1/18/02 Daria Ends Successful Run on MTV with Second TV Movie
By Bill Desowitz

After five seasons, the makers of MTV’s Daria are calling it quits, just as the network’s animation division shuts down, concluding with the second TV movie, Daria: Is it College Yet?, airing Jan. 21 at 8 p.m.

In the series finale, Daria and her friends plan for college; Daria reevaluates her relationship with boyfriend Tom; Jane deals with rejection from various schools; Mack and Jodie deal with their parents’ expectations; Quinn deals with the issue of a new friend’s alcohol abuse; and Brittany and Kevin come to terms about college and their relationship.

Thus, one of TV’s wittiest animated sitcoms, featuring one of the most popular heroines, comes to a close, as Daria goes from being an outspoken yet insecure teenager to a slightly more confident young woman ready to graduate high school.

"Actually, Daria’s journey was wrapped up in the previous episode," explains Executive Producer Glenn Eichler, who has been with the series from the very beginning. He not only wrote both TV movies (including Daria the Movie: Is it Fall Yet?, which Paramount Home Entertainment and MTV Home Entertainment released Jan. 15 on DVD) and numerous episodes but also the pilot.

"Daria realizes that her isolation isn’t just about being different — she likes being isolated. It may be painful for her, but she’s better off trying to interact with the others. She’s pretty realistic. She’s smart and articulate yet unsure of how the world will accept her."

Viewers embraced Daria from the very beginning, but, according to Eichler, mistook her as some fearless supergirl. "They soon realized that she was no supergirl. She had her vulnerabilities and that made her even more appealing."

As for calling it quits, Eichler says the series has gone on long enough. "When you find yourself threatening to repeat yourself and situations get familiar, it’s time to stop."

In looking back at the success of the series, Eichler thinks that Daria has a lot in common with The Simpsons. It is a sitcom that just happens to be in the animation medium. "The animation and designs can’t call attention like Klasky Csupo shows or other MTV shows," he says. "Within the design structure, we are fairly realistic. We couldn’t have anything detract from what was going on with the characters. We tried not to be funny in our designs; the humor came out of the situations, not the animation."

With a total of 65 episodes during its series run, Daria should continue to prosper in syndication.

 

© 2002 Animation Magazine Inc.