If you were a child of the ’90s, you’d be hard-pressed to find an animated sitcom more sardonic in its wit and humor than Daria. The acclaimed sitcom, which aired for five seasons from 1997 to 2002, was told from the perspective of its title character, an intelligent, observant and somewhat misanthropic high school girl who had “low self-esteem for everyone around her.” Known for its humorous and spot-on takes of high school cliques and social classes, Daria could be considered an apex of MTV programming during its heyday in the 1990s and 2000s. Therefore, it comes as a new surprise that the music network is looking to replicate its past glory.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, MTV is eyeing a reboot of the popular ’90s program, reportedly titled Daria & Jodie, to be shopped to other networks under the MTV Studios moniker. An idea from writer Grace Edwards, the reincarnation of the animated series would be told from the perspective of acerbic protagonist Daria Morgendorffer and Jodie Landon, one of her close friends from Lawndale High School. The series would follow both characters as they grapple with the ills of the world while examining issues related to race, gender, class and popular culture while maintaining the show’s satirical nature and sardonic humor.
As one of the few black characters on the show, Jodie Landon’s storyline was a spot-on take on tokenism and the pressures of being the perfect minority plaguing many young African-Americans, in particular, when they are in an environment that is predominantly white. Positioning Jodie as Daria’s other half by replacing Jane Lane would be a wise approach for the showrunners as it invites the writers to explore satirical takes on race, cultural appropriation and respectability politics. Jodie’s inception also presents the opportunity to introduce more African American characters who may be in her circle of friends, family or acquaintances. This also gives the powers that be at MTV the opportunity to hire more black writers and showrunners, a necessity if they want to tackle themes of race in a way that won’t ruffle the wrong feathers. The show is already heading in the right direction with the inclusion of black writer Grace Edwards, best known for her work on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. However, adding more black writers would enable Daria & Jodie to communicate the multidimensional facets of the African American experience in a satirical way that would go awry if there are not enough black creatives in the writers room.
Don’t believe us? Hear BuzzFeed make the case of why Jodie Landon is the most important character of the ’90s in the video below.