It's no secret at this point that Velma has been critically panned. Whether you love it or hate it, the majority of the fandom was not satisfied with this edgy adult reboot of the franchise. Now, Velma has wrapped up airing its first season and the fate of the show remains uncertain. Given I was one of those fans who disliked Velma, this feels like the perfect time to talk about the direction I would like the see the franchise go in the future. In the following article, I outlined three broad ideas I have for the future of the franchise, although I've included some concrete series premises amongst my discussion of these ideas. I organized it this way because I am honestly pretty open to new series ideas; honestly, it's the writing and character development that are most important to me.
1. A reboot that builds on Where Are You, but does not attempt to copy it
One of the biggest complaints about Guess Who is that the show often played it too safe. It tried to replicate the tone of Where Are You exactly, but it couldn't quite capture that original magic. While Guess Who isn't my favorite series, I do kind of appreciate what it tried to do by bringing things back to the original tone. Guess Who's biggest fault for me was trying to force that tone to the point where many episodes were a bit stale. Although they are very different series, one way to interpret some people's dissatisfaction with the franchise as of late, is that the common theme betweenVelma and Guess Who is that both of them tried too hard to force a tone that didn't work. Expanding or taking inspiration from something is different than trying to force it. As amazing as Where Are You is, I don't think anybody would want 49 straight seasons of the exact same thing, because it would get old if there was no variety after a while. I think a reboot of Where Are You could work if it were done in a way that used the original tone, but created something new in the process of doing that. I thought Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! did a great job of using the same classic formula, and by adding a more humorous twist and developing the characters in interesting ways, the writers were able to create something engaging and different. Something like this that builds on an aspect of an old series, (whether it be Where Are You or not) but doesn't attempt to directly copy it, could be a good direction to go. For example, perhaps they create settings with a similarly dark feel to Where Are You, but show the gang members each developing as characters in different ways. There needs to be a unique defining characteristic of each series, otherwise there is no point in creating a new series if you are going to try to match the tone of a previous series exactly.
2. A mature show that does not overuse adult themes
This is a broad umbrella, and I'll elaborate with some ideas for this later. One of my biggest issues with Velma is how overly try-hard the writers are about the humor. Although it is becoming more common in sitcoms for people to think of "mature" and "adult themes" as the same thing, I firmly believe that they do not have to be. I have never felt that a series needs to be super raunchy in order to for me to think of it as mature. "Adult themes" typically refers to sexual jokes, drug references, intense gore and violence, whereas mature shows can simply mean that a show is too dark for kids, or the themes might be too frightening for a younger audience.
It's always been a bit perplexing to me that WB-Discovery has never looked at the overwhelming success of Zombie Island as something that would work consistently for the franchise. In my 15 years in the fandom, I've met very few fans who have a single bad thing to say about Zombie Island, and it's critically acclaimed even by folks who do not frequently watch the franchise. They could make another show with the mature tone of the Zombie Island era movies, and I think everybody would love it. Even if they made something dark not quite to that level of glory - take the Mystery Incorporated YouTube series from last year for example - I would love to see a show like that. There are clearly plenty of adult fans who still watch the franchise, and WB-Discovery knows this, otherwise they wouldn't keep referencing old stuff from the 1970s and 1980s that no young fans would recognize.
Some specific, concrete ideas that would fit that tone could be a series like Wednesday. Wednesday and Velma are night and days in terms of quality. Wednesday manages to be a great mature reboot of the series that doesn't need to rely on sexual jokes, intense violence, and inappropriate humor as a crutch for bad writing. Simply having the gang solve the mystery of a serial killer in a Halloween costume of some sort could make a really good plot, especially if it was similar in tone to Zombie Island or even Mystery Incorporated (minus the romantic drama). Perhaps you could have it set at a boarding school, much like Wednesday, and have the gang meet each other through solving the mystery together. I would love to see a mature Scooby-Doo show in the vein of Wednesday.
I also think this would be a great opportunity to create a universe where there is some shared lore from previous Scooby series. For example, recurring characters could show up, or aspects of the main characters from a certain iteration could be developed further. Another thing that I've talked about before on here that I disliked with Guess Who is the overuse of references, where they almost felt gimmicky. The best Easter Eggs for me are the ones that are tied tightly into the plot, rather than just "hey, there's a picture of Redbeard over there!" A mature reboot presents a great opportunity to create franchise lore based upon previous series and characterizations, rather than random references that aren't connected to anything.
3. Spinoff with Side Characters
WB could also do a spin-off of some of the beloved side characters of the franchise. I've mentioned on here that I've written a Ghoul School coming-of-age fanfic for the girls in high school, and a Hex Girls fanfic about how they got started as a band. I think both of these things would make amazing TV shows as long as they stayed at least somewhat true to the original tone (looking at you, Return to Zombie Island). The Hex Girls show is long overdue in my opinion; I think everyone would like that as long as they kept the girls in-character from their previous appearances. Showing how they became a band seems like the most logical series to do, but you could do a number of different plots with the girls, such as getting them involved in some sort of supernatural mystery; the girls going up against a witch as they're exploring Wicca further; or they could even do a high school coming-of-age plot where the girls run into a mystery at their school.
One could even argue that a spin-off featuring a gang member that actually keeps them true to their character would make an enjoyable show. I wrote another fanfic about Velma teaching at her sister Madelyn's school, Whirlen Merlin's, which is the vein of what I'm talking about here. I would like to see a show that actually develops the characters in a natural way that is consistent with what has been established over the past 50 years. Velma missed that mark by making the characters completely different than anything we'd seen before, and Guess Who also missed that mark by making the characters too stale. Especially at the beginning of the show, some of Fred, Daphne, and Velma's lines arguably could have been interchangeable and we probably wouldn't have even noticed.
Another idea in that similar vein is a spinoff involving Scooby, or one of the gang's relatives. I'd especially love to see a show of Scooby solving mysteries with Scooby-Dum; I feel like that would be really wholesome and hilarious.
The ideas are pretty endless for a new Scooby-Doo series, but these are ultimately the elements I most want to see in the next Scooby-Doo series after Mystery Pups. WB has had a history of kind of knee-jerk reactions to previous shows after the fact, and some of them have worked, and some of them haven't. The Be Cool writers have come out and said that WB told them they wanted a funny show after the dark, frightening tone of SDMI, but then they felt Be Cool didn't play it safe enough, so they created Guess Who. The preschool tone of Mystery Pups seems like a direct response to Velma being an adult show. I am pretty open-minded to new ideas; I think the most important aspects are good characterization, compelling mysteries, and an attempt to explore some new aspect of the franchise's formula that has not already been explored.
2/14/2023 09:04:25 am
To me, the way to go is either spin-off, WAY reboot/remake/continuation or just a brand new idea.
2/14/2023 09:28:00 am
I didn't feel WNSD was ever in-your-face about the modernization, but maybe that's just my own bias because I really like the show haha. I didn't really mind all the technology like I did with the constant tropes and references that didn't really fit into the plot. It bothered me that Scooby talked so much in Guess Who too. I don't mind if he talks somewhat, but the monologue-length speeches were weird and offputting to me. It felt out-of-character. I would be down for a 13 Ghosts reboot, as long as they kept with a similar tone to the original show and not something like Curse of the 13th Ghost that is basically trying to shoehorn 13 Ghosts into the tone of a normal DTV. Technically you could argue that Mystery Pups is potentially a reboot of APNSD, but I guess we don't really know enough about it yet to make that assumption. I'm excited for Mystery Pups too, and I'm hopeful that preschool kids being the target audience doesn't mean the show will feel like it's talking down to any adults watching. It's really smart of them to make a show like this though, considering how popular stuff like Paw Patrol is right now, which is kind of what this feels like. It's also good in the sense that we'll be recruiting the next generation of Scooby fans! :)
2/14/2023 10:50:38 am
Yeah, no. I love WNSD but I can see why some people may think it's outdated nowadays because of all the mentions and highlights of tech. But I do love it and think it's one of the best Scooby-Doo shows (maybe the best... idk, haven't gotten around that yet haha... but it's up there!)
2/14/2023 05:55:08 pm
I've heard others presume it will be like "Camp Comeoniwannascareya" before and I think it would be super interesting if they make it really similar to that episode. I love that episode, so I think I would really enjoy the series if it was like that. I've never seen SpongeBob Camp Coral but I have heard it's not good. Hopefully it's nothing like that haha.
2/15/2023 10:53:33 pm
I think yeah, the problem for kids watching WNSD today is that the terms used are outdated. No one says "Wireless internet connection" any more.
2/16/2023 07:56:34 am
Ha! Yeah, that's true.
2/14/2023 10:43:14 am
Actually, rather than an attempt to do another Where Are You, I would rather they attempt to do something like a modern version of the Scooby Doo Show. The biggest difference here is that I want more focus on fascinating mysteries and crimes like The Scooby Doo Show had. Guess Who utterly lacked in this area in big time, and while I do like Be Cool a lot, that one focused more on humor. Really, the last mystery focused show we had was SDMI, but instead of that, putting the mystery focus in a more traditional format rather than just stuffing it with tropes like Guess Who. Essentially, think like High Rise Hair Raiser or Creepy Cruise, I just want more interesting, unique, and well developed mysteries
2/14/2023 10:52:49 am
I see what you mean but I think you are exaggerating on TSDS being THAT different to WAY. Sure, it had episodes with big set pieces that you wouldn't see in WAY... but it also had its fair share of pretty "mundane" mysteries.
2/14/2023 11:06:22 am
I'd say the tone(s) and vibe(s) of TSDS are probably what makes it most distinct from SDWAY.
2/14/2023 02:05:25 pm
It was overall much more mystery focused, where Where Are You had a stronger focus on villains and atmosphere and humor to an extent
2/14/2023 02:48:10 pm
I'd argue TSDS focused just as much on the villains, atmosphere and sometimes humor. The approach they took to the mysteries does differ though.
2/14/2023 06:00:22 pm
I think it would be awesome if they made another The Scooby-Doo Show, especially if it was like season 2 which is incredible. I agree that we haven't had a ton of mystery-focused shows lately. You could argue Be Cool was, but Guess Who was definitely lacking in the mystery department, and Velma was notoriously bad at juggling the raunchy comedy and the mystery.
2/14/2023 08:17:59 pm
I wasn’t trying to say Scooby Doo Show doesn’t have a focus on those things (because when season 2 exists, saying that it doesn’t focus on an atmosphere is just plainly false), I was more using those as examples that WAY focuses on more than mysteries themselves
2/15/2023 02:51:11 am
Yeah, TSDS does focus more on mysteries than comedy, unlike SDWAY, and the general tone, style and vibe of TSDS is different to SDWAY's too.
2/15/2023 08:52:39 am
Ah okay, that makes sense. And yeah, The Scooby-Doo Show definitely has its funny moments, especially in the third season when the focus is more on Shaggy and Scooby's antics. Another distinct difference between TSDS and WAY is the globetrotting/adventure aspect. Most of the SDWAY mysteries felt like they could have been around the gang's town (with the exception of stuff like "Mine Your Own Business" and "That's Snow Ghost"), whereas TSDS had the gang venturing much further to different locations and countries.
2/14/2023 11:04:54 am
This is exactly what I want too!
2/14/2023 10:46:43 am
Deadline has actually confirmed season 2 of Velma is happening. Thank god
2/14/2023 11:03:03 am
Just found a source:
2/14/2023 02:22:55 pm
Please wash your mouth with soap for saying such a thing.
2/14/2023 06:01:07 pm
I just made a post about it. I'm a bit surprised they confirmed this so quickly. I was expecting it to be months from now before we heard anything.
2/14/2023 10:59:01 am
I'd rather not have spin-offs focused on recurring characters personally. Like, I've never been someone interested in the idea of the Hex Girls spin-off that never happened. Stuff like that's just not appealing to me.
2/14/2023 02:20:27 pm
Obviously, I am completely with you on The Scooby Doo Show being the main influence point lol
2/14/2023 02:45:53 pm
After they greenlit stuff like Get a Clue and Velma (the latter being much worse), I honestly wouldn't consider anything out of the realm of possibility at this point lol. And they did almost every other possible ship between the 4 human members in Velma. It would be less likely for WB to greenlight something with both Scrappy and Flim Flam in it than Shaphne imo. The 13 Ghosts reboot I envisioned would be my ultimate dream, but as for something more likely to happen, I'd definitely love a TSDS reimagining.
2/14/2023 08:18:57 pm
I agree with that. I really do not think they would go back to the original cast of 13 Ghosts which would kinda ruin it, but as you said, you never know after Velma
2/14/2023 02:51:32 pm
Oops, I meant to say "let's make a new version of Scooby-Doo and the 13 Ghosts", not 13th Ghost, that's a very topic lmao
2/14/2023 06:27:54 pm
That's fair, I think it'd be cool to get a Hex Girls show personally but I can understand how it wouldn't be for everyone.
2/14/2023 07:01:02 pm
My love for SDMI has been skyrocketing over the last 6 months or so. It might be top 3 now, I'm not sure, I'd have to think about it further. Either way it's way higher now compared to where it was a year ago. I realize more and more that the show's genuinely genius.
2/14/2023 07:09:59 pm
While the gang would be Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Scrappy, Flim Flam and Vincent, I'd still have a few guest appearances from Fred and Velma, especially in the last couple of episodes.
2/14/2023 07:18:24 pm
I don't think I'd put it quite that high personally, but interesting to know it's been growing on you so much. I remember the bad romantic drama was a big issue for you in liking the show before.
2/14/2023 08:22:23 pm
@Becker: The show really is genius. And it has been getting better and better for me as well. It is still probably 6 in my rankings where it was before, but ever since those Haunted House polls, I’ve been thinking about the show a lot and have been thinking stuff like “I always liked A Haunting in Crystal Cove as an episode, but now that I think about it, it is kinda straight up excellent”
2/15/2023 02:49:04 am
@Wildwind, the relationship drama is still not one of the best aspects of the show by any means. While Daphne and Fred's romance get the job done fine, it still has some strange or cringy moments here and there, but their relationship gets development and they get to show more and more that they do genuinely love each other. And as far as Velma and Shaggy, they're obviously terrible for each other, but I think the show knew that too, and thus I've come to the conclusion that the whole plot between them existed primarily to showcase what a toxic relationship is and that you should get out of it asap. The fact that they never get back together after episode 10 supports that intention on the writers' part, which I respect.
2/15/2023 08:49:25 am
Yeah, I agree that Fred and Daphne still have some cringey moments, but it's nowhere near the level of Shaggy and Velma. It's definitely possible they were trying to showcase what a toxic relationship it was, although it was still pretty painful to watch. However, after that all-time worst cringe "I Will Remember You" scene in Velma, Shaggy and Velma in SDMI seems not so bad in comparison haha.
2/14/2023 12:51:16 pm
I think this is obvious. Bring Back Mystery Incorporated. Season 3 - road trip, season 4 the gang at university where they have an agreement with Mr Ellison, they solve all the other worldly mysteries he wants them to and in return they receive passing grades.
2/14/2023 01:41:29 pm
I'm personally perfectly content with the ending we got. Come Undone was the culmination of everything they had built up to in 2 seasons. I don't know what you could do after that and make it live up to what it was before.
2/14/2023 02:08:58 pm
While I think Come Undone could’ve been a better episode imo (just felt like it needed to be a bit longer), I agree. It seems like the natural stopping point, and while I’m sure they can make good seasons of the show after, it wouldn’t be the same, and it’d almost be worth it just to make another incarnation with similar dark vibes instead
2/14/2023 04:33:31 pm
I think the problem is that MI continuing without plot or stakes would just be a completely different show. If anything, have a show that is a sequel to MI but a different show either way.
2/14/2023 06:04:37 pm
I would be totally down for a show with the gang going to Miskatonic University with Harlan Ellison! However, I am also content with "Come Undone" as the ending. The tone would definitely feel very different in the rebooted timeline, and the mysteries would also have a different feel to them now that there wouldn't be any focus on the Entity of the Disk. Like Juan said, I think it would almost feel like a sequel or a reboot of the show if they created a season 3.
2/15/2023 01:14:52 pm
Possibly a sequel then? Fresh slate but with a new underarching dark mystery surrounding the university.
2/15/2023 05:23:01 pm
I think that would make an awesome series!
2/14/2023 03:50:29 pm
I was thinking they would do a Scooby series about all or some of the opening cases or mentioned cases of any Scooby Doo movie or episode. It can be called Scooby Doo: Lost Mysteries
2/14/2023 04:25:30 pm
A lot of those monsters are great and I'd like to see some episodes reusing their designs and giving them a proper chance to shine.
2/14/2023 04:28:03 pm
I don't think this is EVER gonna happen haha but it's a GREAT idea!
2/14/2023 06:07:49 pm
I love this idea for a show! It always bums me out when they have a really cool monster design and waste it on just a 30 second opening scene, so it would be awesome to see these mysteries in full!
2/15/2023 02:57:25 am
Imagine an episode dedicated to Piranha Goat lol. That would have fit perfectly in Be Cool.
2/15/2023 08:43:30 am
Piranha-Goat is one of the villains I most want to see get its own dedicated episode. The design is way too hilarious to get wasted on a 30 second cameo haha.
2/14/2023 08:24:22 pm
This would be so cool actually. I love this idea
Carson Maitland - Smith
2/15/2023 02:21:32 am
Carson Maitland - Smith
2/15/2023 02:28:30 am
An 80's aerobics theme for Daphne is my idea for the next Scooby-Doo series 💜
2/15/2023 08:03:05 am
It would especially be cool if they did a a full length Luna Ghost episode. He had a really cool design. Also, the episode could be like a NSDM episode because Pamela Anderson was in it and she was having her own doll made in the factory. She probably also owned the Wow o Toy Factory as some guest stars in NSDM had a side Job.
2/15/2023 08:43:50 am
That would be awesome!
2/15/2023 08:03:57 am
The Rat Creature, Glop Monster, Snake o Saurus and Cockroach Monster all take place in sewer so I was thinking it could be a 4 part trilogy episode titled Legends of the Sewers: Chap 1 Rat Creature, Chap 2 Glop Monster, Chap 3 Snake o Saurus, Chap 4: Cockroach Monster. Mr. Clopper dresses up as each monster not just the cockroach monster.
2/15/2023 08:43:59 am
I really like that idea!
2/15/2023 08:04:44 am
I thought of a ghost story of the Vampire Clowns. I man from Transylvania was visiting Coolsville and came to the amusement park. These three clowns then surprised him out of nowhere and pulled a prank on him. The man was really angry. He just so happens to dabble in dark magic. So in retaliation, he turned the three clowns into vampires and to this day they haunt the amusement park.
2/15/2023 08:44:26 am
That's a cool backstory!
2/15/2023 10:24:01 pm
my two idea are a sequel series to mystery incorporated in which when the gang stopped the evil entity and restarted the universe something else was release. taking from what happened when barry restarts the timeline in which came the new 52 in the comic, the first season for the most part will be traditional scooby doo but ending with them realizing the paranormal is still very real in this timeline. they could bring back characters from other shows/movie in a new light, like maybe we see a friendship between the gang and Eric from cyber chase and maybe in this series the main villian influence the darker side of the paranormal like a puppet master. Or a second idea is to introduce a secondary cast of character maybe some can be the fan favorites already made. and each episode the gang composition is slightly different maybe one episode doesn't have fred but has two of the other non main scooby gang characters, it would make it interesting to watch but definitely be harder to do. personal hate any talks of adult scooby doo. teenage/young adult scooby doo i'd be for but i can't see a fully fledge adult version working for scooby doo series
2/16/2023 07:58:47 am
I like your series idea! It would be neat to see some of the old recurring characters again that we haven't seen in a while like Eric.
2/16/2023 10:17:09 am
another idea is may night of 100 frights show, i don't see it being more than like a 20ish episodes. i would say they haven't been doing the best job with nostalgia in scooby doo content. it wouldn't be 100% like the game, probably include more recent monsters not have it solely scooby doo. and more characters.
2/16/2023 01:49:45 pm
That would be awesome! Night of 100 Frights is my favorite Scooby-Doo video game, so I would love getting a series based off of that!
2/15/2023 11:03:43 pm
2/16/2023 08:01:04 am
I agree that the ideal series would have the gang all together. The Hex Girls getting their own spin-off is definitely one of my dream series. I really like your world tour idea and the inclusion of the gang!
2/17/2023 05:03:48 pm
The reason a traditional series like what's New worked was because it was so long since we had one like it - early Scrappy days. That's not the case now.
2/17/2023 06:36:27 pm
That's not the main reason it worked. If WNSD was of the quality of SDGW, it would not have worked.
2/18/2023 12:53:39 pm
It could be part of the reason why it worked, but I also think part of it was that it was just an excellently written series and it did a great job with it's theme of updating the original formula. Guess Who is a good example of why updating something didn't work; it was often bland and didn't have much interesting about it in a lot of people's opinions.
2/18/2023 08:24:27 pm
@Becker - well yes, but I was assuming quality was a given.
2/18/2023 09:01:02 pm
The extra 20 minutes wouldn't have really helped IMO, it was just kind of bland with a lot of forced nostalgia. I think they could have developed the mysteries more within the 20 minutes that they had, they just needed to balance the guest star's presence and the mystery development a little better so it felt more well-rounded.
2/16/2023 04:00:55 pm
What if they do a spin off series that centers on the culprits and how their lives are following their cases/sentences and how some are willing to move on and even drop their grudges with the gang while a select few still have bad blood. It could be a mix of culprits from different iterations all in one (Where Are You, The Scooby-Doo Show, Scrappy-Doo, Pup, you name it) and maybe even incorporate The Faux Ghost from Scooby-Doo 2 in there as their hangout/job and even have the gang as supporting characters as a means of still tying into the overall franchise. It would be a unique and fresh way of doing something new with the IP without completely alienating fans. What do you think?
2/16/2023 07:49:05 pm
I really like the idea of a Scooby Doo Show that focused on the opening cases or mentioned cases from any Scooby Doo movie or episode like Shadowscooby mentioned. It would be cool to see those monsters be reused and given a chance to shine
2/17/2023 09:07:14 am
A series based on Mystery Mayhem's premise would be cool. It's kinda reminiscent of 13 Ghosts imo, which is why what I would do is incorporate the Tome of Doom in a 13 Ghosts reboot.
2/17/2023 09:48:35 am
I think a Mystery Mayhem series would be awesome! It would be especially cool if it had that same dark tone of season 2 of The Scooby-Doo Show.
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