HBO Max’s “Velma” Is Getting Dragged By Critics And Viewers

January 16, 2023 / Posted by:

Last year, it was announced that Mindy Kaling would produce and star in Velma, an adult cartoon re-imagining of Scooby-Doo (sans Scooby Doo) with Velma Dinkley in the main role. OK, sure! Welp, Velma finally premiered on HBO Max last Friday, and the reaction from audiences and critics alike was… not good. Forbes reports that it has a low-for-HBO-Max score of 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and an embarrassing audience score of just 7%. And before you say, “Oh, is this because they made Velma Indian-American like Mindy? RACISTS!!!!”, that’s actually not the main reason people are hating on Velma. Sure, there are the usual bigot trolls, but the show’s mainly getting backlash because a) it’s not funny (based on the five minutes I watched to write this article, I co-sign this opinion), and, b) some think its “edgy”/”woke” jokes are actually offensive. Too bad the holidays are over; both liberal and conservative family members could’ve bonded over their Velma hate.

Forbes reports that Velma is “upsetting both sides of its potential audience” by making fun of shows that do diversity casting and social messaging. They add:

In short, Velma has hit the holy trinity: It is in fact being bombed by right-wing viewers complaining about “woke” content. And yet unlike other series that do this, left-wing viewers are not finding the show defensible, and are also scoring it low. Not because of “woke” content, but because it’s just…bad. And then you have the third pillar, upset Scooby Doo fans who like the classic series and IP and hate that it’s being used in this way for a bad adult cartoon. That may actually be the largest group, based on the reviews I’m reading online.

Here’s some of the reaction on Twitter:

Despite the crap reviews, Mindy took to Twitter to thank viewers for making Velma “the biggest premiere day for a Max original animated series ever.” The reaction to this tweet was not exactly warm. Commenters pointed out that some viewers probably watched Velma’s premiere to see if it was as bad as everyone said. Others just ripped Mindy and Velma a new one:

Even though some people defended Mindy, and reminded her haters that Velma’s creator, Charlie Grandy, was the one who wrote the show’s pilot, Velma’s supreme unfunniness ushered in a whole “Mindy Kaling is problematic” era on Twitter. For context, Mindy’s been called out for her lack of diverse male love interests in shows like The Mindy Project, Sex Lives of College Girls, and Never Have I Ever. Then, last year, she liked (and immediately unliked) a tweet from J.K. Rowling. Now people are accusing her of being a transphobe:

OK, to be fair, Mindy’s brother pretending he was Black to get into medical school and then writing a book to brag about it isn’t actually Mindy’s fault. One cannot be held responsible for their sibling’s “Soul Man”-inspired crimes!

Pic: YouTube

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