The reviews for Velma are in, the animated, adult take on Scooby Doo minus the dog himself, but despite an obvious attempt at bringing something fresh to the Mystery Inc. crew, reviews are not particularly favorable.
Velma was set to be an origin story of sorts for those meddling kids, partially explaining why there’s a noticeable lack of a talking dog. Focusing on Velma, it follows her trying to solve her first mystery, one which involves her being framed for murdering a fellow student. Mindy Kaling stars as the titular sleuther, as well as serving as executive producer, with Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as Fred Jones, Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) as Daphne Blake, and Sam Richardson (Veep) as Norville, or Shaggy Rogers as we originally know him.
Despite the presence of a strong cast, Velma is currently sitting at a 59 on Metacritic across 14 reviews. While some critics enjoyed the new take on a classic, others couldn’t get past the tonal issues and simply not liking the characters.
- Developed by: Charlie Grandy
- Starring: Mindy Kaling, Glenn Howerton, Constance Wu, Sam Richardson
- Premiere Date: January 12
Entertainment Weekly – Grade C
“Velma is the new bland, a deconstructed canonical bonanza pulled right off the corporate assembly line. It’s so extra it’s minus.” – Darren Franich [Full review]
The Guardian – 4/5
“In Kaling’s immensely enjoyable and zippy reimagining, Velma is crudely drawn proof that life is too short to pledge loyalty to overarching themes or storylines. A master of moving fast and freewheeling, Kaling brings her A-game to this goofy project, which she made with Charlie Grandy, her longtime collaborator.” – Lauren Mechling – [Full review]
Variety – No score
“These characters are just really unpleasant to spend time with, and it starts at the top with Velma, whose selfish and misanthropic tendencies aren’t diluted by her moments of vulnerability.” – Joshua Alston [Full review]
Yahoo – Grade B-
“The joy of ‘Velma’ is undoubtedly in its humor, dense and irreverent and often referencing the wider Scooby-Doo canon and other pop culture (the cold open is a meta-commentary on why TV pilots include gratuitous nudity–featuring gratuitous nudity). Jokes range everywhere from bangers to duds, the latter end of that spectrum being anything that seems to scorn political awareness or cultural sensitivity–remarks that feel out-of-place in an otherwise admirably progressive show and which sound at least 20 years older than the characters voicing them.” – Proma Khosla [Full review]
The Hollywood Reporter – No score
“Amid the semi-topical snipes at teen rom-coms, yass-queen feminism, hairy Brooklynites and, for some reason, the movie Serpico, the future Scooby-Doo gang and their peers can come off less like individuals than joke-delivery machines.” – Angie Han [Full review]