Haunting Velma Reviews

Mindy Kaling has recently introduced her brand now T.V. cartoon series, Velma. This is one of the many shows/movies Kaling has produced, along with hit shows Never Have I Ever and The Mindy Project. Kaling had a strong reputation in the cinematic industry, but it may have fallen short ever since the release of Velma.

The production of Velma is created around a parody of the original Scooby-Doo Series, in which Velma takes place as the main protagonist. The plot of the show consists of the mysteries surrounding Velma’s personal life, such as her mother’s disappearance along with murders of young women in her town. 

Kaling modernizes the classic Scooby-Doo characteristics by attributing new, fresh qualities to the characters. However, fans are not happy with the results. Kaling’s attempt to connect with a more young, urban audience has failed as viewers reject the mass alterations of the once beloved teenage detectives. 

Velma being considered a flop is a heavy understatement, however. It is now considered one of the worst shows to ever appear on television, with an overwhelming 1.3 star rating on Google, 40% Rotten Tomatoes, and a 1.5/10 rating on IMDb. Such reviews include fans stating how the show is “not as progressive as it is claimed to be” and that Kaling is “trying too hard.” Amanda Zidron, (12), claims that “I watched the first episode of the show, just to test it out after hearing all those negative things. I gotta say, I agree with them.” 

The main difference Scooby-Doo fans seem to have an issue with is Kaling’s use of “race-swapping”, in which Kaling changes the initial ethnicity of the teenage detectives. Kaling’s intention was to promote more racial diversity, considering that each main character in Scooby-Doo is white. However, her attempt to promote POC diversity in modern media failed as nostalgia clouded the audience’s minds. Noelle Ngyuen, (12), states that “In my opinion, the race thing wasn’t the problem. The problem was how hard the creator, Mindy, tried so hard to be ‘woke’.” 

Along with the controversial “race-swapping”, Kaling additionally invented new personality traits to the beloved crime-solvers. For example, the hippie, mellow personality of the classic “Shaggy” character had been changed to a more scholarly, cautious personality type. The consistent use of altering the cartoon had reached a point where fans could not even recognize the original plot of the parody. Many fans additionally believe that Velma is an attempt for Kaling to insert herself into the show as main protagonist, Velma, in consideration of the fact that Velma is “race-swapped” into a South Asian character.

Although Kaling had faced original negative criticism for Velma, social media has found entertainment in ridiculing the show online. Giving hateful statements regarding the show has become a trend, for those who have not even watched the show. The main source of negativity is found on Tiktok, as influencers place an initial pessimistic opinion within their viewers. Kaling faces a downward spiral in her reputation as her show faces the most hateful recognition of the decade.