We love Daria Morgendorffer. We grew up with her. So, when we hear people (especially those that were unable to watch Daria on television when it originally aired) talk about how much Daria speaks to them, we get it. We get it because we were around when Daria was a lowly character on Beavis and Butthead. Fans loved her so much they had to make Daria her own series. It was one of the best things to ever air on MTV, to this day.
When we saw that College Humor had made a Daria movie trailer we got excited. Of course, we wanted to like it. Like any self-obsessed Daria fans, we support the idea of a live action film, if it were done correctly. The problem is that College Humor got it wrong. In fact, we didn’t laugh once throughout watching the entire trailer. We sat scratching our heads, fighting back tears, and yelling amongst ourselves about the inaccuracies that were littering our screen.
The following list is in no particular order. Currently, it is safe to say that all of these issues piss us off pretty equally.
What the Hell Happened to Jane Lane?
Jane Lane was the awesome best friend of Daria, who lived down the street with the hippie parents who were never home. She was emo before emo was cool. Jane was an artist. It was easy to assume certain things about a person like Jane. Being that she was smart, artistic, and generally a loner, we assumed she would end up doing something with art. Something obscure. At the very least we thought she’d end up working for Sick, Sad, World. Instead, in this trailer, we see Jane with longer hair (not her sharply cut, triangulated head of hair) and a baby stuck in a designer kangaroo pouch. So. Not. Jane. Furthermore, had she not been announced as Jane I wonder if we would have even recognized her at all. The only thing remotely similar about this Jane was her ear piercings. The actress failed to get the sarcasm, intelligence, and dry, biting wit of Jane Lane. What should have been amusing, instead turned into an awful letdown. We love Jane, but this Jane was all wrong.
Trent and The Conspiracy Against the Lane Family
Who the hell is this chubby pseudo-rocker they are trying to pass off as Trent? Are we supposed to suspend our disbelief enough to assume that Trent got a thyroid condition out of high school and became an unhappy Wedding Singer that lives in his parent’s garage? While it’s true that Trent never was much for words, unless they were about his band, we highly doubt he would leave his band name up to the previous students of Lawndale High or any audience considering he believes audiences use his music as ” the backdrop to their pathetic mating dance.” Trent had a sluggish enthusiasm to him. The guy playing the live action Trent just appeared to be on downers of some kind, and his band looked nothing like the rockers he jammed with, as Mystik Spiral.
Quinn was younger than Daria so there is no way she would be in charge of planning Daria’s high school reunion. The two girls clearly were not twins and Daria was older, so they were not supposed to graduate together. Furthermore, if playing true to her form, Quinn would rather Daria didn’t show up. She referred to Daria as her weird cousin, not her sister throughout most of the series, and since Daria clearly hasn’t changed, it would be more likely that Daria showed up to the dismay of Quinn, not because she begged her to come.
Quinn also wouldn’t be wearing that outfit. Sure, the end of Is it College Yet? suggested Quinn might one day become a future Helen but the New York Times also once described Quinn as ‘empty-headed’, which is definitely nothing like her mom. Besides, the girl had a closet full of clothes and was the VP of the fashion club. Yet, she only ever changed from her signature pink crop top and blue jeans in a few episodes, such as the Fashion Show episode (which made sense for her to change). Furthermore, where the fuck was the fashion club? We know they disbanded at the end of the show, but Sandi, Stacy, and Tiffany were vapid enough to be all OVER a Lawndale High reunion, especially if it were hosted by Quinn, since Sandi was CLEARLY jealous of her. Also, where were her boyfriends? After all, wherever Quinn went, Jeffy, Jamie, and Joey were not far behind. Any live-action film would have Quinn surrounded by them, if not three new hot guys.
Finally, the voice of the actress was not even remotely Quinn-like. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go google “I WILL make a DAINTy garland for MY head and SING,” (or watch episode, “Fair Enough”) before you proceed with this article.
Aubrey Plaza channeled April Ludgate, not Daria Morgendorffer
We like Aubrey Plaza. We like April Ludgate. Aubrey as April is sarcastic, emo, sensitive and kind-hearted when you’re not looking. She is also pretty funny. We’re not sure if the problem is that Aubrey is trying to play April being Daria or if Aubrey just doesn’t understand Daria. This, especially in the sarcasm department, looked like April dressed up like a Daria wannabe who spoke slowly as though she were speaking to someone who was hard of hearing. Daria spoke in a monotone but with purpose, not in a stiff, un-impassioned, nonsensical manner. Frankly, it sucked. Daria was the voice of a generation of smart girls that didn’t want to be labeled. They wanted to be smart and didn’t care if you overlooked them because they were smart enough to know that most people really weren’t worth the bother. She was sarcastic and all about the dry-wit. She was by no means slow. She might have assumed you were slow when she was talking to you and she certainly didn’t expect enough brains at Lawndale High to hear a comeback to her wit, but she didn’t speak slowly as though nobody understood her. If you couldn’t get what she was saying it was your loss. Aubrey seems to be mistaking Daria’s banality of typical high school existence for deadpan behavior and lack of character. Oh, and what was with those men’s rain shoes? Daria wore combat boots with laces. She never wore slip on knock-offs.
The Downfall of Kevin & Brittany
Kevin and Brittany were not only boyfriend and girlfriend, they were also the Quarterback and head of the Cheerleading squad! So, as we watch this we had to wonder, when did the fall from grace, take Lawndale High’s dumbest power couple and turn them into boring, drunk losers? Sure, these two were always dumb, but there was so much more to them. They were funny, too. They also had loads of energy. The two actors here have red solo cups that might as well have been filled with tranquilizers. Kevin should be wearing his faded Lawndale High football uniform (or maybe one for a local team, that’s not quite good enough to be the farm team for the NFL). After all, we only saw him in ONE outfit. Brittany was also ONLY in her cheerleading outfit. Dressing them otherwise is just uncharacteristic of the characters. Also, Brittany’s pigtails were all wrong. Seriously.
Jake & Helen Retired on Brokeback Mountain
Jake might have been prone to outbursts and lived within his own illusions, but deep down he was a well-meaning dad. He loved his family, and he occasionally showed moments of empathy and understanding. Jake also could say some pretty stupid things, but he was incredibly, stereotypically male in his stupidity. He wasn’t outright dumb. I am not sure if lawn work is considered to be stereotypically male, but there were no signs of Jake other than his lone outburst, which was ridiculous. It implied Jake was stupid. Jake could overreact, but he would have known “Life” wasn’t the new drug kids were taking. The joke was just unfunny. Helen, on the other hand, was a workaholic with a phone glued to her ear. I doubt she ever even noticed she had a lawn, much less tried to garden. Yes, the end of Is it College Yet? suggested Helen and Jake might retire happily, but it also had them moving to a Lake house, not retaining their current home in Lawndale, where they are clearly gardening. It’s also worth a mention that Helen had a very specific voice and while it’s clear the actress tried to get it, she didn’t. Truthfully, her trying made it all the more painful to watch/listen.
Jane & Daria Were Always Best Biffles
Jane and Daria were nearly always together. Much of this is due to the fact that the two had so much in common. The end of the series even implied they’d one day run their own talk show, together. Other than their affinity for boots, Jane, like Daria, was highly intelligent and unique. Jane and Daria were best friends and that showed in the dynamic they shared as best friends. This is not shown at all in the trailer. Its depressing to watch these two live action characters together because Jane is written too simplistically, Daria is too quick to point out that childbirth has apparently made Jane daft, and the chemistry that made us love this dynamic duo just isn’t there.
Volleyball isn’t for Picking up Drunks
Like many an intelligent, uninterested girl, Daria hated sports. They forced her to play volleyball and she would put her hand out to block once the ball had hit the ground. So, in this trailer, a drunk hits the ground and Daria moves to block. Ha. Ha. Ha. Let’s face it. The nod to volleyball in the gym was not only trying too hard, it was pretty weak. I get why it was there, but holding out the hand to block after seeing a girl on the floor drunk was just pointless. If you’re going to take liberties about all other aspects of “Daria” in this trailer, why start emulating the show now and why pick the most unfunny moment to do it?
Tom is Nothing More than a Party Crashing Silent Bob
Tom was Daria’s rich boyfriend that went to Prep School. This begs the question of why Tom is at the Lawndale reunion when he didn’t even go there. He doesn’t even speak. Luckily, the writers were quick enough to add his name into some of Daria’s dialogue. Otherwise, we’d surely be clueless about who he was. If they were going to have a guy that was supposed to be strange at the reunion from Daria’s past, why not have someone like Upchuck? He was certainly strange enough and he definitely would have been there to continue his pursuit of the ladies.
Daria’s Speech as “Valedictorian” & A Nameless, Faceless Crowd
During Daria’s speech a bunch of people are focused on and none of them appear to be any representation of anyone that went to Lawndale or were in Daria or Quinn’s classes. They just appear to be random people. What’s the point? If you’re going to go out of your way to make this trailer you should actually have good solid references to the show in it. Where is Michael Jordan “MackDaddy” Mackenzie or his girlfriend Jodie? Further, Jodie was the valedictorian of the class, not Daria. Daria’s speech in Is it College Yet? is not because she was valedictorian. It’s because she won a special award. Jodie gave the valedictorian speech because she was in fact the one to earn the honor, not Daria. Perhaps, if the writers of the Daria live action spoof trailer WATCHED the show they’d know this!!! Even Wikipedia KNOWS this, and Wikipedia isn’t exactly a fount of accurate knowledge.
In conclusion, please stop fucking with Daria unless you’re willing to put in the research or just know your shit about the show. It’s not like we’re out there trying to remake Doug, so leave our shit alone.