Daria: The Movie - Is It Fall Yet? (S) (MTV's DVD Collection) product details page

Daria: The Movie - Is It Fall Yet? (S) (MTV's DVD Collection)

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Witty, touching, and full of telling insights into the hyper-scheduled, go-go adolescence of many turn-of-the-millennium youths, this feature-length Daria outing suffers only when it tries to cram too many supporting characters and subplots into its running time. In other words, most of the scenes involving Brittany, Kevin, and Mr. DeMartino could have been left undrawn -- or at least been severely edited. Such quibbles aside, however, Is It Fall Yet? manages the twin tasks of driving home the show's overall plot arcs and introducing new thematic concerns, all the while hanging together as a stand-alone experience. Programs such as The Simpsons are content to treat their animated characters as eternally unchanging archetypes; heck, most live-action sitcoms do the same thing. But Daria and her cohorts have slowly developed over the course of the show's run, and Is It Fall Yet? gives these three-dimensional, two-dimensional adolescents even more weighty issues to chew on. Milestones abound, from first boyfriends to first inklings of maturity to first blatant ****** attempts by bisexual acquaintances. Daria's protective shell shows signs of cracking, Quinn displays heretofore unglimpsed signs of humanity, and Jane gets a rare chance to stand on her own as a character instead of serving as Daria's perpetual foil. Along the way, we also get jabs at inner children, art-school twaddle, inane Buzz Bin bands, and shifty legislators -- plus more Fashion Club venom and a hilarious new song from top Lawndale rockers Mystik Spiral. If the countless live-action dramas on the WB and UPN nailed even half as many adolescent details as Daria, maybe the Beverly Hills 90210 style of American entertainment would finally give way to something richer. Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide