VELMA, the new Mindy Kaling show purportedly setting up Velma Dinkley’s backstory, is not off to a great start.
If you’re a classic Scooby-Doo fan, this show will feel like it’s doing too much; the characters are almost unrecognizable from their Hanna-Barbera origins. If you’re a more modern Scooby-Doo fan, open to darker or more “meta” imaginings, such as the early-2000s live-action films or the surprisingly good MYSTERY INCORPORATED, the show doesn’t do enough and removes any depth imbued by previous iterations.
Yet, I think the show has potential. There’s a lot going for it; whether you like it or not, the show has a distinct feeling that reminds me of the HARLEY QUINN animated show. The casting is good, and the characters are interesting enough that I’m genuinely looking forward to how this show will bring this iteration of Mystery Inc. together.
If you can put up with the excessive self-referential humor and unnecessary gore, give VELMA a chance.
VELMA’s two debut episodes are available to stream on HBO Max.