daria and jane

All manner of 90s pop culture has been resurfacing; grunge fashion, the ever-watchful-presence of ‘girl power’, and Katy Perry herself dressing as Jane from Daria last Halloween (above). And so, it was only a matter of time before I began re-watching ‘Daria’. For those of you who don’t remember or were unfortunate enough not to watch it the first time round, ‘Daria’ was an MTV produced cartoon created by the founder of Beavis and Butthead and first aired in 1997. The show follows cynical, pessimistic, sarcastic Daria and her best friend Jane throughout their trials and tribulations at high school.

Re-watching this has taught me that when I first watched ‘Daria’ 10 years ago, I realise I must not have appreciated how intelligent and witty the humour really was. I have also found appreciation for characters I thought were insufferable in my early teens; Quinn for example. Daria’s sister Quinn is head of the fashion club and although still annoying she is a well-rounded humorous character in her own right. And although she and Daria claim to hate each other, it’s clear they have an appreciation of each other also.

Daria’s mother is also far more hysterical than I ever remember. Actually, all the female characters are more feminist and independent than I realised 10 years ago. Neither Daria nor Jane rely on boys or their looks, yet don’t ridicule Quinn or Brittany who quite obviously do (though they do ridicule them for a whole heap of other things; mostly intelligence or lack thereof).

The writing and style of ‘Daria’ is ambitious for a teenage audience and yet successful for such a niche show. No bullshit Daria is a teen I only wish I could have been.


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