Announced in 2019, Jodie is an in-production animated spin-off of Daria that, as its name suggests, features Jodie Landon as the protagonist in her first job at Firstfinity. It's been confirmed that Tracee Ellis Ross is slated to voice an older Jodie. Grace Nkenge Edwards will be creator and head writer.
“What Daria did for showing how inane high school was for Gen X, Jodie will do for exploring the trials and tribulations of a first job for a new generation. The series 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.”
Background and Initial Reboot Plans
The Daria fandom seemed doomed to obscurity in the waning years of the 2010s. Our heroine's sarcastic voice spoke only in YouTube clips and DVDs endlessly re-watched by the dwindling faithful. Perhaps this decline was the inevitable fate of all fandoms, and the true believers could only gird themselves for still leaner times ahead.
Until, in 2019, there came the promise of something new: Jodie.
Or rather, Daria & Jodie. At the time, this new show was advertised as a reboot of Daria that put Jodie Landon in the place of Jane Lane as Daria's best friend. It'd also be set in present day, bringing the characters to the world of smart phones and ubiquitous social media.
A new announcement later on changed the show from a reboot to a spin-off. Now just called Jodie, it'd re-imagine the title character as a Gen Z college graduate working in a tech company. Ross told Variety, "Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me. We will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny….‘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."
Comedy Central ordered the series in June 2020. Information about the upcoming show slowed to a trickle, likely due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, over the first two years. What was known is it would feature Jodie soon after graduation, coming into her own as she enters the workplace and takes her first adult job in tech.
There's also talk about other Daria spin-offs being planned, but it's not clear if any real thought has been put into other potential shows.
It's pretty much a given that some fans of the new show will discover and enjoy the old, so the release of Jodie will likely bring a much-needed influx of new voices to the Daria fandom. Older fan reactions to these things is always mixed, but in general people seemed more open to the idea of a spin-off than a reboot.
Variety reported the characters would be:
- Jodie (Tracee Ellis Ross). "Fresh from college graduation and full of ambition, Jodie heads to the big city for a prestigious internship at tech behemoth, Firstfinity."
- Jocelyn Light (Pamela Adlon), "the trailblazing VP of Internet Affairs at FirstFinity whom Jodie reveres."
- Ryan (Cole Escola), "Jodie’s intern friend at Firstfinity who is allergic to earnestness."
- Tiffany (Jojo T. Gibbs), "who has swag for weeks, lives in Jodie’s building and is Cas’ ex."
- Mack (William Jackson Harper), "Jodie’s witty and supportive high school sweetheart"
- Greta (Zosia Mamet), "a beachy-waved, self-proclaimed empath and Jodie’s fellow intern at Firstfinity."
- Barry (Alex Moffat), "the overeager internship coordinator at Firstfinity who, despite being in his 50s, desperately tries to be Gen-Z cool."
- Lionel (Dermot Mulroney), "the powerful and charming CEO of Firstfinity."
- Brittany (Arden Myrin), "the former Lawndale cheerleader from Daria turned influencer at FirstFinity."
- Sandeep (Kal Penn), "another fellow intern who is a fitness-obsessed, tech bro."
- Raymond (Kofi Siriboe), "Jodie’s incredibly handsome, but not-so-friendly supervisor at Firstfinity."
–Cas (Dulcé Sloan), "Jodie’s fun-loving best friend from college and new roommate. A finance genius and social butterfly, Cas plays as hard as she grinds."
- Nia (Helene Yorke), "Jodie’s brown-nosing, fellow intern who will do whatever it takes to get ahead."
The Daria fandom is no stranger to timeline headaches, and Jodie is likely to throw in a whole bunch of new ones. She'll apparently be Gen Z in her title show, so there's no way it'd take place in the same timeframe as Daria, as the characters there are either late Xers or early Millennials who'd graduate college in the mid-'00s. Sort of like how it's difficult at best to fit Daria's time in Beavis and Butt-head and have it make sense with the events of Daria.
If you're getting a headache, remember the classic MST3K mantra: "It's just a show; I should really just relax."