The protagonist, DARIA, is babysitting her parent’s friends children. They are obsessed with oral hygiene and have been conditioned to be perfectly obedient. DARIA decides to stir things up a little, and her and her friend JANE are reading the children bedtime stories.
“So Cinderella skipped the ball and asked her fairy godmother to make her the first woman president. Realising that the Monarchy was obsolete, the Prince opened a video store.”
“That’s not how it goes.”
“But I like it better this way!”
Cue montage of various bedtime stories being adapted by DARIA and JANE
“… And then the little engine realised he just wasn’t the competitive type…”
“…So Old Mother Hubbard tracked down the deadbeat loser and make him pay child support…”
“… And the dish ran away with the spoon. But Hawaii was the only state that would recognise the marriage as legal…”
“And the truth is, no one will ever ask to see your permanent record.”
“Wow, you guys are smart!”
“I think that’s enough for tonight.”
“Gee, Mom and Dad never told us that people can think for themselves.”
“Or that Tom Cruise is five foot four!”
Daria is a fantastic example of the satire that was popularised by MTV during it’s hay day. People mock the MTV generation for being the first in a ‘Quick fix’, ‘Need for bright colours and sounds’ culture, however the animations that were being shown at the time were in fact, very astute. Most of them being written by Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill, Office Space) they were all carefully directed satires, and with the likes of Daria and Beavis and Butthead, were aimed directly at the ‘MTV generation’; satirical comedy for teenagers. This scene presupposes knowledge of bedtimes stories and fairy tales, and turns them on their head, altering well known narratives and making them ‘starkly realistic’. A sharp injection of cynicism to what has recently become more Disney-ised juxtaposes and jars the initial supposition. Therein lying the comedy.