Daria, an animated series broadcast on MTV in the late 90s, is probably my favorite television series of all time. It is the series I watch over and over (and over and over). Daria, her best friend Jane, and Trent aaah, it’s just so 1990s American high school but from an outsider perspective (read: nerd perspective) and with a hell of a lot of dry humor, dead pan delivery, and sarcasm. I remember the first time I showed it to my Beard (who is not American) and being like Look! This is what American high school is like. Except while watching Daria we can laugh about it.
Classic deadpan Daria delivery:
Nothing about Daria is science fictional, but the show has more than a few book nerd jokes that are fucking delicious. If you have ever been that person who nobody liked because you were too smart, too sarcastic, too honest, too into books, or too nerdy, and you’ve never watched Daria, I highly recommend you get on it, stat.
In preparation for writing up a character book list recommending some new reads to my favorite cartoon character next week, I thought I’d tell you what Daria did read during the show’s five-year run. She’s heavy on the classics, but she likes them morbid. If you’d prefer to read a list of every book ever read or mentioned on the show, you can find one right here.
What Daria Read
Animal Farm by George Orwell (Episode: Camp Fear)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Episode: Fire!)
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (Episode: Lucky Strike)
Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre. (Episode: Lane Miserables)
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (Episode: Boxing Daria)
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (Episode: Camp Fear)
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Episode: Quinn the Brain)
The Chess Garden by Brooks Hansen (Episode: Through a Lens Darkly)
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies (Episode: Is It Fall Yet?)
The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Episode: It Happened One Nut)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Episode: Gifted)
The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Episode: Aunt Nauseum)
Howl by Allen Ginsberg (Episode: The Old and the Beautiful)
The Iliad by Homer (Episode: The Big House)
In Memoriam by Alfred Tennyson (Episode: The Misery Chick)
A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel DeFoe (Episode: Is It Fall Yet?)
The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa (Episode: The Old and the Beautiful)
Moby Dick by Herman Melville (Episode: The Big House)
On Moral Fiction by John Gardener (Episode: Write Where It Hurts)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (Episode: Fire!)
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (Episode: Fire!)
Romeo and Juliet by Willian Shakespeare
The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Stories by Edgar Allen Poe (Episode: Gifted)
Walden by Henry David Thoreau (Episode: This Year’s Model)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (Episode: Fair Enough)
How many of Daria’s books have you read?