For comedic and illustrative purposes, the show's depiction of suburban American life was a deliberately exaggerated one. 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.
MTV senior vice president and creative director Abby Terkuhle explained that when that show "became successful, we 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.
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, ,  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? 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? 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:. 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.
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. 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".
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The first season was broadcast between March 3 and July 21, , while season two was aired from February 16 to August 2, ; season three was shown from February 17 to August 18, ; season four from February 25 to August 2, , and finally, season five between February 19 and June 25, The series also includes two feature-length television films; the first, Is It Fall Yet?
Two specials were also aired; Daria: Behind the Scenes was hosted by Janeane Garofalo and aired on February 18, , 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, , 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. 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 and 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.
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. Daria premiered to critical acclaim, John J.
I think I'm in love. 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.
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. 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 April , 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".
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.
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