Haunted Flower’s DVD Review of Daria: The Complete Series

The Complete Series in Full-Screen Format (Five Seasons and 2 Movies) on 8 Discs with a running time of 1606 minutes! Whoa! This will be released on DVD on May 11th.

Who can forget Daria Morgendorffer? Even I, who did not grow up with cable and wouldn’t have been allowed to watch it if I did since teenagers were speaking rudely to their parents, knew the impact “Daria” had on the hearts and minds of the young. Watching it fresh for the first time as a 26 year old, it makes me flash back to those days in high school….*shudder* and I feel her pain that can only be combated by truly brilliant sarcasm.

The series “Daria” paints a picture many young people are familiar with of high school jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, antisocial elitists, and the most ditzy “popular” younger sister along with a phony suburban mother and a clueless father. Parents have a lot of trouble understanding their kids when they get in high school — case closed, there is no argument here. High school is a brutal trial by fire that is supposed to be some of the happiest days of our lives. Then thank goodness we graduate and move on to bigger and better things. Even college is scorned in this show as a series of frat parties, keg stands, and paying people to write your papers for you without a hint of real nostalgia. (Tangent: Yes, college is supposed to be the next stage of the “best days” and it too can have wonderful, endearing moments way more than high school every could, but wouldn’t it really be great if we lived every day in the present without looking back or forward? I could be on to something here. Just sayin’. ;-) )

The character Daria just doesn’t fit in anywhere and doesn’t WANT to. She scorns everyone and would much rather sit back with her friend, Jane and puzzle on the mystery of other people’s idiosyncrasies. Her sarcasm is hilarious and unforgettable as she would tell a whole sub-population of people to go to hell if she actually cared about them. If you looked up “indifference” in the dictionary, you would probably see her picture.

This series ran for five seasons and even included two movies, all of which are included in this set. Unfortunately it is in full-screen, but what can you do? It ran from 1997-2002. A major difference that might be noticed by fans of the show that is addressed in an insert in the case is that 99% of the music changed because of the cost of licensing it and that’s why it’s taken so long to release this collection.

Bonus Features:

The Pilot episode “Sealed with a Kick” is included as a bonus….I thought it was part of the collection *shrug*. Also you get to see Mystik Spiral’s music video “Freakin’ Friends” featuring Trent Lane singing. There are written character profiles on EVERYONE so that should keep you occupied for a while if all the other content wasn’t enough!

The two movies in the series are included as extras on the last disc: “Is It Fall Yet?” and “Is It College Yet?” They are both like extended episodes in the spirit of the series. The Fall one focuses on summer plans and College obviously on the future.

Top Ten Video Countdown hosted by Daria & Jane is great if you like the MTV’s countdowns. You get to see Daria and Jane using as much sarcasm as possible in their introductions but it does not show any of the actual music videos since that would require too much licensing. Mystik Spiral spin-off script is a DVD-ROM extra available for download. It is a third draft that was never made into a series.

The cast and crew interviews give a lot of background to the series. MTV was looking for an animated series that would appeal more to women and Daria started as a character on “Beavis and Butthead” and decided to create a spin-off with her and they needed a strong female protagonist. The show developed naturally without a lot of direction and it was pretty much a free-for-all in the first season. The same voice-over actress, Wendy Hoopes voiced Quinn, her mother Helen, and Daria’s best friend Jane by using different registers in her voice.

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Haunted Flower is the online source for licensed apparel on the web for movies, tv shows, video games, anime, and WWE and we can be found at HauntedFlower.com as well as on Amazon and Ebay. My review site is HauntedFlowerReviews.com.