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IF TOTALLY REQUESTED, I WILL SERVE
 
SCOWLING FOR DOLLARS
 
PLAYING WITH BLOCKBUSTERS
 
IT'S ALL SO TAXING
 
THE SLICING AND DICING OF COUCH POTATOES
 
MS. SOFTIE
 
HOW TO BE A POSITIVELY NEGATIVE ROLE MODEL
 
WHAT'S OLD ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA
 
IS THERE A SPIN DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?
 
MUST-APE TV
 
PLEASE PASS THE PEACE PACT
 
BEAUTY IS IN THE THIRD EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
 
HOME SWEET GENOME
 
BUBBLE, BUBBLE, OIL AND TROUBLE

IF TOTALLY REQUESTED, I WILL SERVE
By Daria Morgendorffer
A Non-Serious Contender

In times of crisis, people look to their leaders for reassurance, finding comfort in familiar faces. That's why New York mayor Rudolph Guiliani could not resist a brief attempt to finagle around term limits, concerned as he was that in the midst of tragedy, the public wanted him to continue on as the city's leader. As a fellow public figure and role model, I feel a kinship with Mr. Guiliani (except for the part about courageous resolve and the emergence of an unexpected "warm side"). All of a sudden, I am reconsidering my imminent departure from the airwaves of MTV. Can I shirk my duties while Carson Daly remains in the trenches, comforting the youth of America with soothingly repetitive countdown shows?

In the face of endless editorials decreeing "the death of irony" (oh yeah, I believe that), I feel an obligation to carry on. It has been said many times over that if we change our way of life, the terrorists have won. So I ask you: Can we really have true democracy without the free flow of sly observant phrases that can fit neatly on the face of novelty coffee cups? I think not.

But what to do about the "term limits" of television: cancellation, no matter how self-imposed? My solution to this dilemma is to weasel my way onto other MTV shows. I've set up a meeting with management to propose the following ways of undermining banishment by sneakily overstaying my welcome:

1. "Real Life: I Read Too Much": An honest, no-holds-barred examination of the pathetic life of an obsessive page-turner. Explicit paper cut footage not for the faint of heart. See how unsupervised access to the stacks of the public library led me straight to "the hard stuff": speed-reading.

2. "Fear": I am locked in a haunted house with my special guest, "The Amazing Randi." Underpaid production assistants bang on the walls while we debunk the entire notion of the paranormal, thereby ruining everyone's fun and the ratings.

3. "Dismissed": I go on a date with two hot guys. Somehow, they dismiss me.

4. "Video Music Awards 2002": I co-host with Chris Rock or Will Ferrell or someone they got at the last minute because Chris Rock or Will Ferrell dropped out. Throughout the pre-show, show, and post-show I keep using words like "Brechtian" and "allegro," which immediately alienate tens of millions of viewers around the world. Also, my outfit's non-shiny nature means I disappear into a black void.

5. "Diary": I speak directly into the camera about my feelings and thoughts as I experience my life. The camera doesn't listen to a word I say and keeps looking over my shoulder hoping someone cuter will walk in.

6. "Real World Antarctica": Seems ideal at first: I have a luxurious igloo all to myself amidst a vast and desolate landscape. I end up constantly bickering with penguins who chatter incessantly and hog the hot tub.

7. "Undressed": Oversexed, super-beautiful, skimpily-dressed teens mate and re-mate in this round robin of underage hijinks. Skip this one; there is no possible role for me here.

8. "WWF Not Tough At All": Quinn and I sit on opposite sides of the ring and trade glares. Rowdy hordes chant "cat fight, cat fight" for a while, then ask for their money back.

9. "Becoming": A team of makeup artists and hairstylists make my dream come true as I am transformed into Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic.

10. "Daria Unplugged": Oh, I guess we're back to cancellation. They'll surely go for this one.


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