Noggin / The N

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Noggin is an entertainment brand owned by Nickelodeon. It first launched as a cable television network, which was divided into two programming blocks: a daytime block for young children and a nighttime block for tweens and teens, called The N (standing for "The Noggin"). Viacom, who owns MTV, discontinued the block in 2008. It was eventually merged with Nickelodeon's own teen block, TEENick, into a separate channel called TeenNick.

Airing Daria[edit]

Daria was seen in reruns on The N from July 2, 2002 through June 4, 2006 (ending with "Is It College Yet?"). It debuted with "Is It Fall Yet?" and four nights of back-to-back episodes before settling into a regular 10PM timeslot. The press release trumpeted that "America's reluctant heroine is back" - as she had disappeared just six months before - and clearly saw this as a big 'get' for the target demographic.

A Daria webpage existed for a time as part of the Noggin/The N website, but it has since been discontinued.

Censorship[edit]

In the beginning, when The N was looking for ways to appeal to its "tween" audience, Daria picked up - but deemed too "adult" and was therefore censored. Censorship was usually restricted to cutting out "bad" words (such as Jake's numerous "dammits" and the word "ass"), but many times The N went further and cut humorous lines with innuendo or even whole plotlines. This editing became known in fandom as Nogginization, and the affected episodes were said to be Nogginized to distinguish them from the original, full-length versions.

Entire episodes were skipped over, such as "My Night at Daria's".

At best, the deeper cuts led to jokes being ruined or inadvertently giving the wrong idea, such as the scene in "Lane Miserables" where Jake opens the door to Monique, thinking she's Quinn's date, and spouts, "Wow! I really don't know my kids!" The revised version on The N makes it appear as though Jake always knew that Quinn's "date" would be a female. "Antisocial Climbers" cuts a joke about Quinn being lynched, which inadvertently means the scene ends with Daria saying they're in severe danger and having no joke to make.

At worst, the deeper cuts led to a reshaping of episodes that either removed a dimension or destroyed their clarity. In "Is It Fall Yet?", all mention of Alison's come-ons to Jane Lane were cut out, which meant that viewers never got to see Jane ponder her sexuality and that Jane is pretty much having no plot or problems to overcome. (Notably, the Noggin's press release for the IIFY? rerun doesn't mention Alison at all - nor Jane!) In "Lucky Strike," the entire subplot in which Quinn's substitute teacher hits on Tiffany is also cut. Without this scene, and the following scene in which Helen calls and threatens Ms. Li with a lawsuit, viewers have no basis for understanding why Ms. Li would force Daria to be a substitute teacher.


The fans are revolting![edit]

While the repeats would bring a whole new wave of fans into the fandom, the numerous cuts created a backlash amongst the existing fans. They even began to question the point of airing the show at all, if it was going to be hacked at. Martin J. Pollard, who had described this as having "taken a butcher knife to the episodes", set up a form on Outpost Daria where people could report any cuts they spotted.

Not long into the airing, older fans started to post their discontent on the N's official Daria message board! The N basically ignored it.

Over time, The N's censorship of Daria would prove cruelly ironic, as it began to show much more adult fare (such as Degrassi: The Next Generation), to the point where Daria became one of the tamer programs. It is possible that The N liked their animated shows to be pure in spirit and not so cynical or adult, but also that as The N began to rely less on subsidies from Viacom and more on ad revenue, its executives chose to make their channel less geared toward education than escapism.

In 2016, Glenn Eichler compared the lack of original music in the DVDs to The N (and Logo), which did use the original music, and said he preferred the former: "on those networks the show is jarringly, destructively edited to squeeze in even more ads, or to meet standards and practices guidelines. And the audio is compressed so brutally that the whole episode sounds like it was recorded in a tin can."


External Links[edit]