HBO Velma: Satire and self-awareness done WRONG

We all have fond memories of Scooby Doo and the Gang solving mysteries together, no matter which era or rebirth they went through when you discovered them, its likely you had a few laughs thanks to shaggy and Scooby. In the past year, HBO decided to release a new Scoob-Gang themed show, ‘Velma‘.

This new version of Velma, Shaggy, Fred, and Daphne were very different compared to their previous iterations. HBO Velma changes the races of 3 out of the four main characters and removes Scooby completely. However, these alone didn’t mean a fiery end for the show, what did destroy it? It’s poor comedy and attempt at satire.

When trying to create a good version of satire, you need to have a proper understand of the subject of which you are creating said satire. HBO Velma makes no attempt to do this. HBO Velma doesn’t create any of the Scooby Doo characters as actual characters but more as reflections of modern society and in the case of Velma herself; Mindy. HBO Velma has no respect for the franchise and the characterization of any of its subjects. If you removed the name of Velma and the appearance of any of the other characters, you’d never know that it had anything to do with the Mystery Gang.

The worst part is that it could have been a good show, not great but passable at the very least. HBO Velma tries a meta-satire approach to its comedy, but ends up falling flat due to its lack of respect for itself. Had it attempted to be more focused on taking its usual unmasking of villains and flipping it into a more interesting approach, or more focused on becoming a satire of itself rather than society as a whole it might have been more well received. It does try to attempt this, but its so poorly done you barely notice that it even did so.

To summarize; do not bother watching HBO´s Velma. It fails not only as a comedy in the simplest ways but especially as a satire. It doesn´t treat any of the Mystery Gang with respect, tries too hard to be meta at the expense of the plot, and generally is unfunny. Save yourself and go watch Mystery Incorporated or any of the older Scooby Doo shows.

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