Why Jodie, the new Daria’s Spin Off, will work, but not for the reasons you think

It’s been 21 years since we saw the last episode of the acclaimed Beavis and Butthead Spin Off Daria: A low budget animation project that instead of being a quick cash grab leeching on the glory of those two iconic morons created by Mike Judge, Daria rose up in the collective imaginary feeding on 90’s existential teen angst and rebellious high school non-conformity, thus leaving a legacy that is still relevant to this very day.

Currently a new spin off is being developed. It will star Daria’s overachieving schoolmate Jodie Landon as the main protagonist. Although it was at first planned as an animated series, it will instead be turned into a movie. This is of course if this project doesn’t dwell to long in production hell. The latest news gives us a sneak peak into the adult life of this character as an intern at a big Gen Z company. Here is a description of the upcoming movie:

“What Daria did for showing how insane high school was for Gen X, Jodie will do for exploring the trials and tribulations of a first job for a new generation. The film will satirize workplace culture, Gen Z struggles, the artifice of social media and more. With themes of empowerment along gender and racial lines, explorations of privilege, and a wicked sense of humor, Jodie will shine a light on the personal and professional issues young Black women face today.”

Both Beavis and Butthead and Daria had a subversive element in their humor, whereas the two highlanders acted as uni-neuronal buffoons against a society that often took itself more seriously than it should have, thus exposing itself as even dumber than these two; Daria and Jane kept themselves away from vapid looks, popularity and conformity with the system with quick wit and spicy sarcasm.

Even today, these two infamous idiots make a joke of current trends in modern society.

Beavis and Butt-Head are ‘subverting the paradigms’ of white privilege (youtube.com)

On the other hand, the character of Jodie in Daria was not exactly subversive to say the least. Don’t misunderstand me, the creators of the show tried to shine a sympathetic light on all the characters regardless if they were superficial popular girls like Quinn or dim-witted football players like Kevin. And even though Daria and Jane were the protagonists of the series, they were never depicted as perfect honest teens in contrast to a hypocritical world they were surrounded by, quite on the contrary, more often than not, Jodie and Britney, among other characters such as Daria’s sister, had to offer their point of view to help them in the dilemmas of their own personal lives.


Nevertheless Jodie always stood in contrast to Daria and Jane, whereas this lover of Russian literature and her artist best friend were misfits, Jodie was usually complacent and obedient to what her parents, the school administration and her peers demanded of her. She always did extra curricular activities to satisfy her parent’s idea of academic excellence, she always agreed to parade herself with her boyfriend Mack as representatives of the tiny (almost unexistant) black minority of Lawndale and she was ready to eagerly apply to a scholarship, regardless of the racist hiring policies of the institution giving it.

In no way am I trying to bulldoze her character, but she wasn’t subversive in anyway. That’s the reason that her character arch in “Is it college yet?” was so good, because she chose to go to the mostly black Turner College instead of the mostly white Cresmont College that her parents chose for her. Why? Because she no longer wanted to feel the pressure of being the perfect queen of the negroes. For once in her life, she wanted a normal life as a young woman.

If this is the Jodie we get in Daria, how different would it be from an adult Jodie in our current era?

Maybe this is the moment where most people would disagree with me. Even if Jodie was aware of the tokenism of herself and the lack of diversity in Lawndale, she always played the role that society gave her to play. That’s one of the reasons why she envied Daria.

Daria always spoke against what she always perceived as wrong. As flawed as she was, she was always ready to speak out her mind. Jodie was not.

(min 16:28)

Kämpferischer Einsatz! | Daria | MTV Deutschland (youtube.com)

Even Beavis and Butthead, that is more of a slap stick cartoon, speak against the absurdities of today’s trends like Gender Studies and Identity Politics in current academia. Although some people, may try to push Daria into some sort of pre-woke show, they fail miserably, because the main character spoke against ANY sort of incongruency in the status quo, regardless of what it was.

If I am being a pessimist here Jodie will be about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends, while presenting itself as critical and subversive. And while, what I have just wrote sounds like a harsh critique of an upcoming movie, I would say that quite on the contrary, this is precisely why this movie will likely find an audience. The zeitgeist of today’s youth is to play it safe: No triggering, no controversial subjects, political correctness, etc.

I highly doubt that a character like Jodie would offer a compelling social commentary on these kinds of matters, and that is good for the 2020s Instagram youngster. We want a tame show for the generation of today. We don’t want to read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, we want to read How to win Friends and influence People by Dale Carnegie and upload a photo of us after a workout in the gym.

But who knows how it will play out? We will just have to wait.

Autor: Radwulf93

My name is Raúl Valero and I was born just next to the great Titicaca lake in the peruvian side of the border. Since I was fifteen years old I have shown interest for movies and in my early twenties for languages in general. I'm deeply in love with cinema and european languages alike. "Kinolingua" stands for "Kino", that is "cinema" or "movement"; and "lingua", for "tongue" and "language". I was thinking about writing a long biography, but I guess it would be just an egocentric literary jerk-off. If you have any questions about me, feel free to write me an e-mail to "rauval1@gmail.com" . I hope you enjoy my blog. Sincerely, R.