Velma (HBO Max) [Episod 1-2]

Velma (HBO Max) - Episodes 1-2

André has solved the mystery of the merciless criticism of the spinoff Velma: it's terrible!

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"This is MY story, told MY way! Me! Me, me, me!"

Just a minute into the series, it sounds more than obvious that this is a vanity project for The Office actress Mindy Kaling, who has put herself in the shoes of Scooby-Doo character Velma to give the franchise a little more attitude. It's just what the family-friendly Hanna Barbera caper needs in today's painfully cynical humour climate: sex, nudity, mindless violence, horrible characters, cynicism and drugs. Kaling, however, doesn't seem to have grasped that animated adult shows are more than just blood, boobs and brutality, and the spinoff series Velma is a loss for everyone involved.

Velma is a sort of origin story about school murders that will eventually be about the formation of the iconic mystery gang - minus Scooby himself, who was presumably killed off in a shed to spare the yokel from Kaling's target audience-addled metahumour. Who is the target audience for this crap, anyway? Rick & Morty fans won't touch this after reaching sharper methane levels for six seasons now, and Scooby-Doo fans will most likely vomit from the nausea the show induces. Possibly the target audience is sadists and Mindy Kaling herself, who gets some kind of sick kick out of insulting her audience and fans in every way possible.

Velma (HBO Max) [Episod 1-2]
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As a show, Velma mostly showcases how much the screenwriters love the smell of their own farts. Every 30 seconds the viewer is bombarded about how self-conscious the writers are about pop culture tropes, while they themselves engage in the most unimaginative reboot in the history of the world. The series is clearly aware of identity politics, but is also blatantly stereotypical, with the main character constantly judging others based on their skin color and social status. Poor Fred, who was one of the most beloved characters in the franchise, has been turned into a spoiled brat with a micropenis.

There's no wit whatsoever in the petty humour, with sarcasm dripping like a urine-soaked mattress and characters either portrayed as brain-damaged sawdust or brutal psychopaths. It's clear that Velma has drawn a lot of inspiration from the animated Harley Quinn show, which managed to be both "edgy" and subversive in just the right way. However, the makers of Velma haven't got the knack of telling something with a twinkle in their eye and what should be provocative feels rather desperate, tired, sad, out-of-touch and pathetic.

Velma wants to shock, but finds itself in an already oversaturated market of violent adult animations about cynical assholes. The only thing I don't mind is the animation, but even that can feel as soulless at times as its rotten script. If you're keen to see an "adult" version of Scooby-Doo, I can instead highly recommend the hell-bent Mike Tyson Mysteries starring Norm MacDonald as a rude pigeon, or why not just check out the Harley Quinn show? Just see anything that isn't Velma, because there's nothing to be had here but flat, childish shock humour.

02 Gamereactor UK
2 / 10
Why Mindy Kaling? Why...?
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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NEWS. Written by Jonas Mäki

It's been virtually impossible to escape the controversy surrounding Mindy Kaling and her adult-oriented series Velma. Angry fans have made very clear that they consider...

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