favorite line: For the school is my prison, and its teachers my
imprisoners. Like a hamster on one of those wheel things, school
runs us around and around until we yearn for the food pellet, but
only more homework awaits.” When Quinn begins wearing a black
turtleneck and beret, however, Daria decides to switch the roles
and dress like Quinn in order to test where she fits in now that she
is no longer the “brainy” Morgendorffer girl. Removing her glasses
and wearing makeup and fashionable clothes instantly brings boys
and adoration to her side – the content of the subject is irrelevant,
only the form matters.
Small motifs throughout the series emphasize both the
banality and intensity of suburban life. Every meal the
Morgendorffers share at the family table is the same; the repetition
of lasagna as family dinner is an odd quirk – their table remains
devoid of the diversity promised by innovative capitalism.
Similarly, the stress of working life on adults appears in nearly
every episode of Daria; both of Daria’s parents are reformed
hippies-turned-corporate-workers who struggle with balancing
work and personal life, as the public has bled into the private. The
bulging eye of the rage-filled history teacher, the consistently
profit-driven bumbling principal, and the humorously misandrist
science teacher all point to the alienation of academic labor.
These referents blend the line between reality and fiction,
communicating the false narrative of the suburban utopia created
by modernity. The ubiquitous media motif Sick, Sad World
hammers this point in to the audience through the notion of
“spectacle.” Every time a television set is turned on in Daria’s
world, ‘Sick, Sad World’ announces a surreal news story.
TONIGHT! ON “SICK, SAD WORLD”:
“What's that you're really stirring in your tea, honey or bee
vomit? Animal secretions that make us say ‘yum.’”
“Are fish using our oceans as their own private toilet?”