From our Obsession
The Happier Office
Whether you work in a cubicle, café, or corner office.
The classic MTV animated series Daria was beloved for its satirical take on the suburban high-school experience. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Doc Martens-clad title character was a beacon of light for smart girls everywhere, casting a witheringly witty gaze on school dances, gym class, and the concept of popularity itself. Now MTV is rebooting the series, with plans to bring its trademark sarcasm to a new setting: the modern workplace.
The main protagonist of the new spinoff, Jodie, will be Jodie Landon. One of the few black students at Daria’s high school in the original series, Jodie was a high-achieving, well-liked student who nonetheless frequently felt like an outsider in her conspicuously homogenous surroundings. At the end of the series, she decides to go to a historically black college. The new series, created by Grace Nkenge Edwards, who was a story editor and writer on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, will pick up after Jodie’s graduation, following her as she lands her first post-grad job in the tech industry.
Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross will voice Jodie in the new series, and serve as an executive producer on the show. Ross said in an MTV statement, “Jodie will be the first adult animated show in almost 20 years that will star a black woman. It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture.”
The startup culture of the aughts is certainly ripe for parody. Shows like Silicon Valley have already found boundless opportunities to ridicule the tech industry, from megalomaniac founders to management tools like the “Conjoined Triangles of Success.” But as a show focused on “unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters,” in Ross’s words, the jokes on Jodie are likely to zero in on the absurdities of work that have particular resonance for women and people of color. In this way, Jodie may become to Gen Z what Daria was for so many Gen X-ers: An emblem of sanity, humor, and clear thinking in an often-inane environment.
MTV hasn’t yet announced when the reboot will air. But while we wait for Jodie to debut, here are just a few suggestions we have about the kinds of plot lines Jodie might find herself navigating:
The possibilities are truly endless.