Welcome to the world of “Velma”, the new series from Mindy Kaling that reimagines the classic Scooby Doo gang for a modern audience. With an all-star cast, a quirky storyline, and a fresh take on the beloved characters, Velma has been met with mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. While the show has made some drastic changes to the characters and their personalities, it still remains true to the original source material. But, can it live up to the nostalgia of the original Scooby Doo? Join us as we explore the world of Velma and find out if it can capture the same magic of the classic cartoon.
Velma follows the story of a group of teenage friends, including the titular character, as they solve mysteries and explore their lives in a modern-day setting. The show features an all-star cast, including Sam Richardson, Constance Wu, and Glenn Howerton, who all bring their unique talents to the show. But, while the show has been praised for its diverse cast and inclusion of LGBTQ+ storylines, some viewers have been critical of the changes made to the characters and their personalities. Many fans feel that the show lacks the same reverence for the original source material, and have noted that the characters are unrecognizable from their childhood counterparts.
The show has also been met with mixed reviews from critics. While some have praised the show for its comedic writing and clever meta-humor, others have criticized it for being too far removed from the original Scooby Doo. Joshua Alston of Variety notes that the show lacks an iota of true reverence for the source material, and Angie Hahn of The Hollywood Reporter says that some of the jokes miss the mark. Still, the show remains popular with viewers, and the first two episodes have been met with an 8% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
So, can Velma live up to the nostalgia of the classic Scooby Doo? Join us as we explore the world of Velma and find out if it can capture the same magic of the original cartoon. With its all-star cast, unique storyline, and fresh take on the beloved characters, Velma is sure to be an exciting show. But, only time will tell if it can live up to the nostalgia of the original Scooby Doo.
It seems there were plenty of reasons to be excited about Mindy Kaling’s split Scooby Doo, Velma. First, the writer/actor/producer has established herself over the years, creating creations like “The Mindy Project,” “I’ve Never Been” and “The Sex Life of Female Students.” The series also boasts an all-star cast of Sam Richardson, Constance Wu, and Glenn Howerton rounding out the Mystery Inc. gang, and the main character finally has a quirky storyline. However, upon the release of the first two episodes on HBO Max, Velma was panned by fans and critics alike, accusing her of being a spoiled childhood sweetheart.
Many changes were made to the characters, so many of us grew up watching Velma, and one of the hardest decisions was to completely remove Scooby Doo. Kaling said she faced backlash when it was announced she would be voicing Velma, but most of the criticism surrounding the series’ release was about the unrecognizability of the beloved characters, not the change in their race. Rotten Tomatoes user Jess B was clearly confused by all of this, commenting:
In fact, this is a fan fiction that not only changed the appearance of the characters, but also completely changed their personalities. It would be better if they did their original show with the original characters. Nostalgia for childhood is outdated.
This viewer was one of many on Rotten tomatoes who wondered why developer Charlie Grundy didn’t just create the original animation instead of making such drastic changes to the existing intellectual property. At the time of writing, the series’ audience on the review site was only 8%, and viewers couldn’t resist when it came to sharing their opinions. Other comments read:
- I don’t care about the race changes, but they are not the same characters…at all. There is not an iota of reverence to the original source. It’s as much about Scooby-Doo as it is about the board game Clue. This show is not for Scooby-Doo fans. – Kyle S.
- I’ve seen the clips, so I tried to watch some of the first episodes. Too terrible for the hateful hours. Why was this even done? Didn’t the people in it realize it was so awful? Very confusing. — Sean O
- I grew up on the original Scooby-Doo, but it seems like the writers never did. – Riquin d
Think of the worst thing you have ever seen or can remember (in your entire life). That’s true, but when someone is constantly punching you in the face and yelling, laugh, laugh, laugh. – Steve P.
- The Scooby-Doo Show without Scooby-Doo. That’s exactly what I expected. Terrible. – Cabbage
- Not only fans but also critics disagreed with Velma. And although the Rotten Tomatoes critical score was well above 50%, reviews weren’t entirely flattering. Joshua Alston of Variety emphasized that the issue is not about changing the race of characters or LGBTQ+ storylines. Rather, he calls the characters “obnoxious” and asks how that relates to Scooby Doo universe saying:
Many of these jokes are really funny, and not surprisingly, they come from experienced comedy writers. But the jokes could belong on almost any modern sitcom, so what exactly does it do Scooby Doo the perfect canvas for this look rather than some other property? That’s never made clear in the eight episodes of Velma screened to critics, which lack even an iota of true reverence for the source material…Velma’s biggest mystery is why it even exists.
THR’s Angie Hahn says that while Velma clearly loves the classic character, he’s too sarcastic and the abundance of meta humor gets in the way of his heart. As the critic notes, some of the humor also misses the mark:
For any serious crack (“Hot girls rating is exactly what started the Trojan War and Facebook!”), has one observation that looks like a redraft on Twitter from some exhausted screenwriter’s folder. “I tell the truth without filters, like any pre-#MeToo comedian,” Velma declares, not to mention that the phrase, coming from a proud teenage feminist in 2023, doesn’t make much sense. Comas, the feminism of Queen Yas, furry residents of Brooklyn and, for some reason, the movie Serpico, the future Scooby-Doo gang and their peers are more like people than joke machines.
The first two episodes of “Velma” are now available to stream with an HBO Max subscription, and episodes 3 and 4 will be released on Thursday, January 19. Be sure to check out our 2023 TV schedule to find out what other premieres are coming soon on TV and streaming. .