If ‘Velma’ Is for an Adult Audience, Why Is It So Dumbed Down?
Unless you’ve been stuck in some haunted mansion or a rundown amusement park with no internet connection whatsoever, you probably know by now that Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling have managed to drop a Scooby-Doo prequel series so inexplicably out there, that it’s officially broken Dragonball Evolution's worst audience score record on IMDb. The adult animated mystery comedy has fallen out of favor (with critics and audiences alike) faster than our new Velma can make another snotty remark about how sexual abuse ruined comedy.
Yes, the HBO Max show envisions Velma Dinkley as an edgy stand-up teenager bursting with insults because she’s *checks episode notes* actually just hard on herself or whatever. It’s even more exhausting when you start wondering why they decided to turn everyone into modern high school teens but dripping with tired Gen-X snark. (As if Zoomers don’t have their own vibes to draw from.)
Perhaps if the show spent less time trying and failing at what the award-winning adult cartoon Harley Quinn does right and, instead, focused on its own YA Scooby-Doo/Velma voice, it might feel sincere and authentic — not like we’re being bashed over the head by adults who are clearly harboring high school revenge fantasies.
Listen, Velma is definitely not the worst show out there — or even the worst rendition of the character — and our beloved little turtleneck-sweater-wearing nerd has always been smart as a whip and ever-ready with a good quip. This version, however, has made Velma edgier than a comedian butthurt by an accountability movement.
But honestly, who knows? Maybe Velma is for people still stuck in their horrible high school hallways memories. Maybe it’s for people with a superiority complex who enjoy constantly judging others. Or maybe it’s for people who like their cops to be mixed bags of minority cliches, who’ll also assault unarmed teenagers. Sorry, we mean unarmed rich white boys because this show gives itself whiplash trying to get its “Everyone’s BAD/Everyone’s a VICTIM” message across.
Jinkies to that.