Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review of Daria: High School Reunion... Trailer!



Normally I don't review College Humor's brilliant trailers, but since I have a connection to Daria, I couldn't resist.

The two-minute trailer features a live-action "movie" where Daria has come home for her 10-year high school reunion.  Suddenly she's dealing with the same stupidity... just 10 years older.

Audrey Plaza does a nice job capturing Daria's voice and mannerisms.  The other stuff is pretty spot-on, too.  Some Daria fans have complained about details that the trailer gets wrong, such as Daria being the valedictorian instead of Jodie.  To me, that misses the point.  The trailer isn't supposed to be a 100% accurate update of the cartoon: it is guessing what a Hollywood movie of the cartoon would look like.

A Hollywood movie could have multiple writers, producers, and a director not familiar with the show.  That means details get missed.  The Daria the Movie fanfic spoof from years ago showed the worst-case scenario.  If anything, this Daria movie is a thousand times more faithful to the show.

While the trailer ran on a bit long, I thought it was note perfect.  Here are some other random thoughts:

1.  Is it really so odd that Quinn is on the reunion committee?  Yes, she's a year younger.  Yes, it's contrived.  But since when is Daria a stranger to contrived school events?  "Antisocial Climbers," anyone?

2.  I'm probably one of the few who appreciated the pudgy older Trent.  It shows that the spoof makers watched "Lane Miserables," which included a dream sequence with... a pudgy older Trent.  The Daria creators never shied away from expressing the view that while young Trent might make a great fantasy, he would be a terrible reality for Daria.  So the Trent in the trailer is what you get if he has been doing things the same way for 10 years.  Does that mean the "real" Trent is the pathetic guy from "Lane Miserables"?  No.  This is just a spoof of what the Daria characters would look like if they were 10 years older.  Would 28-year old Daria still be wearing the outfits she wore in high school?

3.  If you thought Trent looked bad, what about Jesse?  Damn.

4.  The spoof makers must have taken the 2002 graduation date from the release date of Is It College Yet?.  However, given that every Daria season is roughly six months, it's more likely her graduation year was 1999 or 2000.  Daria is over 30, everyone!

5.  The rest of the cast was very good.  Before I saw the cast list, I wondered if Wendy Hoopes had been recruited to play Jane.  Though we saw little of Quinn, I thought that Kendra Bates captured her chirpy voice and mannerisms pretty well.  Judith Bradshaw was eerily good as Helen, and Ian Roberts's Jake earned a big LOL.  Many people would cast Bryan Cranston as a live-action Jake, but (1) I think Cranston has outgrown those types of roles, and (2) I don't think he could play someone as gullible as Jake.  While Hal on Malcolm in the Middle had a spazzy personality, he always struck me as more intelligent.

Josh Ruben actually looked like Kevin, and Morgan Grace-Jarrett had Brittany's piercing voice to a T.  I never thought DeMartino could be captured in live-action form, but I was wrong.                       

6.  Kevin doesn't wear his football pads nonstop.  Daria's boots are a little lower.  Jane has a baby.  Some things do change after 10 years.

7.  Like I said, the inaccuracies don't bother me so much.  What amazes me is how many details the trailer got right, like the Morgendorffers' brick house and the padded walls in Daria's room.  

8.  So if we are to infer anything about the characters' future from this... Daria works in an office somewhere, doing something.  Quinn's job involves fashion shoots in some way.  Jane is or is not married and has one or more children.  Kevin and Brittany are back together.  Jake let himself go.  Trent still has his band and still struggles with a name.  Tom is still interested in Daria.  The teachers have aged well, maybe because Kevin is no longer enrolled.  Upchuck's hair... has grown and he appears to be in a relationship with Tiffany.

9.  I see about as much value in predicting the characters' future through this spoof as through the "future" scenes at the end of Is It College Yet?.

10.  Loved the homage to the opening credits in the series.  According to the cast list, it was likely Stacy who fell down, but it looked more like Sandi.  For some reason, Sandi was never cast.  Wonder what happened to her...

If they ever made a live-action version of this spoof, I would not regard it as Daria: 10 Years Later, but as an interpretation of, and homage to, the TV series.  I'm perfectly happy to see a live-action take on the show, while keeping my own image of the characters' futures.  

So Hollywood?  MAKE THIS.

Thanks, College Humor, for letting outside sources embed your videos!

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