalgic for the latter.
Tags: daria, tv shows