Scooby-Doo spin-off Velma may have broken records, but it has also sparked overwhelming backlash online following its debut.
Back when it was announced, people were pretty excited for Mindy Kaling’s new series centred on Velma, one of the most-loved, campest, yet overlooked characters of the original show.
The premiere ended up being HBO Max’s most-watched launch for an original animated show, but that’s where the good news ends.
Though it was always going to be a challenge to reboot such a beloved kids show, it seems like in this case audiences are all pretty united in their abject disappointment.
“I’m happy Mindy Kaling’s style of writing brown girls that hate themselves wasn’t around when I was younger and only became a thing when I was at the age where I loved my heritage and skin colour,” said one viewer on Twitter.
“I can’t imagine being young and already self-conscious and then seeing that portrayal.”
“Can we please get some positive Brown Girl rep for once??” another said. “Why does every brown girl have to be written to be self-hating and insufferable??”
In one IMDb review, a viewer shares another issue – that the teenage team of Mystery Inc. are in no way a team in this adaptation.
“Velma seemingly holds nothing but contempt for its source material,” they said. “Not one character behaves anything like you’d expect, and none of them are enjoyable to watch. Daphne is vapid and mean, Fred is a rich douchebag, and Shaggy is a bore.”
Audience scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes are incredibly low after just four episodes, and though it’s great news that Velma is finally explicitly gay, some people feel like the issues surrounding the show takes away some of the magic.
Fingers crossed Velma can take on the feedback and come back swinging with fresh Scooby content soon.
Velma is available to stream on HBO Max.