Last Updated on January 19, 2023
The HBO Max animated series Velma, starring The Office alum Mindy Kaling as a bisexual minority version of the classic Scooby-Doo character “Velma,” is a reviled flop among critics and audiences alike. Some of the show’s conceits, including a black version of “Shaggy” and an emphasis on Woke progressive commentary, enraged viewers, leading to some spirited mockery online.
The series, created by former The Office writer Charlie Grandy, lays the political acrimony on thick. The dog Scooby-Doo is not part of the show, which includes caricatures of fellow Mystery Incorporated characters Shaggy (as a black hipster), Daphne (as a drug dealer with lesbian parents) and Fred (as an exaggerated parody of supposed White male privilege). The sexualized show is ostensibly marketed to adults, even though the main sexualized characters are in high school and the show’s Scooby-Doo trappings recall a youth-oriented classic.
The reviews are harsh. As of press time, the show has an Audience score of 6 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. One audience member said it “may be the worst show ever created,” while another said, “I feel sad and slightly nauseous that I know this exists. I made it through 1 episode and never came close to a smile. Nothing ever approached being clever or entertaining…” and another audience member remarked, “Mindy Kaling needs to see a therapist and has no business butchering old shows to cope with her issues.”
As is to be expected, the critics gave the progressivism-pushing show a higher mark (52 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as of press time), but it still got some pretty horrible mainstream media reviews, including from the Chicago Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper, who wrote, “Jokes become exhausting in the meta, not-for-kids Scooby Doo prequel,” and Slate’s Nadira Goffe who opined, “Velma’s attempts at modernizing the franchise are so inept, they’ve given rise to conspiracy theories that Kaling intentionally made Velma bad as fodder for an ongoing culture war in which people would beef about it incessantly online.”
The show recalls another HBO Max dud, Santa Inc., starring Sarah Silverman as an animated character competing with a villainous White male Santa Claus (played by Seth Rogen) to take over the position of Santa. That show also received some pretty terrible reviews online, with its trailer oozing hate for the holiday of Christmas and for Christmas spirit.
In modern times, Hollywood has tried to degrade many classic children’s characters with politicized or otherwise obscene or cynical movie adaptations ranging from The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers and Alec Baldwin to Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey to Garfield starring Bill Murray. But this Scooby abomination, with its agenda-pushing content and desecration of a much-loved generational touchstone, is engendering seismic levels of schadenfreude.
Clearly, Woke entertainment is now garnering the mockery it deserves in the modern age, in which the pendulum of the cultural zeitgeist seems to be swinging back away from the leftist social propaganda that has polluted mainstream entertainment in recent years.
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.