What Is It About Velma That Has Angered People So Much?


Sarah Stook is a writer based out of the UK who focuses on history and politics. She is a contributor to Elections Daily and The Mallard (UK).

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20 Responses

  1. Philip H says:

    I started thinking about this yesterday when NPR was doing a story on this “controversy.” I haven’t seen these episodes, but the segments of Kailing’s voice over they played sounded very fun to me. I suspect that – along with some racial, sexual and gender based biases in the audience regarding this character – there’s a good bit of fear of change. If Velma can change and we can’t stop it then there really is no way to keep the US static. and lots of people are fearful of change these days.Report

  2. Burt Likko says:

    Many electrons have been spilt regarding Velma’s sexuality as well in recent years. It’s probably not important whether Kaling’s Velma is iterated thusly, although as you describe the show, it sounds a lot like it’s Riverdale-ing Scooby-Doo (sans chien). I thought Riverdale was a very clever idea, but lost interest after watching a few episodes because the novelty of thirty-year-old-actors playing teenagers alongside cast alumni from Dawson’s Creek, and the “Dark Archie” character profiles, all that just wore off. I anticipate the same problem here: the novelty of a South Parkification of a beloved Saturday morning cartoon from my childhood will appeal to who it appeals to, and then it won’t anymore when the novelty fades, and that’ll be all she wrote and cool beans to Kaling and the rest of the people involved for trying.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Kaling has apparently done the neat hat trick of uniting the internet against this show. It is equally loathed by people across the political spectrum but for apparently different reasons. Disclaimer, I have not seen Velma nor do I tend to. I’ve read about the controversies and apparently Kaling has always been a divisive person in the realm of entertainment and has faced accusations of transphobia in the past.

    Personally, I’m rather over reboot mania and have been for a long time. I suspect this is a minority opinion and will continue to be one for a long time. Based on reading about the show, do we really need Scooby Doo meets Big Mouth? I don’t really care about officially making Velma a lesbian, making Shaggy black (yesterday I learned that Shaggy’s given name in Norville in the original, Shaggy is just a nick name), or making Daphne, east Asian. I don’t think Scooby Doo needs to be about actual violent crime or indulge in Rule 34 (I have read tweets that state that show is filed with hormones and teenagers just wanting to bone) or make Daphne a drug dealer. The remake of Fred just seems like a low blow.Report

  4. Greg In Ak says:

    I think the question we’re all asking is when do we get the dark gritty reboot of Magilla Gorilla??? Doesn’t El Kabong deserve his own CSI series where he is a profiler of sexy serial killers??? When does Steve from Blue’s Clues get his John Wick series???

    The only reason to make this a Velma series was to capitalize on old IP. That is why most old shows get rebooted or whatever. Kaling is talented so just make a new series.

    Make new stuff with new characters.Report

    • InMD in reply to Greg In Ak says:

      I’ve been pining for a cartoon exploring the no doubt dark and disturbing origin of how Porky Pig got his stutter.Report

      • Greg In Ak in reply to InMD says:

        It would make the Saw movies look like Sesame Street and take place in a Hormel plant. Great merch/tie in possibilities with Sonic for their bacon burgers though.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to InMD says:

        The original Porky Pig voice artist, Joe Dougherty, had a severe stutter. The studio was fine with that, but his stutter was so bad he missed cues and they fired him after two years, when he was replaced by the immortal Mel Blanc.
        Well, not so immortal. His gravestone says “That’s all, folks.”
        I hope I come up with something half as good.Report

  5. LeeEsq says:

    I think Velma would have done better if they made it live action. The darker, sexier reboots of Archie and Sabrina were popular because they were live action and you could cast hot live actors of both genders. By making Velma an animated series, despite anime’s popularity, they lost this. Plus I think Scooby Doo is way more ingrained in the public consciousness than Archie and Sabrina so making a gritty sexier version was more riskyReport

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    Apparently licensing and IP law prevented Kadling from getting the dog. How can you do a Scooby Doo show without the world’s most famous Great Dane.Report

  7. Jaybird says:

    My favorite of the takes out there was that there were lefties openly wondering if Kaling wasn’t sabotaging diversity and “woke” reboots by making an alt-right version of what alt-right people think “woke” reboots look like.Report

  8. Damon says:

    I’ve not seen this…nor heard of it….but…

    Everyone hates it for various politicized reasons blah blah. Maybe, it’s just sucks as a show because the writing, actors, etc., you know the people who made it, make it poorly? Maybe it’s not race, gender, blah blah.Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Damon says:

      “Let people hate things” LOL. But yeah. I don’t really give a flip that it exists (I don’t have Netflix) but I do admit I get tired of endless reboots of old IP, especially when something remembered as “fun” gets rebooted to be “dark and gritty.” We LIVE in dark and gritty times,* so maybe we want light and fluffy entertainment some times?

      (*Perhaps above a certain income level, and perhaps if you’re a celebrity with yes-people, the times don’t seem so dark and gritty?)

      But I am asking show runners to try to make up some new characters and develop new storylinesReport