‘Daria’ Got College, Like It Got Everything

The college football season begin in earnest this past weekend. Could I use that as an excuse to write about some football movie like The Waterboy or Little Giants? I could, but I won’t. Instead, it got me thinking more about the “college” part of “college football.” Once that happened, my mind didn’t land on some campus comedy or college TV show, maybe because the only college show I remember off the top of my head is Undeclared. Instead, I thought of a question: Is It College Yet?

That question is also the title of the made-for-TV Daria movie that serves as the show’s series finale. I’m a Daria fan to be sure, though perhaps not as diehard as others. It was a really good show, though the first season is a little rough around the edges. By the time they got to Is It College Yet?, though, they had worked out the kinks.

Daria is not a show about college, of course. It’s about high school. The final movie is a true bit of finality, as it features Daria, Jane, and the rest of the gang graduating high school. It’s about figuring out what they will do next. There is cynicism and skepticism, of course. Daria and Jane do their deadpan thing. Of course, there was always a smidge of heart there in Daria. The characters do have depth, which is part of what I appreciate about it. A title like Is It College Yet? pretty much sums up the ethos of Daria, and also Daria. I just wish I could still hear the music from the film when it originally aired.

Now, you would never want to start the show with Is It College Yet?. Back in the day I bought the complete series of Daria on DVD basically just so I could watch the two films. It’s a bit of a cheat of a series finale given that it’s a movie, not an episode. Still, I have no complaints. It’s pretty much a perfect ending to Daria. Even 20 years later that’s still true.

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