Daria: Prize Fighters (2001)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Sitcom [TV], Teen Movie  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Daria (voice of Tracy Grandstaff) goes head-to-head with the sweet but saccharine Jodie (voice of Jessica Cydnee Jackson) and the fawning Upchuck (voice of Marc Thompson) for a college scholarship in this episode of the animated MTV series Daria. Daria doesn't even want to compete for the scholarship -- a 10,000-dollar prize from a foundation associated with a leading software company -- but steady pressure from her parents leads her to write an impassioned application essay attacking corporate greed and political corruption. Much to her surprise, this screed earns Daria a finalist's spot and an interview with a foundation representative. She's incensed to learn, however, that Upchuck and Jodie are also finalists, especially since Jodie didn't decide to apply for the grant until Daria confided her misgivings about the contest to her. Not that it matters: Upchuck's obnoxious suck-up tactics, Jodie's attempts to tell the interviewer what he wants to hear, and Daria's stony hostility all prove to be ineffective interview techniques. All three Lawndale students strike out, and Daria learns that the scholarship committee actually thought her fiery editorial was a humorous spoof of lefty excess. Eventually Daria forgives Jodie for her alleged betrayal and admits to being more competitive than she likes to acknowledge. She also makes up with best friend Jane (voice of Wendy Hoopes), who's been feeling threatened by the stark contrast between her own artsy, non-academic leanings and Daria's go-go college trajectory. This conflict will resurface, however, in the movie-style series finale, Is It College Yet?