Well, folks. Velma just dropped its first two episodes, but as we might have expected from the teaser and trailer, we’re not in Kansas anymore — and this isn’t the Mystery Inc. that we’re used to. When Velma was initially announced, this might have been refreshing to hear, but now that we’re getting a real look at HBO’s hazardous portrayals of Hanna-Barbera’s beloved characters, our hopes for new Scooby-Doo content are all but dashed. Don’t be fooled by Velma‘s 60% score on Rotten Tomatoes; fans aren’t pleased at all, which couldn’t be more obvious from the 18% audience score that rose slightly from a previous 14%.
From the get-go, HBO made it glaringly obvious that Velma would be strikingly different from the kid-friendly Scooby-Doo gang that we’ve come to know. Marketed as an adult animated comedy, Velma dares to reinvent Mystery Inc. for a fresh audience, taking risks left and right to bring something new to the table. We won’t delve too far into the controversy surrounding that choice, but it’s clear that HBO is using Velma as a springboard for Kaling to self-insert into the Scooby-Doo franchise.