Back in February, HBO MAX announced that Mindy Kaling is going to star in a Scooby-Doo prequel animated series, Velma. “an original and humorous spin that unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America’s most beloved mystery solvers.” In June, WarnerMedias Tom Ascheim, the president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics gave a keynote address about the series. Detailing Velma to be a re-imagining of “what Scooby-Doo would be like if Velma were of East Asian descent and lived in a different world.” Ascheim continued to say: “There’s no dog, and there’s no van, but we have our four key characters through a different lens. And I think it’s great. So allowing our creators to play with our IP is super powerful.”
When news broke of what “Velma” would be, controversy spiraled onto social media, as there was a side of many closed-minded people complaining about changing Velma’s race. Although personally, in my opinion, changing a Scooby gang character’s race should not be an issue, as that also has happened in the past before, and simply a character being white is not important to their character. However, the other side of controversy was the idea of making a
“Scooby-Doo prequel” without Scooby-Doo. This is understandable, I love the Scooby gang but without Scooby-Doo, it’s simply just “Gang” which is kind of boring personally to me. Granted, I’m willing to give any new fresh Scooby-related media a chance! I still love these characters and they’ll always be iconic to animation history.
Recently. Sources at TheGWW discovered new character descriptions for the upcoming series, and while they’re interesting and quite original one would say. I’m not a fan of them personally. I’ll explain my opinions after. Something odd is that I was not able to get the character description for Velma, nor for a new character named Krisha so I won’t be detailing them.
Norville “Shaggy” Rogers. Male, 16-18. Series Regular:
Before Shaggy was America’s favorite self-medicating, squeaky-voiced teenager, with an undiagnosed eating disorder, he was Norville Rogers - the excitable, Black, handsome, and mildly spectrum editor-in-chief of Poortown High’s student newspaper, The Ranting Townie. Unfortunately, he was also completely oblivious to any and all social norms and cues, which is helpful when tracking down a story, but less good when it comes to being the closest thing Velma has to a friend. However, when Norville discovers a dark secret in his family’s past, Velma will be the only person who can help him make sense of his unraveling life. At least until, you know, he discovers weed and snacks.
Daphne Blake. Female, 16-18. Series Regular:
Forget everything you know about Daphne Blake. It should take zero seconds as there was nothing to know. She was attractive, but also… she wore purple. That’s it. Until now… Our Daphne is diverse, and a foundling raised by two female police officers. Yet, despite her loving home, Daphne still struggles with abandonment issues and an insatiable need to uncover her mysterious past. On the plus side, she’s been able to use that ruthless drive to claw her way to the top of Poortown High School’s popular clique “The Rich Kids and Daphne” as just a freshman. Though she’ll have to get in touch with her softer side to finally understand her complicated feelings for Velma. And, perhaps even more importantly, why she has red hair.
Fred Jones. Male, 16-18. Series Regular:
Much like the original Fred, our Fred is a white guy who loves to take credit for everyone else’s work. But our Fred is also a pretty boy gym rat, riddled with daddy issues big enough to make Eric Trump say “damn.” And yet, Fred knows that no matter how douchey he acts, he’ll never live up to his father’s expectations. Because Fred has a deep dark secret. He’s sixteen years old and hasn’t gone through puberty yet. Worse. His secret is getting harder and harder to hide.
Not just from his father but from his girlfriend, Daphne. Who’s getting a little bored with just over-the-clothes stuff. Fortunately, when Fred is wrongly imprisoned for murders he didn’t commit. He needs the help of Poortowns High’s least popular student. Velma. To prove his innocence, and while it’s weird for Fred to see, let alone talk to, a “not hot chick” like Velma. He quickly realizes her thoughts and emotions have value. And those valuable thoughts and emotions just might be making his heart, quote, “horny.”
Det. Diana Blay. Female, 30s-40s. Series Regular:
Female, African American. The 30s-40s. Daphne’s mom, Diana is a hard-nosed, fourth-generation cop. She leads with her jocular sense of humor but is better at muscling confessions out of criminals than handling the subtle nuances of both police work and parenting.
Det. Lillith “Lilly” Ke. Female, 30s-40s. Series Regular:
Female, open ethnicity. The 30s-40s. Daphne’s mom, Lilly is a sweet, demure, caretaker who just wants everybody to be happy. She’s more comfortable using her words than her fists but will go full mamma bear when threatened.
Diya Dinkley. Female, 30s-40s. Series Regular:
Female, Indian American. The 30s-40s. Diya is Velma’s hardworking, put upon mother, struggling to have it all. A practical and measured lawyer by day, she’s often frustrated by Velma’s emotional outbursts and wishes she’d move forward with her life the way she has.
Imran Dinkley. Male, 30s-40s. Series Regular:
Male, Indian American. The 30s-40s. Velma’s dad. If Tom Hanks were a small change, South Asian, history teacher, and amateur mystery writer he would be Imran Dinkley. At least from Velma’s In reality, while Imran was a great father, he was a less great husband with a bit of darkness.
Spooner Garcia. Male, 30s-40s. Series Regular:
Male, Latinx. The 30s-40s. Velma’s stepdad, Spooner is a loud, irrepressibly stoked, Guy Fieri-style self-made restaurateur who believes “Old Guys Rule” with zero sense of irony. And while he’s an alt-right blowhard, he loves Velma and Diya deeply and would do anything for them.
GIGI. Female. Recurring:
Female, Black. Seeking an adult actor to sound high school-aged. Daphne’s friend. She is the most wide-eyed and innocent of the group but finds her voice a bit over the course of season one.
OLIVE. Female. Recurring:
Female, Caucasian. Seeking an adult actor to sound high school-aged. Daphne’s friend. Olive is the curviest and toughest of the popular girls. In Daphne’s absence, Olive assumes the leadership role.
As of currently, those are the character descriptions. I have no idea what the plot is; honestly, I’m not a fan of these new versions of the iconic Scooby gang. It’s like they seriously decided to make them the stereotypes that have hurt the characters in the past. I hate it when Scooby-Doo shows or movies make Fred some ignorant jock-like trope when he’s really just a corny guy who loves traps. Daphne being a popular girl trope too doesn’t sit right with me either. I just want the Scooby-Doo characters to do stuff that isn’t afraid to do something new while embracing the old at the same time.