As the voice behind the title character in MTV’s animated classic, Daria, Tracy Grandstaff spoke volumes, albeit monotone, for brainy, sarcastic, misfits on the cusp of a sick, sad spice world ahead. After 8 years off-air, the cult hero was recently resurrected on DVD, proving the dry-humored teen of the late 90s was far from one note. Despite a surplus of oversexed mean girls on the Upper East Side or fist-pumping guidettes GTL-ing on the Jersey Shore, Daria’s personal brand of misanthropy is still alive and kicking. Today we’re going back to cool in a special edition of 15 Questions with the voice of the Misery Chick.
Who is your favorite couple, living or dead, real or fictional?
Sonny and Cher. Cher invented sarcasm for prime time. Fictitious? Roseanne and Dan O’Connor. They lived sarcasm for TV.
A recent news story worthy of Sick, Sad World?
Mother of 12 says, ‘What was I thinking? Eight really IS enough’—Octomom devours her young, next on Sick, Sad World.
After watching Daria: The Complete Animated Series on DVD for the first time since high school, we hate to admit that we felt sorry for our teen idol. Sure she was wise beyond her years and wittier-than-thou, but she seemed a lot more miserable and self-loathing the second time around. What is your impression of Daria eight years later?
She’s the same girl she ever was—a cynical, annoyed, awkward, self-conscious non-joiner, making the most of her prison term in high school—relying on her lifeline Jane Lane to keep her sane. She is, was, and always will be the Misery Chick who loathes attention more than she loathes herself. Eight years later, there are new things that would totally annoy her—primarily words like totally and bestie. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t follow anyone on Twitter either. I don’t see her as a sad character. I see her as tolerant of her unavoidable reality—eager to put the whole miserable experience behind her, so she could get out into the world and surround herself with people she actually admired and respected , or not. Her call. At least she’d have the choice.
Today’s teen protagonists are more obsessed with being “attractive and popular” than Daria’s sister, er, cousin-or-something, Quinn, and The Fashion Club could ever be. Where do the Darias of the world fit in now?
Yeah, well, there’s no “fitting in” with the new Gossip Girl version of the Fashion Club unless you’re a size 0. As consolation—at least there are 5,000 TV channels to choose from and an infinite number of options offered on the Internet. Today’s Darias have more outlets to choose their protagonists. Why settle for Snooki or Sookie when you can have the ultra cool Brie Larson as Kate in United States of Tara? Let’s face it, if they remade Daria today, she’d be a vampire.
(Also, I have to admit that I am shocked, yet encouraged, to hear there are still Darias out there—especially since Gen-Yers are eternally optimistic and super-psyched about the future, way into having American Apparel good times, hopped up on energy drinks, and sexting all over their iPads. I can’t believe that’s not true. My mind is so blown right now.)
I’mma let you finish, but “The Lost Girls” is our favorite Daria episode of all time. We reached out to legendary editor Jane Pratt about the viscous Val parody and she asked: “Would you parody someone now in order to make a social statement? I’m curious, as I used to make fun of people like New Kids On The Block back in the Sassy days.”
Hmmm, lemme think. Who wouldn’t Daria parody in order to make a social statement today? Didn’t one blogger (Jamie Kelles) follow the advice of Seventeen for a whole month, nearly ruining her life? Genius. She had the right idea. Any magazine or show or form of media claiming to be gospel to a generation of girls trying to figure themselves out is fair target for parody. The media gives a lot of simple sage advice that isn’t all that simple or helpful—it just contributes to the complex. The Darias of the world perceive most of the media targeted at them as source material for unwritten jokes of the future . Smart magazines and advertisers get that. They appeal to the Darias with commercials that focus on truth over hype (see: new Kotex tampon commercials or Domino’s Pizza ads.)
More from Juno writer Diablo Cody, fashion prodigy Tavi Gevinson and MTV reality star Liz Lee after the jump.
I was too caught up in the distraught of having no mentions of the iPod Classic and busy wallowing in the ominous feeling that it’s kicked the bucket to even check the Apple products page. Usually, whenever Apple launches new products and new firmware updates, the availability and/or product details are posted on their site during or immediately after their unveiling.
Apparently, the iPod Classic’s still in the products rundown, though Apple has yet to confirm whether it really did survive their lineup update (in which case, I mourned/whined pointlessly in my previous post) or it’s just there till they run out of stock. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that it won’t get phased out. Also, wasn’t the Classic reinvigorated the portable multimedia player market? And most importantly, wasn’t it the Classic that jumpstarted Apple’s presence and now domination in the handheld device phenomenon? And yes, I know the first iPod didn’t officially carry the “Classic” nomenclature and it wasn’t until 2007 that they attached the suffix, dork.