Two decades ago, MTV introduced an interesting teen character. Instead of boasting professionally blowdried hair and a wardrobe that no teenager could afford, her accessories were spectacles and sarcasm. The girls who watched her grew up, and so did she. If you've wondered what would Daria would look like now, you know, just casually in your room, then wonder no longer. This is a question the show's co-creator Susie Lewis asked of herself and applied to all the characters on the show for a piece in Entertainment Weekly. She and character designer Karen Disher teamed up and drew pictures of the characters as Lewis imagined them looking in 2017 — and even wrote a description for their current life situation.
As a huge Daria fan, I have to warn you guys that some of the results didn't feel all that spot on. For a start, even Jane Lane has had limited success as an artist, and you know the Sick Sad World addict was going to become a bonafide genius. But I appreciate the effort expended on these characters. As Lewis acknowledged, "A lot of the feelings that you have in high school are timeless." While I never thought that, all these years later, it would still be my all-time favorite cartoon, it's a testimony to the skill with which these characters were created.
Jake and Helen Morgendorffer
Lewis describes them "living it up as retirees." They're either on a cruise or doing a weekly dance class back at Lawndale. This sounds basically right, but I can't quite believe that Helen would have been able to completely give up work. I'd imagine she'd be Grace and Frankie-ing it and still running a small business on the side.
He lives in Queens, works as a bartender, and is in a band called Trent Lane and the Mystikal Explosion (that hasn't hit the big time, thus the bar work). I'm not sure about this. The Queens and bar stuff sounds on the money, but, in 2017, would Trent still be playing guitar in a band? As a person with a lifelong passion for music, would he really be making exactly the same music he did as a teenager? I'm making assumptions based on his clothing and instrument choice, but it doesn't look like he's big in electro or ambient noise now.
She lives in New York, is the only female writer on a late night talk show, lives alone, and is trying online dating. I'm not sure about any of this bar the New York part. Didn't Daria want to write books, not talk show copy? And would the patron saint of doing whatever the uncoolest thing is at the time start online dating when we've reached peak Tinder?
Here's what we know: she's married to an archaeologist (though he's rarely home), she still paints but hasn't "made it big," and — phew — her and Daria still hang out all the time. So... Daria's best friend is basically leading the exact same life she did 20 years earlier, only married? I don't buy it. Trent's sister was always one of the most adventurous of the characters. You know that, in 2017, she'd be trying out somewhere outside of the U.S. and considering non traditional heteronormative ways of living (polyamory, for example).
She's "consciously uncoupled" from her husband following her revelation that he was never going to be a big sports star, stayed in Lawndale, become mother to triplet sons, and, best of all, has her own YouTube channel dedicated to dessert and skincare titled "S'mores and Pores." I can't poke holes in this prediction. It's too, too perfect.
Brittany and Kevin Thompson
They're married with five kids, Britney's a weathergirl who moonlights as a cheerleading coach at Lawndale High, and Kevin's a stay at home dad. This all sounds feasible, especially since Kevin didn't appear to have many skills to equip him for the real world. Hard to imagine he wouldn't still coach football, though.
It's a sick sad world out there, but the Daria gang seem to have done well for themselves. If you were ever due a complete rewatch of the iconic MTV series, the time is now.