Arts & Culture

Question of the Day: Was Daria a Jew?

The life and times of Daria Morgendorffer will finally be released on DVD today, and as Salon points out, the series that ran for five years on MTV was one of the last great programs before the cable channel descended … Read More

By / May 12, 2010

The life and times of Daria Morgendorffer will finally be released on DVD today, and as Salon points out, the series that ran for five years on MTV was one of the last great programs before the cable channel descended into Jersey Shore hell. Watching the show as a 16-year-old misanthropic nerd, I saw Daria as something of a hero, albeit a cartoon one.  Daria was the last television show I ever "connected" with, and to be totally honest, maybe I harbored a crush on her.  As the New York Times put it, Daria was "a blend of Dorothy Parker, Fran Lebowitz and Janeane Garofalo, wearing Carrie Donovan’s glasses" who was "cursed with a functioning brain."  In the last stretch of my teenage years, she was my dream woman.  And the Daria archetype has held up well to this day; take one look at a photo of the reigning nerd queen, Tina Fey, and note the resemblance.  Daria’s stamp on our culture is unmistakable. Of course, the affair between Daria and I could never be.  First, because she was a cartoon, and second, it would never work out between us because, well, Daria isn’t a Jew, and I don’t see myself getting married, being life partners, or being "eternal sexy roommates" with somebody who isn’t Jewish.

Bu before I close the book, maybe I should take a closer look.

I know her parents were total WASP’s, and "Morgendorffer" isn’t exactly a name they gave you at Ellis Island, but what if Daria’s disdain of her parents was because they tossed their Jewish heritage to the wind, assimilating to the nth degree?  It would totally fit her profile.  Also, the glasses, the wit, the smarts.  Maybe I misjudged Daria.  Maybe if she wasn’t a cartoon, she’d be my bashert?

Whatever the case, Daria, I love you.  I’m going to buy the DVD’s after work so we can start our love affair all over again.