The Alter-Ego Chronicles

(Change The Story) Morning Glory


By The Excellent S



Series Outline


This is my second story in the "Alter-Ego Chronicles" series, a collection of stories looking at hypothetical scenarios involving Daria characters, how they may have ended up as their "Is It College Yet?" alter-egos and how they're embracing or rejecting their futures. It also includes a role or two for some of the forgotten characters of the show.


The first story, "Rowe'd Racin'" can be found here.



Plot Outline


Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane, best friends since high school, co-host the hit breakfast TV show "Good Mornings with Daria and Jane", their unorthodox twist on morning television. With ratings through the roof (by morning TV standards), things couldn't be better. However when a new programming director arrives on the scene and changes the popular program into a "proper" breakfast TV show, Daria and Jane quickly become disillusioned and want out. Will the freakin' friends be able to regain control of their show, or will "Good Mornings" once and for all become what it once mocked?






(The opening credits are played to the original Daria theme, "You're Standing on My Neck" by Splendora)


(We open outside a television studio. The sign out the front says "LNDL-5 TV – Lawndale's Choice in Entertainment". Cut to an interior studio, where a show is being broadcast live. The set is decorated with various chairs, plants and shelves, while a monitor at the back of the set reads "Good Mornings with Daria and Jane". The hosts of the show, obviously, are Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane, who are both sitting in chairs near the front of the set. Both are wearing their haven't changed much in appearance since the end of high school. A cameraman signals to the women)


Cameraman: "And we are back live in 3... 2..."


(A thrash-metal instrumental plays, signalling the show's return from commercials. Cut to Daria and Jane)


Jane: "Welcome back to Good Mornings with Daria and Jane, the breakfast show for people who hate breakfast. It's 12 minutes to 9 o'clock."

Daria: "On most other shows, they would bring in an expert to show you, the loyal puppets... I mean viewers, how to do normal things. Be it cooking, craft stuff, whatever. On our show, we throw all that out the window and give you the best of our more quirky occupations."

Jane: "That's why today we're going to have an honest-to-God mummification live in the studio!"

Daria: "Hm... so who's the lucky volunteer getting sent to the Egyptian underworld?"

Jane: "You are, Daria."

Daria: "I am the volun... hey, wait a minute!"


(At that point, two large men come up from behind and pick up Daria from out of her chair. She gets carried over to a table set up in another part of the studio, where the mummification expert is waiting. Jane gets up and goes over to that area as well)


Jane: "This is Frank Donaghy, head of Egyptian studies at Lawndale Museum. Frank, welcome to the show."

Donaghy: "Pleasure to be here."

Jane: "Now tell us about what your doing to Daria here."

Daria: "I'm gonna get you for this, Lane. I know where you live."

Donaghy: "This is actually the later part of the mummification process we're demonstrating today so, luckily for your friend here we won't be extracting her brain out through her nose with a hook."

Daria (sarcastic): "Aww... that was my favourite part."


(Donaghy grabs a bag labelled "Natron" and reaches into it. He grabs a small handful of the salt-like substance inside and starts sprinkling it on Daria's clothes)


Jane: "You're covering her in salt? I thought we were going to mummify her, not roast her in an oven."

Donaghy: "This isn't salt I'm putting on her, it's natron. This is done to dehydrate the body and preserve the flesh a lot more than normal salt would."


(Donaghy picks up a couple of small bottles labelled "Perfume" and starts spraying Daria's body with them. Daria coughs a couple of times)


Jane: "So now you are spraying the body with perfume. I could understand why, but I take it that there's more to it than that."

Donaghy: "Yes and no. While oils and perfumes were used in some rituals, it would make sense for them to have wanted to block out the bad smell."

Daria: "Do I look like I'm decomposing to you?"

Jane: "Mummies can't talk, Daria. All right, now for the fun part."


(Donaghy reaches under the table and grabs a long, thick roll of white cloth while a second man, dressed in similar attire, walks on with a similar roll of cloth. Donaghy starts wrapping up Daria's legs and working his way up while the second man starts wrapping up at Daria's shoulders and works his way down)


Donaghy: "I guess if we're doing the wrapping now, we'd better take off Daria's glasses. You know, so they don't get crushed under the weight of all this cloth."


(Jane takes the glasses off of Daria's head)


Daria: "Hey, I need those to see poorly-planned television segments! Give them ba..."


(Daria's head is wrapped up, thus completing the mummification process. Jane puts Daria's glasses back on over the top of the cloth for a comic aftertouch)


Donaghy: "After this, the mummy is placed into a sarcophagus and sealed shut, but we couldn't find one on such short notice so I guess we're done now."

Jane: "Daria Morgendorffer, you have just been mummified. Do you have anything to say before you are sent on your merry way to the afterlife?"


(Daria attempts to say something, but it only sounds like angry mumblings)


Jane: "Aww, I'm gonna miss you too, Daria. Thanks to Frank Donaghy for donating his time today, and please go to the Lawndale Museum and learn about the world and maybe a little something about yourself, too. We can't do everything here. We'll be right back with the news headlines after these messages."


(The thrash-metal instrumental plays again, signifying that the show is going to commercial. The camera man gives the signal that the show is not on air and Jane, Donaghy and a couple of stage hands come onto the set to unwrap Daria)


Jane: "Wait until you watch this footage back, Daria. You've never looked better."

Daria: "Could you at least warn me next time so I can say goodbye to my family first?"




(Fade to later in the show. Ted DeWitt-Clinton is reading the news at a desk on the other side of the studio. He is wearing a plain black business suit with a lavender tie, and still wearing glasses)


Ted (VO): "And finally in sports, SCUSA driver Stacy Rowe has signed a contract with Cilauro Sports to drive the Waif Magazine #22 car in the SCUSA Cup Series for the next 3 seasons, from 2011. The Lawndale local, who won the Ultra Cola 500 at Lawndale back in June will join 2005 champion Tim Emerton at the team, and will spend the remainder of the 2010 season as their official reserve and test driver."


(Cut to a weather map, showing the various temperature numbers and animations for Lawndale, as well as surrounding towns)


Ted (VO): "The forecast for today calls for a delightfully sunny day in Lawndale, Oakwood and Middlebury, with the temperature reaching 79 degrees."


(Cut back to Ted)


Ted: "And that's all from the newsdesk from me today, I hope you all have a great day, back to you Daria. And by the way, you smell great. That Egyptian perfume must be working a treat."


(Cut back to Daria and Jane. Daria, who still has white cloth hanging off of her shoulder from her earlier mummification, is not impressed. Jane is trying very hard not to laugh)


Jane: "Excellent journalistic insight there, Ted."

Daria: "Now that the mandatory news report is out of the way, we can finally go home. Tomorrow on the show we have our exclusive interview with actress Brittany Taylor. She's promoting her new film, "The Slashening II", hitting cinemas just in time for the 100 people who haven't already downloaded it illegally to watch it."

Jane: "And Bro & QB Ice Cream CEO Michael Mackenzie will be in the studio to take our "Spend It or Give It Away" Challenge."

Daria: "Maybe he'll have some money-saving ideas as well, like how to use one brain on two bodies."

Jane (mock shocked): "Ouch Daria! I know Kevin Thompson isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but... Anyway, on behalf of everyone here at Good Mornings..."

Daria: "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

Jane: "Adios, amigas!"


(The thrash-metal instrumental plays, signifying the end of the show. After about 10 seconds, Daria, Jane and Ted walk off the set)




(Cut to Daria, Jane and Ted walking down the corridors and hallways of the building on their way to their dressing rooms)


Ted: "Good show today, team!"

Jane: "We knocked them dead."

Daria: "I hope not." (pause) "Although the dead people demographic can use a bit of a boost."

Jane: "That reminds me. How were the Fields of Aaru?"

Daria: "It looked nothing at all like the picture in the brochure."


(They arrive at their dressing rooms. Ted goes through a door on one side, while Daria and Jane go through separate doors on the other side. We follow Daria into her room, and we can see that there is a folding screen used as one wall, allowing Daria and Jane to make conversation despite being on different sides of the screen. Daria goes to a sink and begins washing off the light make-up and various mummification salts and perfumes off of her face)


Daria: "It's strange how we ended up like this, Jane. Neither of us originally wanted to be on TV, right?"

Jane (off-screen): "Nope. But some of the stuff that happened in high school would have made great TV viewing."

Daria: "Not to mention our families. With dysfunction like that, I should have been looking for hidden cameras."


(Daria grabs a towel and dries her face. She then goes behind a small folding screen and begins to change out of her salty clothes. Daria's body is hidden behind the screen the entire time)


Jane (off-screen): "Anyway, all I remember is that you wrote in something for Sick Sad World and the network liked it so much that they hired you for an internship."

Daria: "Only because what I had written as a joke ended up being the biggest thing this town has ever seen. I still shake my head as to how they exposed Principal Li's diversion of school funds to Middle Eastern militants based solely on my haunted cafeteria exorcism story."

Jane (off-screen): "Many careers in television started by uncovering big secrets."

Daria: "I was happy with simply forcing my ex-principal into hiding, but nooo... they decide to give me a breakfast show."

Jane (off-screen): "The nerve of them! Good thing you invited me as your first guest."

Daria: "Nothing against you, Jane, but I couldn't get anyone else! That was probably a good thing..."


(Jane walks in as Daria emerges from behind the screen. Both are wearing exactly the same type of clothes as before)


Jane: "...because our shambolic television stylings led to this network's highest ratings ever."

Daria: "And now you know the rest of the story."

Jane: "Do you ever wear anything different?"

Daria: "Do you, Little Red Riding Jacket?"

Jane: "No. It may sound silly but these old rags are the only ones I've ever felt complete in."

Daria: "Same here. Hey, wanna grab a post-show slice at the Pizza King?"

Jane: "Isn't it a bit early for pizza?" (pause) "Sure, we just have to meet with Marshall first. That'll kill some time."




(Daria and Jane open the doors of an executive boardroom and go inside. A large table sits in the middle of the room. A projector sits on this table, pointing at a wall which has a retractable screen assembly. There are also a number of chairs placed around the table. Ted is in one of the chairs and a previously unseen man, Marshall Chang, is in another. He is a young Asian-American man and is the show's head producer)


Chang: "Glad you ladies could make it."

Daria: "I hope this is actually important for once unlike our usual routine of ratings reports and mutual admiration."

Jane: "We're normally always up for mutual admiration, but we're pretty hungry right now so can this be quick, please?"

Chang: "Of course. First thing we'd like to announce is that last Friday's show had the highest ratings of any show broadcast in the Lawndale area before 7 pm. We're nearly reaching 65% market share for our timeslot here guys. Unprecedented stuff. I mean, no other show in the US gets that right now."

Daria: "Maybe I can finally ask the boss for that ivory backscratcher I so desperately need."

Chang: "That's another thing, Daria. While we're on that subject, we'd like you to meet the new boss."

Jane: "Same as the old boss?"

Chang: "Uh, no. Come on in Leo."


(A heavy-set man with slicked back blond hair enters the room)


Williams: "Hi everyone, I'm Leo Williams, new director of programming for LNDL-5. And you must be the four guys that are single-handedly changing breakfast television."

Daria: "Well if you put it like that, then yes."


(Williams shakes hands with everyone else in the room before sitting down in the chair next to Chang)


Williams: "It's great to meet you all. Believe me I've heard nothing but good things about this show from when I was working at my old job at LVL-11 in Leeville. We would have killed for a half-decent breakfast show over there."

Ted: "Now now Mr. Williams we like to beat our opposition, believe me, but we don't believe in kicking them while they're down."

Williams: "Anyway, while I has heard good things about it, I actually only watched the show properly for the first time today and... well... are you all happy with the direction of the show?"

Daria: "Other than the fact that our mind-control devices never got out of the prototype phase, we couldn't be happier with the direction of the show. And it takes a lot for me to be of maximum happiness output."

Williams: "Well it's great that you are, but unfortunately I'm not. I mean, this kind of gimmickry plays well in a small market like Lawndale... but..."

Jane: "Since when was trying to be an alternative to everything else a gimmick?"

Williams: "I know you're going to be defensive of your show but I'm just telling the truth. And the truth is that you want to make the big time, you have to learn to adapt and try to beat the competition at their own game."

Daria: "Surely you don't mean..."

Williams: "If you guys are truly going to be national superstars, then we're going to have to start making some changes to Good Mornings."


(Daria and Jane look at each other uneasily)








(Both Daria and Jane have been rendered speechless by the news that the format of their show is to be altered by their new boss. After about 10 seconds, Daria is the first to speak)


Daria: "With all due respect, Mr. Williams, why do you feel like our show needs to retooled? We have the highest ratings out of any show in Lawndale."

Williams: "Any questions you ladies will have will be answered after this presentation."


(Williams reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small USB drive. He puts this into the projector, presses a few buttons on it and pulls down the retractable screen)


Williams: "Lights please, someone!"


(Ted, nearest to the door, gets up and flicks a light switch to turn them off)


Daria (quietly): "Great. This is going to be like Mr. O'Neill's self-esteem class all over again."

Jane (quietly): "Yup. I can just tell he's going to make references to realising one's actuality before poor Ted gets dragged aside for the nocturnal emissions talk."


(The presentation begins. The words "Good Mornings, Better Television" briefly appear on the screen, until a caution pop-up box appears on the screen, reading "USB Device Not Recognized". Williams frantically presses buttons on the projector while everyone else looks on bemused)


Williams: "Sorry, guys. I'm not exactly the best with this computer stuff."


(He tries pressing buttons on the projector again, to no response. He angrily rips the USB drive out of the projector and turns it off. Ted stands up and turns the lights back on)


Williams: "Ah forget it. The point I'm trying to make is that we have to not only meet the high standards and expectations of our desired audience, but exceed them. Every part of the show has to be smooth like clockwork. Unfortunately, that means we've had to dispose of a lot of material that had already been set aside for the show."

Daria: "You've gotten rid of all of our pre-taped segments? We were trying to get that interview with Brittany Taylor for months. And when I say 'we', I mean everyone that isn't me or Jane."

Williams: "That interview was nothing more than the insane ramblings of a bimbo. You didn't get any information about her movie out of her whatsoever."

Jane: "Excuse me, we went to high school with her. She was actually like that 99% of the time. We did try to do a proper interview."

Williams: "Well you are going to have try harder. We're going to have to start taking the Hollywood news and gossip very seriously, because that is what people want to see."

Ted: "And what about our segment with Michael Mackenzie? The "Spend It or Give It Away" challenge is one of the most popular segments of the week."

Williams: "It's been put on hiatus until further notice. I've already called Mr. Mackenzie regarding this situation and he offered to appear at a later date."

Daria: "He's a nice guy like that. Now I don't mean to be rude, Mr. Williams, but can we go now please?"

Jane: "I can hear her stomach starting to eat itself."

Williams: "Sure, sure. I'll tell you everything else on Monday morning. It was nice meeting you all and I look forward to working with you to make Good Mornings the best damn breakfast show on television!"

Daria: "I believe we already are the best damn breakfast show on television."

Williams: "I like your optimism, Daria."


(Jane snorts, trying not to laugh at the concept of Daria being considered an optimist)


Williams: "Did I say something funny, Jane?"

Jane: "No, but your face is starting to look like a Hawaiian pizza."

Williams: "All right, all right. Go get your food before you start trying to eat me."


(Daria and Jane both jump out of their chairs and virtually sprint out the door, down the hallway and out the front entry of the studio to the car park. They both get into a car (which is actually Jake's old car seen in the actual series, now owned by Daria) and drive out of the car park. Cut to an interior shot of the car, where Daria is driving while Jane is in the front passenger seat)


Jane: "So, what you think of our new 'Kommandant'?"

Daria: "He's OK, I guess. But there's something about that guy I don't like. He seems to want to make more changes than would be necessary."

Jane: "This couldn't be too bad if you think about it. All the man is trying to do is make the show a bit more professional."

Daria: "I know, but I just have a feeling that he's not done stirring his cauldron." (pause) "Are there such things as male witches?"

Jane: "It's magic, Daria. Of course there are."


(Daria's cellphone rings just as they pull up to the Pizza King. She stops the car and answers it)


Daria: "Hello?" (pause as the other person speaks) "There's one more thing you want to change?"


(Daria's facial expression becomes one of shock as she hears the response on the other end)




(Cut to the set, as the next broadcast of Good Mornings is about to begin. Daria is dressed in a sleeveless watermelon pantsuit, while Jane is dressed in a sky blue suit and skirt. Both are visibly unhappy with their new wardrobes)


Daria: "This may sound strange coming from me, Jane, but this outfit is terrible."

Jane: "Sky blue on a skirt? What am I, a TV host or a stewardess?"

Daria: "And our hair! They've put so much stuff in mine I feel like it's about to come to life and jump off of my head."

Jane: "There's so much makeup and stuff on my face that I feel like one of my paintings." (pause) "Wow, we're talking about clothes and hair and makeup for once like real women."

Daria: "And I bet that somewhere out there, Tiffany Blum-Deckler is giving a lecture on the works of Camus and Kafka."

Jane: "I'm scared now. We've upset the natural balance."


(Williams walks into the studio)


Williams: "Looking great, ladies! Now remember, be peppy and be happy. People in the mornings want to see sunshine, not clouds!"

Daria: "We'll try, I guess."


(both Daria and Jane force an unnaturally wide smile)


Williams: "Just a little bit happier than that."

Jane (looking around): "Wait a minute... Ted isn't here yet. We can't start without Ted."

Williams: "Ted's not working with you guys anymore. Not enough traction for breakfast so he's been moved to lottery drawings. Jane, you will read the news now."


(A camera man signals for Williams to move off the set)


Williams: "All right, all right! Remember girls... sunshine, not clouds!"


(Williams walks off the set, leaving Daria and Jane bewildered)


Daria: "I've never heard the word traction used like that before."

Jane: "Lottery drawings? I wouldn't wish that upon my worst enemy."


(The cameraman signals to the women)


Cameraman: "OK ladies, we are live in 10... 9... 8... 7..."


(As he is counting down, an upbeat synth instrumental begins to play. Daria and Jane look at each other, then shake their heads in disapproval before facing the cameras)


Daria (unnaturally upbeat for the following scene): "Hello, and welcome to the new-look Good Mornings with Daria and Jane. I'm Daria Morgendorffer..."

Jane: (unnaturally upbeat for the following scene): "And I'm Jane Lane. We have an interesting show lined up for you today. We're going to be trying some new things so we don't know what is going to happen, but make sure you stay tuned in."

Daria: "But first, we have your..." (slowly reads off AutoCue) "...Le Grand Hotel Action Newsflash with Jane Lane. Jane?"


(Cut to an external shot of the cameraman turning the camera to Jane. Daria, knowing she is out of the shot, puts her head in her hands)


Jane: "OK, this is my first time reading the news so bear with me. These are your headlines for the morning of the 23rd of August 2010. Lawndale police have exposed a glitterberry plantation on the outskirts of the city, seizing more than 10,000 pounds of the hallucinogenic fruits..."




("Tyrant" by The Bravery plays in the background of the following montage)


(A montage is played of Daria and Jane in various "cliché" breakfast show segments over the next week. The first segment (taking place on Tuesday) shown is Daria and an unknown woman cooking some kind of food on a stove. Daria looks very disinterested in what she is cooking. Cut to Jane off to the side of the set, facepalming. As she's doing that, we can see smoke starting to creep into the shot, as well as a growing orange glow. Jane turns around and starts running, quickly followed by Daria and the other woman. Cut to two firemen putting out a small fire in the studio. Next, we see Jane and of all people Upchuck, who became a fashion designer, presenting a segment (taking place on Thursday) promoting his label. As various models are seen walking down a "runway" wearing Upchuck's designs, Jane is seen in the background looking very disinterested. Upchuck puts his hand on her shoulder, then, proving that old habits die hard, slides it down her back towards her butt. Jane suddenly gets an angry expression on her face and glares at Upchuck. Cut to Daria off to the side of the set. She smiles a little bit as various "comically violent" sound effects are heard. The music fades out as we cut to Daria and Jane sitting in their chairs on the set. Both have given up on being chirpy and upbeat and are simply speaking in their normal manner again)


Daria: "OK, now it is time for the latest in..." (sigh) "...Hollywood gossip with our man about the town, Orlando."


(Cut to Orlando, a very flamboyantly-dressed man sitting in a chair next to Jane. His sexual orientation is left to your imagination)


Orlando: "Hello, ladies!"

Daria: "Welcome to the show, Orlando. So I guess we'd better ask the question that is on everybody's lips. What is the latest on the Brittany Taylor situation?"

Orlando: "Well, Brit has had a rough year. A couple of her movies have flopped and there was that incident with the paparazzi at the Oscars earlier in the year. Now as soon as she seems to get everything back on track with a film that's doing great business, these new allegations pop up."

Jane: "What information do you have right now?"

Orlando: "We're still trying to get confirmation from our various insiders on the scene, but rumour has it that she spent the weekend with an ex-boyfriend during her publicity tour here for "The Slashening II:" a couple of weeks ago. This has not gone down well her current boyfriend back in Tinseltown, I'm telling you now."

Jane: "Ever had any similar encounters yourself, Orlando?"

Daria: "Be honest, because we'll know if you're lying."

Orlando: "Can I say this stuff on air?" (pause) "The cameraman nodded his head so it must be OK. I'm spilling this just for you ladies. There was one time when me and my partner were in the Navy and we..."


(Cut to Williams walking into his office, holding a cup of coffee. He sits down at his desk)


Williams: "Let's see how my little pet project is doing today."


(He grabs a nearby remote control and presses a button. This turns on a TV mounted on the wall. It shows what is being broadcast from the studio at that time. He takes a healthy sip of his coffee as he watches the TV)


Orlando: "...we were up all night, working out in all manner of positions..."


(Williams drops the remote and spits out his coffee in shock. He jumps to the floor looking for the remote. He finds it and picks it up, but hits his head on the desk trying to get up. He rubs his head before he presses a button on the remote, turning the TV off)


Williams: "What the hell? That kind of talk isn't appropriate for morning TV! Maybe it'll be over now."


(He turns the TV back on)


Orlando: "...and then there was that one thing we did with the penguin..."


(He turns the TV off again, even more horrified. After regaining his composure, he picks up a phone on his desk and starts dialling numbers)


Williams: "Marshall!!! Tell Morgendorffer and Lane as soon as they get off the air that I need to see them ASAP."


(Cut back to Daria, Jane and Orlando in the studio)


Jane: "Well, on that bizarre note, it's time to say goodbye for the week."

Daria: "Stay tuned now to LNDL-5 for the next instalment of 'As the Page Turns.' On behalf of everyone here at Good Mornings, we wish everyone a great weekend."


(The upbeat synth instrumental plays, signifying the end of the show)


Jane: "Thank God that's over! No offence to you, Orlando, but we can't stand doing these kind of segments."

Orlando: "None taken."

Daria: "I haven't been so happy to see the weekend since I was in high school, and you and I both knew how much that place annoyed me."


(Daria and Jane get up intending to leave the set, but are stopped by Chang)


Chang: "Daria! Jane! Williams needs to see you in his office about the show immediately. I don't think he was particularly happy with that last segment."


(Daria and Jane look at each other, than walk off the set, leaving Orlando and Chang alone on the set)


Orlando: "Wow, I didn't think my story about the all-night yoga classes I spent with my Navy girlfriend was that graphic."

Chang: "Perhaps you shouldn't have brought up what you did with the penguin."

Orlando: "Yep. Perhaps I should have left that to everyone's imagination."




(Cut to Daria and Jane walking down the hallway towards Williams's office. They knock on the door)


Williams: "It's open!"


(Daria opens the door. Williams is waiting for them and he is not happy. Both Daria and Jane walk in and sit down in two chairs in front of Williams's desk)


Williams: "Never in all my years have I seen such disregard for authority and proper procedure in this business that you two have shown in the last week. First YOU..." (points at Daria) "...nearly burn down the studio, forcing us to cancel Wednesday's show..."

Daria: "I told you before we started that segment that I get my cooking skills from my dad's side. It was an accident waiting to happen."

Williams: " isn't the time for family discussion, Daria! Then YOU..." (points at Jane) "...start assaulting one of our guests..."

Jane: "I was touched inappropriately on air! I've known the man for years. He has a bad reputation with the ladies."

Williams: "That may be, but you still should have maintained a professional attitude around Mr. Ruttheimer. And to top it all off, this little stunt with Orlando. Well, let me tell you now, I won't stand for this nonsense on my shows! Do you honestly think that the people out there enjoyed your little act of unprofessional conduct? Do you?"


(Daria and Jane look at each other, then at Williams)


Daria: "You want our honest thoughts, Mr. Williams? They probably did enjoy it, because that's what they want from us. Not this generic, vanilla stuff."

Jane: "We don't like what you've done to our show. We're becoming everything we set out not to be!"

Williams: "Wait, did I hear you say, 'our show'? This isn't your show to share, Jane. All you and your little friend need to do is to come in everyday, sit in a chair and look happy according to what I set out for you. If you don't like the way you're doing it now or you think it's not good enough for you, then the door is right there."

Daria: "Well then, I think that our services are not required here anymore."

Williams: "Wait wait wait... you're actually telling me that you're..."

Jane: "Yup. We quit. Have a nice day, Mr. Williams."


(Daria and Jane get up and calmly walk out of the office while Williams sits almost perfectly still in his chair, stunned)








(Williams is still in his office, but now he's pacing back and forth. There's a knock on the door)


Williams: "Come in."


(Chang walks in)


Chang: "I just saw Daria and Jane leaving the building just now, and they were supposed to be in my post-show meeting. Do you know what going on?"

Williams: "Yeah. They quit the show."

Chang: "You let them walk out? Why would you do that?"

Williams: "They quit, Marshall, because they weren't willing to see the bigger picture."

Chang: "You know, it's funny you mention this bigger picture of yours, because watching them on the show this week was a different experience than usual. I just got the feeling from them that they didn't want to be there."

Williams: "Well apparently that's true and that's why we're having this conversation. We can simply move on with new hosts, and the show will be back on track in no time. It's not like they were the most necessary part of the show."

Chang: "Well... OK. I just hope you know what you're doing, because you'll be making the phone call to them if things get worse."

Williams: "Of course I do. Now excuse me please. I have a few other phone calls to make."


(Chang leaves the office, closing the door behind him)


Williams: "I don't need them. I bet I can find any old schmo to host a breakfast show in this town."


(Williams picks up the phone and starts dialling numbers)




("Rock the House" by Gorillaz plays in the background of the following montage)


(A montage plays of various Lawndale personalities auditioning to host the show. The auditions are being held in the same studio where the show is broadcast. The first pair to step up to the plate is former history teacher Anthony DeMartino and former high school quarterback Kevin Thompson. DeMartino is dressed in a mailman's uniform, his current career, while Kevin is dressed as an old-time ice-cream man, reflective of his current role as co-owner of Bro & QB Ice Cream with Mack. However, for whatever reason, he is still wearing the football shoulder pads underneath)


DeMartino: "Welcome to Good MORNINGS... with Anthony and Kevin. TODAY on the show we will have all your favourite regular SEGMENTS. Do you care to tell us what they are... KEVIN!?"

Kevin: "Uh... Late Show Top Ten?"

DeMartino: "Ah... Kevin. Good to see that you HAVEN'T CHANGED A BIT SINCE HIGH SCHOOL!!!"

Kevin: "But I have changed, Mr. D. I'm the quarterback of an ice-cream company now!"

DeMartino: "HOW can you be the QUARTERBACK of an ice... forget this. I need a drink."


(DeMartino walks off the set, muttering profanities under his breath. Kevin is all alone on the set)


Kevin: "Hey, cameras! Am I going to be on TV? Hi, babe!"


(Kevin makes the 'call me' gesture with his hands. Cut to Williams standing off at the side of the set, holding a pen and clipboard. On this clipboard is a list of various people auditioning for the show. He crosses out DeMartino's name and writes "Anger issues" next to it. He also crosses out Kevin's name and writes "Idiot" next to it. The next names on the list are Joey, Jeffy and "Johnny" (Jamie). Cut to the set, where the three Js are waiting)


Joey: "Good morning everyone and welcome to "Good Mornings with the Three Js". I'm Joey..."

Jeffy: "...I'm Jeffy..."

Jamie: "...and I'm Jamie."

Joey: "We have a great show lined up for you all today. We'll have Quinn Morgendorffer, CEO of QuinnCo Financial on the show."

Jeffy: "And I'm going to ask her all the hard questions."

Jamie: "Oh, really? Well I'm going to ask Quinn harder questions."

Joey: "They wouldn't be any harder than your thick skull, Jamie."

Jeffy: "Come on, guys, quit fighting! We haven't had work since TRL finished. We need this!"

Jamie: "Not as much as you need to shut up!"


(The three Js start fighting... again. Stage hands come from both sides of the set to pull them apart. Cut to Williams, who crosses all three names off his list and writes down "Too violent" next to each of them. The next names on the list are Angela Li and Tom Sloane. Cut to the set, but only Li is there. Her appearance in one word can only be described as "dishevelled". Her makeup is smeared, her glasses are broken and her outfit is torn and creased)


Li (slurred): "Good morning everyone. I am honoured that I, Angela Li, have been chosen as the new host of the Good Mornings television show. And you have my word that I will do my best to bring honour, dignity and pride to myself, this network and to... Lawndale High."

Williams (off-screen): "But you're not principal of Lawndale High School anymore, Angela. You were fired and replaced by Claire Defoe years ago."

Li (slurred): "Nonsense. Ms Defoe is a wonderful art teacher, but she is not the principal of Lawndale High. I am."

Williams (off-screen): "You're not though. Remember the whole thing with the militants?"

Li (slurred): "How dare you make such slanderous allegations against my character? It was a private security company that just happened to have foreign owners! I will take you to court and sue you for every cent you're worth, you... you..."


(Li falls out of the chair. She falls asleep and starts snoring loudly. Cut to Williams, who has his head in his hands. Chang runs up behind him with his cellphone in his hand)


Chang: "Leo, Tom Sloane just called. He said he'll be right over once he's found his formal tissue boxes and he's finished filling his urine jars."


(Williams angrily crosses out the names of Angela Li and Tom Sloane on his list, so much so that he ends up ripping the paper. Stage hands are seen carrying Li (still asleep) off of the set behind him. The music fades out as we cut to the next scene)




(Cut to the exterior of the Morgendorffer house, painted a different colour to what it was in 2002. Cut to the living room, where Daria and Quinn are both sitting. The previous setting has been replaced by a more stylish décor, including a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall. They're both in casual attire, although Quinn's shirt now displays no midriff, reflective of her more conservative style of dress)


Quinn: "So you and Jane just took your ball and went home?"

Daria: "Pretty much. We couldn't handle another day of being someone's puppet, being forced to engage in Hollywood claptrap and mindless chatter, so we just walked out."

Quinn: "I'm not surprised. That kind of topic has never been your thing."

Daria: "Why do you think it was actively ignored on the show in the past? Besides, there's enough places to get that kind of gossip anyway."

Quinn: "I hope that money isn't going to be a problem now that you're out of a job." (pause) "Although if it is, it's more business for me."

Daria: "It won't, Quinn. I've already spoken to at least three networks this week about various job offers and I don't even know how many Jane has spoken to. But there's no real hurry. If I don't get a new gig straight away, my severance package will last for months."

Quinn: "You should really call Mom and see what legal advice she could give you on the matter."

Daria: "Even if I wanted to do something about it, there's not a lot we could do. It was well within his rights as the Programming Director to tinker with the program as he saw fit, just as much as it was our right to quit if we weren't satisfied. Besides, Mom has earned her retirement. She doesn't need me ringing her up about my problems."


(The phone rings)


Quinn: "Maybe someone might be ringing you about their problems."


(Quinn gets up and walks upstairs. Daria answers the phone)


Daria: "Hello?"


(Cut to split-screen of Daria and Jane on the phone. Jane is in her room at Casa Lane)


Jane: "Hey it's me. How are you taking unemployment?"

Daria (sarcastic): "Oh it's just delightful. You heard from any other networks?"

Jane: "A couple, but I'm holding off for the time being. I like having a bit of downtime. I haven't done this much painting in years."


(A loud electric guitar chord interrupts the conversation)


Jane: "Bad thing is, I'm stuck with Trent's attempts to play music all day. He's still pretty average, but now he's getting all political, so his lyrics are starting to get interesting to listen to."

Daria: "Watching the rest of Mystik Spiral break away and join a choir must have gotten to him more than he's letting on."

Jane: "Perhaps."

Daria: "I'm bored now. Want to go for some pizza or something?"

Jane: "Sounds great."


(They both hang up the phone)





(Cut to the executive office at LNDL-5. Williams is sitting in there alone, until Chang walks in carrying a large stack of papers. He forcefully drops them on the table in front of Williams)


Chang: "Read them."


(Williams picks up the top piece of paper and begins reading it)


Williams: "Ratings down 75%? Sponsors pulling out in droves? Viewer dissatisfaction at record highs? How did this happen?"

Chang: "You messed around with the winning recipe, you moron! Daria and Jane were pulling in record ratings every week, but no, that wasn't good enough for you. You wanted to throw your weight around and change the show to what YOU wanted, even if it wasn't what everyone else wanted. You drove them away with your meddling and now your short list of replacements went over like a fart in a church!"

Williams: "I don't think I appreciate the tone of your voice, Marshall. May I remind you that I am your superior?"

Chang: "That may be, but I have spoken to the head of the network. Your boss, Leo. And I'm telling you now that he is not happy with what has happened to his top-rated breakfast show."

Williams: "He's not?"

Chang: "Nope. He wants Daria and Jane back on that show by Monday. He doesn't care how badly your pride is hurt by doing this, just do it. Or you may as well pack your bags and start looking for another job."


(Chang walks out, slamming the door so hard that a photo frame falls off the wall and smashes on the ground. Williams walks over to his desk, takes a deep breath and picks up the phone)




(Cut to the exterior of the Pizza King, then to the interior of the restaurant. Daria and Jane are sitting at one of the booths. Both of them each have a slice of pizza and a small soda on the table)


Daria: "Despite all the whirlwind adventures our lives have gone through, there's always been one constant. Pizza."

Jane (imitating Williams's voice): "Don't eat that! You won't fit into your pantsuit and you'll be too fat for TV! The viewers don't want fat chicks on TV! Not enough cut-through!"


(Both of them laugh)


Daria: "At least Williams wasn't monitoring our diets like he was with everything else on our show."

Jane: "I still don't think that he's that bad of a guy, he's just a stubborn jackass who wants everything done his way."

Daria: "True, but unless he lets us be ourselves on the show, there's no way I'm going back there."

Jane: "I'm with you. Hopefully someone down there talked some sense into him."


(Daria's cellphone begins ringing. She fumbles around in her jacket pocket and takes it out)


Daria: "Hold that thought... I've got to answer this call."


(Daria presses a button on her phone)


Daria: "Hello?" (pause as the other person speaks) "What do you know? We were just talking about you."




(Cut to the executive boardroom at LNDL-5. Williams is pacing back and forth again with a worried look on his face. His suit is creased and his hair is messy. Somebody knocks on the door, which leads Williams to run to his chair and attempt to clean himself up)


Williams: "Um... um... come in."


(Daria and Jane walk in and sit down)


Williams: "I'm glad you two could put aside our differences to..."

Jane: "Nothing has been put aside yet, although from what I've heard, you could be. Let's make this quick."

Daria: "You want us to come back to this network? Then we have a couple of requests that I think you'll find very reasonable."

Williams: "OK... what are they?"

Jane: "One, you give us back our show and let us run it the way we want to. No generic segments, no shilling, none of that. Exactly like before."

Williams: "Done."

Daria: "Two, we choose the wardrobe. I never want to see another watermelon pantsuit for as long as I live."

Williams: "All right, that's reasonable. Anything else?"

Jane: "Ted comes back to read the news again. We miss having our newsbreak powernaps."

Williams: "No problem. Is there anything else you want?"


(Daria and Jane look at each other, then at Williams)


Daria and Jane (in unison): "A raise."

Williams: "I can do that. How much?"

Jane: "I think that nothing less than a 100% increase over three years would be fair."

Williams: "What?! Dammit, this network isn't made of money!"


(Daria and Jane start to get up, intending to leave)


Williams: "All right, all right. Done."

Daria: "Leo, you have yourself your breakfast show back."

Williams: "Great. I really hope we can put this ridiculous episode behind us."

Jane: "And I really hope we can get more ridiculous episodes on air."


(Daria and Jane each shake hands with Williams)


Daria (quietly): "Well that was easier than I expected."

Jane (quietly): "I guess he needed us more than we needed him."


(Daria and Jane walk out of the office. Williams falls into his chair, mentally and physically exhausted)


Williams: "I need a drink."




(Fade to the next day in the studio, where the next episode of Good Mornings is being broadcast. Daria and Jane are both no longer in their "formal" attire, instead they are back wearing their normal casual clothing. Ted walks past behind them)


Ted: "Thanks for getting me back on here. The salary for doing the lottery drawings was ridiculously small."

Jane: "No problem. By the way, have you told your parents yet that you're back on the show?"

Ted: "Jane, they still don't even know I'm on television."


(They all laugh as Ted offers up his hand for a high-five. Both Daria and Jane slap his hand before he walks over to the newsdesk on the other side of the studio)


Daria: "This here feels right. We have creative control over the show again, we don't have to be shills for hotel companies and we no longer have to deal with stuffy wardrobes."

Jane: "I can see your hair turning orange, Daria."

Daria: "Now that I think about it, I don't think we're done tinkering with the show. Maybe a new co-host might be necessary."


(Cut to a cameraman makes countdown signals with his hands)


Cameraman: "And we are back live in 3... 2..."


(The thrash-metal instrumental plays, signifying the return from commercials. Cut back to Daria and Jane)


Jane: "It's 17 minutes past 6 o'clock here at Good Mornings, and now it's time for the first of our week-long exposes on torture devices."

Daria: "And the first device we'll be demonstrating today is an oldie, but a goodie. It's a medieval stretching rack."


(Cut to a shot of the stretching rack, then cut back to Daria and Jane)


Jane: "I wouldn't want to be the poor sucker who ends up being put in that thing."

Daria: "It's funny you say that, because I wouldn't want to be you right now, either."

Jane: "Say what?"


(At that point, two large men come up from behind and pick up Jane from out of her chair. She gets carried off-screen over to the rack)


Daria: "Told you I would."


(Daria smiles her signature "Mona Lisa smile" as she gets up to do the next segment. Fade to credits)


(The closing credits are played over "Pork and Beans" by Weezer)








Quoted Songs


"You're Standing On My Neck"


Performed by Splendora




Performed by The Bravery

From the album "The Bravery"

Copyright (c) 2005 Island Records/Polydor Records


"Rock the House"

(2-D/Murdoc/Del the Funkee Homosapien/Dan the Automator/Dankworth)

Performed by Gorillaz

From the album "Gorillaz"

Copyright (c) 2001 Parlophone/Virgin


"Pork and Beans"


Performed by Weezer

From the album "Weezer (The Red Album)"

Copyright (c) 2008 DGC/Interscope



All pre-existing Daria characters, locations and products are trademarks of MTV Networks and Viacom International. All other characters and locations were created by me and are completely fictional. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, by any of my fictional characters is unintentional and purely coincidental. This parody of Daria is copyright (c) 2010-2011 by The Excellent S and was written with no intentions for future profit. This parody was written for and may not be redistributed or reposted on any other website without the permission of the author.


Special thanks to Martin Pollard for hosting this story at his website and to The Angst Guy, Charles RB and Kristen Bealer at The Paperpusher's Message Board for their feedback.


If you would like to send some feedback and questions about this or any of my other Daria projects, please contact me at the PPMB.






This story was originally written from the 7/22/2010 to 8/16/2010. Revisions were made after the initial submission of the story.