Publication date February 3, 2023
How did Velma go from a beloved character to a hated TV show?
HBO Max brings us television’s favorite nerd Velma. The show follows the trend of taking kids’ entertainment staples and giving them an adult twist. Mindy Kaling gave the voice to the series’ title character and she is also the executive producer of the show. There is no doubt Velma is one of the most loved characters out there, I mean every 90s kid remembers Velma and her infamous “Jinkies”. So, when the show was announced I thought it would easily be a hit but I never thought Velma would be the internet's new punching bag.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
How did Velma get there? Why is the Internet hating on Velma? You might have a lot of questions, so let us have a look at what the netizens are talking about. The show in question ‘Velma’ really tries to deliver edgy humor to be relevant to the times but this acted against the show. Many tweets were made mocking the show’s edgy humor. Humor is not the only thing people have been taking shots at, Velma is also being targeted for its plot lines. I have seen many parodies online that take shots at Velma’s plotlines.
You might think that’s it but no, there is more. The showrunner of Velma is Charlie Grandy who is the son of Fred Grandy the former star of the show Love Boat. Charlie Grandy is also a frequent collaborator of Mindy Kaling. Charlie Grandy’s involvement with the show ‘Velma’ has been labeled by many for promoting nepotism. Yes, things are that bad for Velma. I even saw a post online that read, “Everyone hates Velma”. Yikes!
If I’m being honest I did think ‘Velma’ would be a hit but after I watched the first episode I also predicted a bit of backlash coming it's way. But the backlash doesn’t mean ‘Velma’ has no viewership, it certainly does. In fact, Velma is HBO Max’s biggest animated series premiere ever. So why all the hate? The reason behind all the hate is Velma’s popularity. Fans have been watching the show keeping the entire history of Scooby-Doo in mind.
The new ‘Velma’ had a lot of changes that did not really sit well with the Scooby-Doo fans. First and foremost Velma is now a South Asian woman. Not gonna lie that even threw me off for a moment. In the show, Velma was portrayed as overtly queer. Now taking into account that Velma was not portrayed as a straight white girl in the show we can assume a lot of the hate rises from racism and homophobia. But I think this is not just racism and homophobia there must be something deeper than that.
For me, the show trying to address the diversity issues with the Scooby Doo gang was not the problem rather it was the lack of depth that was the downer for me. The show addressed the issues in a rather one-note manner. Coming to Velma being queer, has been the topic of discussion within the Scooby-Doo community for years and the show’s approach to the issue was rather flat. Being a fan of the Scooby Doo franchise I felt like this was a serious issue that needed depth.
As I said for years Velma’s sexual orientation has been a topic of discussion for the Scooby Doo community. Writers through the years have hinted that Velma might be gay. James Gunn also admitted to the character being “explicitly gay”. James Gunn wrote two live-action Scooby-Doo films and claimed the studio watered down the character and there was nothing in the released version that could indicate Velma is queer. In the sequel, Velma even had a boyfriend.
In the animated series Scooby-Doo Velma’s sexuality was rarely hinted at but in the film Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo Velma’s sexual identity finally was the light of day. In the film, we could see Velma having a crush on a female villain. This little gesture by the filmmakers really caught the attention of many Velma fans and tweets started pouring in. Out of all the tweets, my personal favorite was “OMG LESBIAN VELMA FINALLY CANON CANON IN THE MOVIES LETS GOOOOOO.”
There is no doubt that Velma has a huge legacy and with that in mind, the creators of the show must have predicted an uproar after the release of the show. Both Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling said they expected a bit of commotion after the release of the show. I bet they didn’t think things would get this harsh. But what do you think about all this, comment down below!