The Fake Future: A Live-Action Daria
I’ve already envisioned what a sitcom about the 90’s would look like with pinpoint accuracy and foresight. I could just rest on my fake-television-prediction laurels. We all know how comfortable laurels are. However, that would be a disservice to the several people interested in my articulation of my current-non-existent-TV-shows abilities. So, I head into the fray once more, to ease your anxiety about the future of our dear televisual fairytales. Today’s target: a live-action version of the semi-beloved MTV cartoon sitcom Daria.
First up, obviously, is to cast the titular heroine. My mind immediately goes to Aubrey Plaza. You may know her from her critically acclaimed work on ESPN.com’s short-lived series of web shorts Mayne Street (and some NBC show and movies). Her roles thus far helped her become the new master of deadpan, making for an easy transition to the Daria character.
There is one minor issue. When we last left Daria, she was just ending high school. I don’t think Plaza could pull it off. She looks young for her age. She just doesn’t look that young. An insult to our make-believe audience! We’re already subjecting them to a warmed over remake. Let’s not ask them to believe Plaza is a teen ager on top of that. As such, let’s go with the Daria-as-adult idea: a single woman trying to make it through the world on her own. This idea kind of reminds me of the show Rhoda, which makes Beavis and Butthead The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Yeah, that just feels right.
All that being said, Plaza isn’t off the hook yet. Let’s project a few potential issues onto her fake-casting. Daria is sort of a short and squat, or at least she was in her youth. Plaza is lean and angular, to the degree I understand what the word “angular” means. Also, I don’t think she’s short, although I don’t really know what height she is. There are two options here. First, I stick with Plaza as Daria and surround her with tall actors. Brad Garrett, Geena Davis, the corpse of Sterling Hayden. Trot them all out. Or, conversely, we cast Plaza as Daria’s best friend Jane and get somebody else to play Daria. This is obviously what will happen. My guess is they will frump up Kat Dennings a bit and go with her. How long can 2 Broke Girls continue anyway? The answer is several years because it is both popular and on CBS. People love casual racial insensitivity.
Maybe Daria and Jane are now living together in, say, New York. Or Peoria, which is, in many ways, the New York of the Midwest. So…I guess it’s New York. Then it will remind people of other shows. Familiarity never breeds contempt… is a saying I’ll pretend exists.
Yes, New York means leaving behind a lot of the old characters. We have to be reasonable here. How many people from high school do you still see if you move away from your childhood hometown? Two, is my personal experience, and I presume the same goes for everybody else. They’ll still be able to trot out their family members from time to time. Okay? Relax, people who fear change.
Anyway, Daria and Jane live together. Jane’s recently divorced. Daria is also single. They are both working…somewhere. Does it really matter? This isn’t a workplace sitcom, people! I mean, who remembers where anybody in Cheers worked? Nobody!
I’m not going to do all the work for future show runners. Unless they want to hire me. People of the future, please hire me! Look at this gold I spin. And, I don’t even care about these assholes. What’s an “Ear Wolf” anyway? Don’t tell them, though. This is our secret, people of the future.
Back to the fake-show creation… Daria and Jane live together and are still best friends. They have to remain the same snarky and aloof people. I mean, not to the same degree. They aren’t in high school anymore. Basically, the show will focus on Daria and Jane interacting with people who will get their goat and what have you. The ladies will comment on the ridiculous situations they find themselves in. However, we have to be careful not to turn it into a show where Daria and Jane turn to the camera and say “Can you believe these idiots?” Then the show lacks any substance or plot forwarding. Unless that’s when people want. Then, by all means, we’ll do that. Also, they’ll still watch “Sick, Sad World” from time to time because, like “The Itchy and Scratchy Show” it’s a good way to fill time when you don’t have enough of a story for an entire half hour.
Maybe Daria’s sister Quinn moves to New York in the pilot? Instant conflict. Maybe Jane’s brother Trent is there, too? This makes sense, because he’s a musician and they live in New York sometimes. Then we get the Daria/Trent “will they/won’t they” stuff. Eventually, they will. There will be an entire episode that is just Daria and Trent having sex. There’s a two-pronged impact here. First, like making a teenager smoke an entire carton of cigarettes, it will become so excessive as to be unpleasant, thereby ending any and all calls for them, or anybody else, to be a couple on the show. Second, it will be really hot.
Okay, Hollywood – there’s the start for live-action Daria. Am I right? Of course. I’m insulted you would even ask that question. This will all happen, so be prepared. It feels pretty good, right? Seriously, future show runners. Hit me up on my future phone. (Note: I don’t know what the future of our phone technology looks like. Actually, my ability to foretell the future is quite limited.)