Velma: You suck

(Image Credits: HBO Max)

On January 12, 2023, HBO Max released the new TV show, Velma. Executive producer and actress Mindy Kaling stars in this role as Velma. Actors Constance Wu, Glenn Howerton, and Sam Richardson are also in the series playing the respective characters of Daphne, Fred, and Shaggy. It’s a new and improved take on the hit show Scooby-Doo, and people are upset that it was even made in the first place. 

Velma’s been categorized as an adult animation. Things like swearing, the dialogue itself, and sometimes nudity is shown in the series, unlike the kid-friendly animation that Scooby-Doo was. Already coming in, audiences are expecting some out-of-pocket things that are being said and of course, it delivers. 

It’s a murder mystery show that pulls no punches and shows blood and dead bodies. Velma herself even suffers from hallucinations about her dead mother, prohibiting her from solving the mysteries herself. What’s funny is that the Mystery Gang isn’t even together in this. Daphne and Velma hate each other, Fred’s an idiot, and Shaggy doesn’t even have Scooby at his side. It’s a bizarro, Superman’s opposite clone, world analogy that makes an audience upset that the show doesn’t stay true to the source material. 

At first, it was funny and had a good premise. Velma was always discarded and left to the side in the original show, but here she was the main character, and honestly, I loved it. The murder mystery with all the gory details is fantastic. Not to mention the fact that Velma herself also gave a representation of being a lesbian Indian woman is great. The character of Daphne was portrayed as an Asian woman raised by lesbian parents. All in all it was great to watch but what rubbed me the wrong way was the jokes in some places. 

In the beginning, there was a shower scene that involved the teenage girls but all their parts were covered. Nothing major, it’s just a little weird in my opinion, but then again they are lines on paper. Then you have the edgy joke about the #MeToo movement, a movement that spoke against sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and rape culture that completely failed to be funny. The self-deprecating jokes make the impression that Mindy Kaling is projecting onto the character, again nothing wrong with it but they do it in excess that it takes away from the show itself. 

When asking around what others think about the show they had this to say: 

“It could’ve been so much better. The portrayal of southeast Asian people was not it. A lot of people look up to Mindy Kaling; it was such a letdown. They tried hard to be inclusive but it didn’t work,” said junior Mikaela Perez. 

To further connect with the portrayal of southeast Asian people being disastrous, one Twitter user said,Mindy Kaling needs to stop portraying Indian girls as losers. I’m personally extremely cool and sick of it.” 

Everyone expected it to go somewhere, or at least be a better reboot than anything. I too expected it to be good and funny. But they tried too hard to be “woke” but it just backfired for them. According to Forbes, they said, “…progressives are equally unhappy, calling out the show’s lazy sense of humor, and directing their ire at the show’s star, Mindy Kaling, who is now being accused of being reactionary.” 

In short, Velma the show sucks and it’s just another sad reboot of a classic character.