The new “Scooby-Doo” spinoff cartoon “Velma” is not appealing to many fans of the original series.
The adult-oriented cartoon airing on HBO Max features the character Velma Dinkley and her origin story before the beloved crime-solving gang from the original “Scooby-Doo” series got together. It stars comedic actress Mindy Kaling as the voice of the main character alongside a cast of diverse characters.
“Velma” was released this week, and already many “Scooby-Doo” fans are upset about how the series fundamentally changes the characters’ personalities. So far, the series has an 8% audience rating and a 50% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“If you are a fan of Scooby-Doo don’t watch this. It’s everything terrible about modern-day Hollywood wrapped into a terrible Reboot no one asked for,” one reviewer warned.
“As a fan of the original series, this is not written for me which is a shame really,” another viewer agreed.
“I actually gave this show the benefit of the doubt. As I was watching it dawned on me, the only creativity left in these Hollywood types is to change the race of some of the protagonists and add in some seriously unfunny childish humor,” another person echoed.
“Writing is horrible, voice acting is mediocre at best, animation is atrocious, jokes are painfully unfunny and the show doesn’t respect the original concept. Character’s personalities are so different it doesn’t resemble anything that we loved to watch as kids and it’s too vulgar for today’s kids,” another shared.
“A complete disaster. It’s not funny at all,” yet another Rotten Tomatoes user wrote.
Many reviewers pointed out the blatant adult content, with one person calling the new series “unnecessarily sexual,” especially considering how the characters are meant to be teenagers.
One reviewer wrote: “Hey let’s take people’s childhood and fill it with violence, profanities, drugs and sexual references, they’ll love it!”
While critics rated “Velma” slightly better, they were also mostly unimpressed with the finished product.
“It’s been done before, and much better, using unique takes on the gang that maintained their essence, so Velma is never as groundbreaking as it seems to think it is,” the Variety reviewer shared. “More than that, these characters are just really unpleasant to spend time with.”
“Too much meta humor, not enough heart,” the Hollywood Reporter synopsis says.
Kaling, who also serves as executive producer on the project, previously spoke about her inclusion of a same-sex kiss between Velma and Daphne in episode two of the new show. Velma’s sexuality has long been a topic of discussion among fans.
“The character is so iconic, and there’s been so much speculation about her sexuality,” Kaling said, per Variety. “I work on a couple other shows about young women, and it just felt like this gift to explore that, knowing that there’s all these expectations for the character. It was one of the reasons why it really felt worthy to do an origin story of her.”
“We faced no resistance. We came in and said, ‘This is what we want to do, and this is how we want to do it,’” series creator Charlie Grandy agreed of their decision to add the kiss.