Here's a mystery for you: Why do you think viewers might really hate it when a creator takes a beloved decades-old franchise and turns it into unrecognizable, unenjoyable dreck?
Jinkies! I have an idea:
Mindy Kaling's adult animated series Velma released on HBO Max Thursday and die-hard Scooby-Doo fans are not impressed.
According to the show's tagline, it is meant to be 'the origin story of Velma Dinkley (Kaling), the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang' that 'unmasks [her] complex and colorful past.'
While touting itself as an 'original and humorous spin,' some fans feel it may stray too far from the source material. Currently, the shows sits with a low 11 per cent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
So here's the first problem diagnosis: This is an "adult animated series" of Scooby-Doo. This is dumb. Scooby-Doo is not an adult series; it's a children's series. That's fine. It's okay to leave it that way. Not everything has to be made for adults.
But this show is most assuredly made for adults — so much so, actually, that we can't even share the series trailer here with you, because it's just utterly laced with profanity, violence, nudity and other things that are obviously not recognizably Scooby-Doo.
Thankfully, enough brave and selfless fans have tuned into the series so that we don't have to, and their responses are not kind:
The direction the show has taken the characters looks, to put it mildly, brutal:
Many viewers criticized the show's adult/sexualized content even though the principle characters are all minors:
The audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, meanwhile, are both savage and at times kind of heartbreaking:
- I found myself struggling to work out who this show was even aimed at. Our family congratulated each other for managing to make it to the end of the first episode. We then quit while we were ahead.
- Show is a slap in the face to fans of Scooby-Doo.
- An almost complete departure from what made the Scooby Doo universe great. If you didn't know the characters names, you wouldn't realize it was an adaptation of Scooby Doo. Jokes at every turn that don't hit, a storyline so convoluted with forcing in social issues, bad writing, bad humor, and original characters that have been reduced to awkward stereotypes. It's difficult to imagine it getting worse than this.
- Giving this half a star is going way beyond. One can't comprehend why bother using the aesthetics and names of the old show when it barely resembles the former good show? That's not Shaggy...that's not Velma...
- I don't understand why they would go this route? Not funny, and tends to hate on everyone. Seems to want to focus on the bad traits of peoples racial background. I absolutely hated it.
Maybe it's time for creators and artists to stop relying on crude profanity and old franchises for rehashed content. Do the hard work of thinking up your own ideas, your own concepts, your own characters. Stop snatching up preexisting work and start making your own. While you're at it, stop forcing social issues on people and just write good stories with good characters who aren't woke stormtroopers.
Do all this and you'll make good art and end up with a million bucks.
Or you could take the "Velma" approach and end up with 8% on Rotten Tomatoes.