Showing posts with label What do you get the 90s child who has everything?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label What do you get the 90s child who has everything?. Show all posts

Friday, May 14, 2010

Children of the 90s' Top 10 Highly Recommended Daria Episodes

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In honor of this week's long-awaited Daria DVD release, Children of the 90s is counting down 10 favorite Daria episodes. While we're not licensed to officially prescribe you anything, we can highly recommend that you spend the requisite time emerged in fully focused Daria viewership. Really, you won't regret it. If nothing else, it will remind you of a time when MTV was so much more than just The Hills and World's Strictest Parents. Oh, the memories.

Daria fans have been calling for the release of all five seasons on DVDs for years, so it's with great pleasure that devoted Daria-heads embrace the 8-disc full series DVD release from MTV/Paramount. Truthfully, all of the episodes are worth watching; Daria gave us some the wittiest, cleverest, smartest humor ever seen on MTV to date. That's not exactly the top litmus test for intelligent, TV, of course; Date my Mom doesn't exactly register in the same tier.

Something must be right in the world. My digital cable's MTV on Demand is even offering the Daria! Musical as a free promotional feature. Verizon Fios must have known I needed some background inspiration on the big screen to write to. Oh, glorious day! The stars have aligned at last. For those of us with a penchant for sarcastic humor, we can now freely celebrate our 90s quipping idol without violating important copyright laws. Well, except for the clips I've posted here. To be fair, I didn't post them and I totally recommend you buy the series for your own collection.

When you do, here are ten of my favorites to check out. I'm obviously leaving out a horde of great material, so share your own favorites in the comments section. If you don't have any favorites, you've got a lot of make-up work to do. Let's get started:

The Invitation

Even in the second episode of the first season, the Daria writers were well on their way to establishing complex and well-fleshed out adolescent characters. They aptly captured the high school social hierarchy with a tongue-in-cheek commentary on its de facto caste system. Popular cheerleader Brittany invites outcast Daria to her weekend soiree, which Daria takes as a prime opportunity to humiliate social cliber younger sister Quinn. We also get a good look at Quinn's ubiquitous suitors, Jamie, Jeffie, and Joey, whom she tries to date simultaneously.

Quinn the Brain

As Daria muses, "Only Quinn could turn having brains into a fad." After Mr. O'Neill reads Quinn's "Academic Imprisonment" aloud in class and publishes it in the school paper, Quinn adopts a pseudo-intellectual persona whose main features are a black turtleneck and a beret. She also writes stellar poems like, "The greasy fry/it does not lie/the truth is written/on your thigh." Brilliant.


To fulfill their English class assignment of creating a short film, Daria and Jane settle on the perfect subject: Quinn. They set out to capture her vapidness and superficiality and capture some pretty solid material. Quinn tries to stage the whole thing to make herself look better, but when she asks Daria, "Don't you want to shoot me?" The only appropriate response is, "Yes. I want to shoot you." A guilt trip from mom Helen turns the whole project from an expose into a soft focus ode. Quinn emerges from the whole ordeal more popular than before, but we do get to see a softer side of Daria.


Daria's Trent-induced anxiety at a Mystik Spiral gig leads to a mysterious rash that lands in her the hospital. Between her mystery illness, an attractive young doctor, and Brittany's desperate attempts to cover up the fact that she too was at that gig incognito as an alternative chick, this episode is pure gold.

Arts n' Crass

Trust Daria and Jane to turn a benign district-wide arts contest into a social commentary on the skewed values of teen society. To fit the contest theme of "Student Life at the Dawn of the New Millennium," Jane draws a beautiful girl gazing into the mirror. Daria adds the wittily dark poem, "She knows she's a winner. She couldn't be thinner. Now she goes to the bathroom and vomits up dinner." Not exactly Pulitzer-worthy, but it does make a statement. The girls fight the school's censorship of their work and embark on an undercover mission to save their poster. Awesomeness ensues.


What if the town blew away? It's a legitimate question. As Jane says, "Being a post-apocalyptic town will be cool. Other towns will be scared of us." Sounds like a pretty good deal.

This musical episode is chock full of earworms, so watch with caution. You'll be singing along all day, particularly with gems like "God God Dammit" and "They Must be Worried." You've been warned.


What can I say? I'm a sucker for the sappy stuff. I have a soft spots for episodes where Daria and Quinn work as a team. Daria finally gets her driver's license, but she doesn't have much of a chance to enjoy it; Jane and the guys from Mystik Spiral land in jail on traffic charges and need Daria to come bail them out. Quinn's not one to miss out on an adventure, sweeping Daria into her schemes. "Face it, Daria," she says. "You're already accessorizing." Daria asks, dumbfounded, "Do you mean I'm an accessory?" How can you not love the banter between these two? It's just so on.

The Lost Girls

This episode is just pure brilliant commentary on the skewed and underhanded tactics adults use to market alleged youth culture at young girls. Mr. O'Neill enters Daria's essay in a contest for teen magazine Val. Daria lands the prize in the "Win a Day with Val" contest, meaning a self-obsessed name-dropping celebrity hanger-on dressed ten years too young for her true age shadows Daria around at school for the day. In the ever-wise words of Val, things get "jiggy" and "edgy" pretty quickly. Whatever that means.

Write Where it Hurts

Like I said, I go for the sappy stuff. This episode is sharp and funny and places our favorite characters in unfamiliar literary situations as pawns in Daria's story writing attempts, but it also ultimately heartwarming. After many failed tries at writing something good, Daria settles for writing something honest, giving us a peek into the Morgendorfer's future. Daria's parents are astoundingly relaxed, Daria's a famous journalist with an intellectual husband, and Qunn is hilariously a homemaker and mother to several small children. It's touching and sweet, without too much schmaltz.

Boxing Daria

Possibly the darkest episode of the series, "Boxing Daria" gets to the heart of some of Daria's more serious emotional issues. It's the last regular episode of the series before the final TV movie Is it College Yet? In "Boxing Daria," Daria is forced to come to terms with her different-ness and social isolation, recalling a fight her parents had when she was young that culminated in her hiding in a giant refrigerator box to avoid dealing with the situation. The reappearance of a large box in her house coupled with her anxiety about her impending graduation unleashes a Pandora's Box of emotions, culminating in one of the most honest and heartbreaking series conclusions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas for the 90s Child

We're gearing up for the holiday at Children of the 90s, which means it's that time of year when we all empty our pockets in the name of the spirit of the season. Something like that. That's what I've pieced together from TV commercials, at least. There seems to be some direct correlation between buying a diamond tennis bracelet and Jesus's crucifixion, though I've yet to determine exactly what that relationship is.

If you're still agonizing over those last-minute gifts, you're in luck: Children of the 90s is here to help. We've got heaps of nostalgia-tinted gift ideas to delight even the Scroogiest of grown 90s children. These gifts are sure to make the most dead-eyed pencil-pushing 20-something office drones hearken back to their happy childhoods.

Here are a few of this season's 90s offerings sure to light up their recipients' faces with a glow that for once does not come from their iPhone:

Beer Pogz

Yes, you heard right. Beer Pogz. Really, how 90s is that z-for-an-s-in-a-plural substitution? It just screams X-treme to the Max! in a uniquely 90s way. Our favorite childhood game is back with a distinctly adult-friendly twist: drinking. What a great way to combine two things that make us irrepressibly joyous: fond childhood memories and booze. And get this: it comes with a Keg Slammer. If you're not sold on this game yet, I'm not sure how to make it more enticing short of plastering the packaging with adorable newborn puppies and scrumptious chocolate cream pies.

Find Beer Pogz here

Nick Rewind DVDs

What better way to show a 90s child you care than by giving them the gift of retro Nickelodeon? From the network ruled children's programming in the 90s comes numerous DVD box sets from which to choose the perfect gift. Whether your giftee is more of a Secret World of Alex Mack type or an Adventures of Pete and Pete fanatic, this collection has a decent offering of our old favorites. You can even gift them these shows via iTunes, which features shows like Doug and Clarissa Explains it All.

Find Nick rewind DVDs here

Trivial Pursuit: 90s Edition

Have you ever wanted to appear impressively smart without the undue hassle of book learning and legitimate knowledge acquisition? Well, here's your chance! Finally, a Trivial Pursuit edition that asks us questions to which we actually have a prayer of knowing the answer. The cards are brimming with pop culture questions that are sure to have you filling your little multicolored pie in less than the standard three hours for the original version.

Find Trivial Pursuit: 90s Edition here

Customizable Nike Air Throwbacks

There were no cooler athletic shoes in the 90s than the original Nike Air sneakers. Through the wondrous world of technology, you can now customize your very own brand new pair of 90s-style Nikes with a rainbow of color and pattern options. This is the stuff childhood dreams are made of. If you'd taken me to my local foot locker as a kid and told me I had free reign in customizing my sneakers, I would probably have passed out from excitement.

Find customizable Nike Airs here

90s Retro Candy Gift Basket
Do you have some abhorrent allegedly well-meaning friend who constantly gifts you with low-carb cookbooks and exercise equipment? Here's your chance at payback. This is the ultimate 90s kid candy gift basket, containing old standards like Nerds Rope, Fun Dip, and Laffy Taffy. As one disgruntled Amazon customer laments in the reviews, the basket is sorely lacking in the Warheads department, though. The basket is listed under the "gourmet food" category, which I guess implies that Bubble Tape makes the foodie cut while Tearjerkers are for the masses.

Find the 90s Candy Gift Basket here

90s TV Show T-Shirts

Here's your chance to give an apt gift to a friend who loves to wear his 90s pride on his sleeve. I'll admit up front they're a bit of a rip-off at about twenty bucks a pop, but it's worth it to see a friend's smile when they unwrap their coveted Legends of the Hidden Temple Silver Monkeys team t-shirt. You just can't put a price on that sort of joy. Okay, actually, you can, and apparently it's been appraised at $20. Extra credit goes to any reader who buys that full Where's Waldo? costume.

Find 90s T-shirts here

Whatever: The 90s Pop Culture Box
If you've grown tired of collecting NOW! That's What I Call Music! CDs, maybe it's time to graduate to a full box set. Sure, this compilation leaves a bit to be desired, but it's certainly enough to give you a solid dose of 90s Music. It's a little tough to squeeze ten years worth of music onto a mere seven compact discs, but they did single out a decent selecton of popular genres.

Find the Whatever music box set here

New Bop-It

It may not be the original, but the new Bop It model isn't so far off from the repetitive and anxious game we grew up with. To its credit, it comes with a sleek white design and some updated features. The current version offers a "Shout It!" option, which is sure to irritate parents even more than the original. The Shout It! makes it seem a bit angrier than our more benign, subdued version, but it's probably worth a try. You can always turn that one off, anyway. This thing is undoubtedly just as addictive as the 90s prototype.

Find the new Bop-It here

Even if you've finished your holiday shopping, it's not too late to buy yourself a little 90s something. As you feverishly tear through the gift wrap to reveal that Double Dare t-shirt from "Santa" on Christmas morning, it'll all be worth it.

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