What's the deal with "Daria"/no DVD?

I recently started to re-watch an old favorite, Daria, late at night on “the N.” I’m glad that I can see the shows again, because I always loved that series, but the episodes are often noticably chopped up, apparently edited for content that is considered too challenging for “the N’s” normal audience of prepubescents. OK, fine. Since I’d like to see the shows in their original form, I thought I’d look into seeing if the series is available on DVD. A brief web search showed that it’s not (except for one or both of the “movies”–really just extended episodes). I found a site dedicated to a mostly incoherent rant about this state of affairs, as well as a link to an online petition asking for the DVD release. I signed the petition, but I’m still a little hazy about what’s going on here.

In other words, does anyone know why MTV has not released this show on DVD? I was amazed that it had not already been released, because I thought pretty much everything gets shipped on DVD these days. What’s the big deal here? Any enlightening information will be welcome.

Most likley, the cost of the rights for all the music featured in the show is proving prohibitive. This is a big problem for TV shows on DVD - “Northern Exposure,” for instance, is finally being released, but with almost all of the original, nifty music exchanged for cheap, totally banal and unmemorable stuff.

That’s a good point, about the music. But I still find that a little strange. If they got permission to use a song in an episode, why doesn’t that permission apply to a DVD release? Lots of feature films use songs in them, all by permission, then when the movie comes out on DVD, it still has the songs intact, right? That doesn’t sound like an insurmountable obstacle to me. Mostly, it feels like someone at Viacom is just dropping the ball. If there’s some kind of squawk between the creators and the corporation, I could understand the lack of a release, but I have seen nor heard nothing of the sort. I still count myself baffled.

It just has to be written into the contract. At the time the show was first produced, most shows didn’t come out on DVD, so why bother including that clause? Especially since they would probably want more money for it. A bad decision in hindsight, but it happened all over. Since Daria is a niche show, it probably isn’t worth spending the extra money for the songs.

(Movies, of course, have included the video rights in the contract, since they knew they were coming out. And anyone making a TV show now will include it if they’re not an idiot.)

While no substitute for season sets, the two movies(Is It Fall Yet? and Is it College Yet?) were released on DVD and as a special feature they have three episodes on each disc from the previous season.

A website called entertainment1st.com was selling the complete series for $65.00. These DVDs were, I assume copied from VHS recordings of MTV’s “Sarcastathon3000” when they played the entire run of Daria. The site no longer has Daria on their listings, maybe they got in trouble, I don’t know if it is legal to record your own DVDs from VHS and sell them. I just made it under the wire I hope it was not illegal.

Daria was one of my favourite shows, as well, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the DVD set. There’s been a pretty big online movement for MTV to release the series, and they responded with the following statement:

This site is where you can keep up with the Daria on DVD news.

I know that the movies are on DVD, but one of the sites I looked at claimed that they too were edited from the original broadcast content. I don’t think I want to waste money on any edited releases.

I see what you’re saying, SmackFu, and you’re probably right. However, I think there should be some motivation for letting those releases happen, because including the songs on a new DVD release is more promotion for the music. I know that just from watching the reruns on “the N” I’ve heard a few songs that I liked, and would be willing to buy for my listening pleasure (from iTunes, at least, if not a whole CD).

As for you, Icerigger, I can only assume your name has something to do with piracy, because you’re definitely going to the Big House for your ill-gotten Daria disks. Flee while there’s still time.

The ‘N’ tends to show the same Daria episodes over and over again. It’d been so long since I’ve seen an episode that I don’t remember what they’ve cut out of the episodes. Anyone care to share some examples?

Marc

The entire lesbian subplot of ‘Is It Fall Yet?’ for one.

I can’t remember specific cuts, since it’s been so long since I saw the originial episodes; it’s more a case of you can tell something is missing, a strangely choppy edit, that sort of thing. Also, some of the writing on the blackboard behind the teachers will be blurred out in the classroom scenes, especially in DeMartino’s classroom. It’s all noticable enough to be extremely annoying.