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Paramount Studios presents
Daria: Is It College Yet? (2002)

Tom: Don't worry, Daria. You'll get into Bromwell with your incredible grades and test scores. I'll get in the old fashioned way, bribery and nepotism.
Daria: Gee, when you put it that way, it all sounds so fair and just.

- Tracy Grandstaff, Russell Hankin

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: August 26, 2002

Stars: Tracy Grandstaff
Other Stars: Janie Mertz, Wendy Hoopes, Russell Hankin, Alvaro Gonzalez, Sarah Drew
Director: Karen Disher

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (scenes of drinking)
Run Time: 01h:05m:53s
Release Date: August 27, 2002
UPC: 097368717541
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B+AB- C+

DVD Review

Daria Morgendorffer first appeared in the early 1990s as a recurring character on MTV's wildly popular Beavis & Butthead. In 1997, when B&B creator Mike Judge decided to devote himself fulltime to King of the Hill, the character was granted her own unlikely spin-off. Daria is a disillusioned high school student from Lawndale, forced to attend classes with her idiot classmates and ineffectual teachers. Her only compatriot is her best friend and fellow outcast Jane, a tortured artist. The two are able to preserve their sanity by constantly complaining about everything and everybody in their sick, sad world.

Where B&B was crude and obvious, Daria is subtle and satirical. The former went for the obvious bodily humor; the latter opts for dry sarcasm. Though Daria was never as wildly popular as the series that spawned it, it did attract a healthy base of fans throughout its four year run.

Is It College Yet? was produced a year after the show's final season had wrapped. Intended as the big sendoff for the characters, it deals with Daria and Jane's struggles to select the right colleges (and get accepted). Other storylines include Daria's indecision about continuing her relationship with high school boyfriend Tom, and an unexpectedly serious subplot for her usually superficial sister Quinn, who gets a job as a restaurant hostess and must deal with a potentially alcoholic co-worker. Lest things get too serious, all of your favorite characters pop up for a bit of comic relief, including psychotic teacher Mr. DeMartino and ditzy cheerleader Brittany.

The feature isn't quite as funny as most episodes of the series, but the more serious tone is appreciated, considering this is the last time we'll see any of the characters. Even the upbeat, entirely genuine ending is a welcome change from Daria's usual cynicism. After all, the show has always been about being your own person despite pressures from the world at large. Why not let your heroine be happy at the same time?

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The feature is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and it looks wonderful. Colors are rich and saturated with no bleeding, even in the bright blues of Tiffany's cheerleading outfit. The thick outlines occasionally reveal some slight halos, but other than that, the image is nearly flawless. Blacks look great, and I noted no print blemishes or visible grain.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The only audio option is an acceptable, if dull, DD 2.0 English mix. The front soundstage handles all of the action, with dialogue well placed in the mix and always understandable. The score expands into the left and right mains a bit, but there is little in the way of directionality and no support from the surrounds.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 5 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Bonus episodes: Lucky Strike and Boxing Daria
  2. Character bios with original sketches
Extras Review: The primary extras here are two bonus episodes of the Daria TV series. In Lucky Strike, the teachers of Lawndale walk off the job, and Daria is asked to fill in. In Boxing Daria, the appearance of a refrigerator box on the front lawn triggers in Daria some unhappy childhood memories. Each episode runs just over 20 minutes and is presented with one chapter stop and no subtitles or captions.

Also included are brief bios for just about every major recurring character, some of which include animated sketch galleries that offer a look at conceptual art, complete with cute captions.

On the negative side, the feature is divided into an inadequate five chapters and there are no captions or subtitles of any kind.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

A fitting end to Daria's run on MTV, Is It College Yet? serves up the expected sarcasm and cynicism, but also gives the characters an unexpectedly sweet, and entirely welcome, sendoff. Paramount has produced a decent DVD for this TV movie; the two bonus episodes are just gravy.

 


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