Episode 499: I’m Not Watching HBO’s Velma (And You Shouldn’t, Too)


I am by far away what you would not call a Scooby-Doo fan. I like the cartoons fine but, even as a kid, it wasn’t like on pins and needles eagerly awaiting when the next adventure of those meddling kids will show. I do kind of get the appeal of a bunch of teens and their talking dog solving mysteries. Thanks to the franchise’s longevity, the characters have become pretty iconic as well. I get why the series may have their die-hard fans but I’m definitely not one of them.

Even so, that’s not the reason why I never watched a single minute of Velma, the new HBO Max spin on the Scooby-Doo series. A part of me knew from the outset it wasn’t going to be for me. It seems I was right as Velma, as of this writing, is now the worst rated animated show ever made. To be fair, a good chunk of these user review are probably trolls who are giving the show a 1.0 just on principle without watching the show. Still, I’ve seen a ton of reviews about Velma regarding how bad it is so you’re not going to catch me watching this any time soon.

Here’s the thing, though. As bad as the show is and how much people are dumping on Velma, it is drawing in big numbers! I’m not kidding! In fact, it appears to be the most viewed animated cartoon on HBO’s service! This could be considered a travesty as critically acclaimed shows like Infinity Train were shuttered down. So, what’s the deal?

So, just to make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s talk about the actual show. Velma is an HBO Max exclusive show developed by Mindy Kaling. Instead of Scooby-Doo being the main character, Mindy Kaling, in what I would think is some kind of a self-insert, plays the titular Velma Dinkley, a very abrasive teen who get wrapped up in various misadventures. The rest of the cast, Daphne Blake, Fred Jones and *sigh* Norville Rogers, are also there but have different relationships with Velma. Some are friendly while others are antagonistic and still others are… it’s complicated. That’s basically all I know because that’s all I could gleam from the trailer and previews. Like I said, I’m not watching the show.

What I have watched, however, are reviews from the first few episodes of Velma and they are overwhelmingly negative. Critics simply have had a problem connecting with Velma as she’s too mean for her own good and a lot of the jokes just don’t land. There’s also a disconnect with who Velma is supposed to be for. The characters are too far removed from how they are portrayed in previous Scooby-Doo shows and movies so this alienates longtime fans of the franchise. The “mature” situations and more “adult” humor of the show isn’t suitable for younger audiences as well. It also doesn’t help that Velma has a ton of meta humor and, in one case, trying to be funny by insulting the viewers. Once again, who is the target audience for this again?

There’s a lot more I could say about how bad Velma is but all of it would be secondhand knowledge. Besides, there are already so many people on the Internet who have proclaimed it to be the worst version of Scooby-Doo out there. I’m not sure what percentage of these people are hardcore Scooby-Doo fans and how much of this is just plain exaggeration. Even if all of this is just hyperbole, the general consensus is Velma is terrible.

So why are people still watching Velma? Why is it the most watched animated program on HBO right now? Well, sadly, it’s because of silly human nature. Since everyone is talking about how bad Velma is, a lot of people are actually checking the show out just to see how bad it is! This then turns into this weird feedback loop where more and more people go to watch Velma, hate it, go on the Internet to proclaim how terrible it is! What makes this even more sickening is I bet there’s a large contingent of Velma viewers who are simply “hate watching” the show! Yes, there are probably a lot of people tuning in every week to Velma just so they can complain about how it’s absolutely the worst, Mindy Kaling should be banished off the face of the earth for creating such a travesty and threaten to cancel their HBO subscription because of how bad Velma is!

Now, here’s the thing about hate watching Velma: I don’t think HBO cares if you hate it. All they care about is if people are watching it. Is the show drawing in thousands of viewers each and every week? Yes. Do people hate it? Sure, but they’re still watching it, aren’t they? Do you think they’ll tune in for another season of Velma? If they hate it that much, you bet! Better get Mindy Kaling on the phone and offer her a boatload of money! If she doesn’t want to do it, find another person and let’s say we let her go “because of fan demand.”

You may think I’m crazy because why would HBO greenlight another season of Velma when it’s been so critically panned? Well, that’s because this kind of thing has happened before! The live-action Resident Evil films have been critically panned and not many people like them. This is from a film series which had a total of 6 movies and made millions of dollars, more that recouping the budget needed to make these films. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also the live-action Transformers films. Still not enough, what about Netflix’s Bright, a movie so critically panned, it became one of the platform’s most viewed movies ever, spawned an anime spinoff and had a sequel in production until Will Smith’s Oscar stunt with Chris Rock. Wait, that previous statement doesn’t make sense… or does it?

Far be it for me to tell you how to spend your time. However, I implore you, if you hate Velma, don’t watch it! If you continue to do so, you’re sending the unfortunate message to HBO that you’re going to watch another season of Velma because you just want to say it’s either as bad or worse than the first season. You’re telling Mindy Kaling you’re going to be watching her next project because you just can’t wait to complain to say how bad it is. I’m not watching Velma so please join me in a “not watch” party for the latest episode of the show.


Are you still watching Velma? Why, pray tell? If you are, please tell me in the comments section below!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s