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Daria: The Show That Defined A Generation

I wasn’t alive during the 90’s, but the late nineties (1996 to 1999) sounded pretty great. Tragedies and misfortunes are inevitable, which is why not everyone will agree about the late nineties being great, but there’s one thing about 1997 that would have kept me going if I were alive back then: the TV series “Daria.” For those who are unfamiliar, Daria is an animated television series based on teenager Daria Morgendorffer. The show was created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn for MTV as a spin-off for the TV show “Beavis and Butt-Head.” Daria aired for five seasons from 1997 to 2002 and became the longest-running animated series and the second longest-running series on MTV, ultimately surpassing Beavis and Butt-Headed. If you think this show is great yet, here are some more reasons:

  1. It’s relatable AF.

Daria Morgendorffer was a witty and sarcastic misfit who felt misunderstood by her parents, her sister and her classmates. She didn’t have designer clothes (which was relatable for the most part) nor did she have perfect features. Her sarcastic comments made everyone who didn’t understand her uncomfortable and her a great part of her life revolved around being infatuated with a boy.

If you didn’t relate to Daria, you could have related to Quinn, Daria’s sister. Quinn Morgendorffer also felt misunderstood by her family and especially disliked the fact that she was related to Daria. She was one of the more popular girls and was the vice president of the fashion club who was struggling with some self-esteem issues, without knowing it.

The point is that Daria is filled with a bunch of characters with wholly different personalities for everyone to relate to.

2.  It had a diverse cast.

Daria was diverse in two ways: in terms of race and in terms of personalities. The show featured asian and colored people. It also tackled issues concerning racism by having the only two colored people in the town talk about it one episode.

The characters of the show are very well diverse in terms of personalities; there are the mean popular girls who actually have self-esteem issues, a high school graduate who doesn’t know what to do with his future, two siblings who barely see their parents and other high school stereotypes who have much more going on behind their looks.

3.  It’s honest.

Daria presents the realities of life and the writers had wanted it to be that way. This can be easily seen with Daria Morgendorffer’s character, who everyone of that generation practically related to for her spunk and brutal honesty. The show was no stranger to drinking, smoking, parties and relationships; there were episodes about friendships, fitting in with the crowd and boyfriend and girlfriend troubles. Basically, Daria portrayed everything teenagers at that time were feeling, thinking and experiencing.

Other reasons why Daria great: she loves pizza and ate a slice in pretty much every episode; and she’s an intersectional feminist.

Watching Daria gave me an entirely different outlook on life; viewers were able to learn things whilst enjoying the show. Having a character like Daria Morgendorffer influences teenagers to do things differently or not do anything at all. Daria has taught teenagers of feminism, disregard for social hierarchies, the importance of friendship and kindness and that not everything revolves around looks or having romantic relationships. Most importantly, Daria has taught teenagers to be contented with themselves and what they have and to simply pursue your own goals and be yourself. Take my advice and watch it.

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Gabrielle Mendoza
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gabby is a 16 year old writer and occasional musician. gabby is probably interested in the same TV show, music, movie, video game or artist as you are. knock knock. who's there? helloimgabbyy@gmail.com

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