“Daria” is not dead.
Though it’s been almost a decade since the jaded teen at the center of Mike Judge’s other animated classic left MTV, you’ll hear just a hint of her adenoidal tone in the voice Jenna Hamilton, a live-action jaded teen starring in the network’s newest series beginning tonight, “Awkward.” And if like me you cling to MTV long after you’ve left its target demographic, “Awkward.” is that rare moment when the channel puts something on air that will actually remind you of those pre-“Jersey Shore” days when there was still a few brain cells bouncing around its pretty head.
Jenna is as articulate and self-aware as Daria, but in the flesh of actress Ashley Rickards, she may remind you more of Molly Ringwald in the way she can make anxiety and insecurity so darn cute. Rickards plays a high-school sophomore who, through a chain of events too absurd to recapitulate, manages to accidentally convince everyone she’s attempted suicide.
From there, “Awkward.” plays like the boxoffice hit “Easy A,” but instead of letting a high school think she’s lost virginity, Jenna lets them believe she’s lost her will to live. In time she realizes pretend-killing herself has given her a new lease on life.
like a comedic “My So-Called Life”