Daria’s Sick, Sad Life Planner (1999)

Few franchises spoke to a generation like the show Daria, with its wry observations still finding truth and resonance in the youth of the time, and today. Merchandising opportunities prove to be lucrative and the rise of cyberspace showed people a new way to make their complicated lives more manageable. In 1999, Simon & Schuster joined the two into an application suite for the modern woman of the upcoming 21st century. A time when “reality bites” was more than just a clever film title, the wit and wisdom of Daria tried to make your home computer a tad more useful. In Daria’s Sick Sad Life Planner.

The planner is functional… neither sick nor sad though.

You’ve got a new computer, (or an old one, gathering dust) and you’re looking for a way for it to make your hectic life more bearable. Daria’s Sick, Sad Life Planner, derives its name from the fictional trashy news show that Daria watches, but the product is anything but. As a life planner aimed for the modern women of the late 90s, it comes complete with a suite of applications. The aforementioned Planner is practical, augmented with a system to set time-based reminders for certain tasks. An address book, for storing contact info, with built-in functionality for storing email, the rising communication novelty of the time. A calendar that comes with its own in this day in Sick, Sad History, and newly recorded lines related to those facts. Completing the main selection is a journal, complete with some snarky questions to inspire the most soul-searching introspection.

The questions offered by the Journal are both fun and worthy of introspection.

Combining animated crossovers with useful computer software was a growing trend in the 90s, who wouldn’t want a Simpsons themed or Spider-Man themed animation program, Or an entertainment pack based on the hit sitcom Fawlty Towers (okay, that one wasn’t animated). So, making a Daria themed tool feels more of a natural fit, considering the character’s popularity with certain demographics. It certainly makes use of the licence with buttons decked to the nines with characters from the show, with new lines recorded by the cast. Doing in a way that isn’t distracting but alleviates some of the boredom that these programs can induce. Even at the time, my home application suite of choice was Homewise, while it was more useful, it was generic looking. (Plus, I only started watching Daria recently, so a Daria themed package wouldn’t have been on my radar.)

Like the fictional show its Sick, Sad facts are fun and weird!

The package also comes with a selection of animated screensavers, such as Jane during the infamous paintballing trip, along with an assortment of computer wallpapers, to make your computer Daria themed. Aside from renovating your P.C., you can also call upon clips from the show, whenever you feel like. Once again, this was before D.V.D.s, and the likes of YouTube were commonplace, making the C.D. the go-to choice for digital highlights. In short, it is great that the C.D. manages to embrace the medium of the show, curating content that fits the heart of the show.

The contact book even has room for email, how forward thinking!

Daria’s Sick Sad Life Planner comes from an era where computers were rising to become more than useful to the average person on the street. Daria’s Sick Sad Life Planner offers Ms Morgendorffer’s same sense of cynicism perfectly combined with a useful utility. Sure, the applications of today more than transcending the functionality offered by the C.D. but for die-hard fans, the chance to peruse brand-new content from the creators of the show should be welcomed. If you’re looking for, cynical and blunt way to organise your day, Daria’s Sick Sad Life Planner might be your stop.

Even the help text retains Daria’s wit.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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