Velma Episode 1 and 2 Review
I just finished watching the first two episodes of Velma, and since the show is one large recurring plot, I think I'm going to do my reviews in groups of two as the episodes come out, rather than reviewing each of the individual episodes separately. I also want to highlight that this is a non-spoiler review, as I want people to be able to read this review if they're wanting a sense of the series even if they haven't watched it.
I went into the show remaining open to whatever it might be, and to be completely honest, I didn't love it. The show feels like Scooby-Doo done in the style of Family Guy. I'm not really a big fan of Family Guy personally for its "edgy for the sake of edgy" tone, and I must say that this struck a very similar tone. That being said, I'm not just going to stop watching the show and say "it's garbage" or "the franchise has been ruined!" At this point in time, I can safely say that the show isn't quite my cup of tea, but I can definitely see how the show would appeal to some people.
I did like Velma as a character. I think Mindy does a great job voicing her, and even though she's a bit edgier and sassier, the character development feels natural and she still feels like Velma. With Daphne, the character development doesn't feel quite as natural because Daphne acts very stuck-up and entitled at times; however, she was like this in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and that YouTube fan series that I like, Mystery Incorporated. I didn't feel her entitledness was overbearing, and it honestly reminds me a lot of her characterization in the YouTube series. I thought Constance Wu did a great job with voicing her.
With Norville and Fred, I was not as big of a fan of their characters or voice actors. Both of them felt like almost entirely different characters. Norville was the better of those two characters, but besides the fact that he has a cooking YouTube channel, nothing about the character really screamed "Shaggy" to me. His voice actor did a fine job, but the fact that it felt like a completely different character kept me from enjoying it as much as I could have.
Fred's character is very odd, and I don't love his voice actor. He's very childish in his demeanors and can't do anything for himself, even things such as cutting a piece of steak. I will outright say I did not like the recurring joke where he's made fun of for not hitting puberty and having a tiny penis. I know society likes to make fun of people for that, but that's not something that can really be helped, so I feel making fun of someone for it is quite mean and immature. If it were just one joke, I could have ignored it, but it seems they are milking the joke for all it's worth, and I'm sure we haven't heard the last of those jokes. In general, Fred's character is kind of annoying and thus far, I'm not really a fan.
The other characters are fine. I don't have a lot to say about them since they haven't appeared much, but the couple standout characters for me were Daphne's moms. I thought they were quite amusing, especially with them immediately rushing to help Daphne with a sick cat.
I don't have much of a comment about Fred or Shaggy's parents, other than Frank Welker does a really good job as Fred's dad.
Velma's dad is interesting, and I'd say my favorite aspect of the show is the mystery of Velma's missing mom and sister. I'm definitely fascinated by where that plot point is going, and I can't wait to see more about it and why the murderers are happening. I also like Velma's fear of mysteries and panic attacks being represented as physical monsters attacking her. I thought that was a really neat way to still incorporate monsters into the show, even though the show does not actually have a monster-of-the-week.
Velma's first mystery being the discovery of her mom being a smoker was a bit odd, and the stuff about giving her mom "idea juice" (aka hard liquor) was a bit much, especially in the scenes where Velma gets drunk off her mom's alcohol as a little girl. Velma being voted "most revengey" in the yearbook was funny. As another aside, I liked the social commentary where Velma says she'll give Daphne's text a "thumbs up" by Monday was hilarious. Personally, I don't understand how people can just give texts a thumbs up without responding, especially when it's a direct question, so that part really amused me.
I thought the references to the Creeper with that mask, and the pictures of Redbeard, the Ghost Clown and Carlotta were neat.
Like I briefly mentioned at the beginning, the humor is not my cup of tea in most cases, though there were a few funny jokes, namely Velma saying all of her money is tied up in streaming services, Shaggy's blog about Lil Wayne, and the literal humor that came with Velma actually spray painting "Daphne is a huge bitch who ditches people to be cool" and signing her own name haha.
Granted, I want to underscore that the humor is not objectively bad. I can absolutely see the appeal for that type of humor, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with liking edgier, more mature humor. Personally, I just don't enjoy humor that is "edgy for the sake of being edgy," which a lot of this seemed to be. Stuff like the two bugs getting intimate and Shaggy trying to cut out his own kidney was a bit too much. There was also some humor I just didn't find funny, like the joke where Shaggy says "420" means adults who still watch cartoons, since that's basically just drawing upon a bad stereotype that cartoon-watching adults are all burnouts sitting on their mom's couch in the basement.
All in all, while this show doesn't really seem like my cup of tea at the moment, I didn't hate it and I plan to watch and review the rest of this season. Even for people who thought it was the worst thing ever, I feel like there still isn't any reason to freak out about it. This isn't going to impact the rest of the franchise in any major way, and my guess is that this will only last one season, and by next month, the show will be over. I hope you enjoyed reading my review, and here are my rankings thus far of the two episodes:
1. The Candy Man
1/12/2023 03:47:13 pm
I watched in after it came out, and it still feels like a fever dream.
1/12/2023 04:28:36 pm
I agree with you it feels a little like a fever dream haha.
1/12/2023 04:38:26 pm
Sorry if it wasn't clear, this code is from Mystery Incorporated, in the episode Man in the Mirror, Fred sends this to the gang to let them know about his doppelgänger!
1/12/2023 05:18:54 pm
Oh, I thought it seemed familiar! I was confused because I didn't remember seeing a code in the episode, but I get what you meant now haha.
1/12/2023 03:49:06 pm
The first episode was good! I finished it about 5-10 minutes ago. Will watch the second soon. What I don’t like is that Velma actually “can see” without her glasses/they’re her mom’s glasses. Maybe as time goes on her eyes will get more used to the glasses and won’t be able to see without them.
1/12/2023 04:19:19 pm
I didn't mind the glasses thing personally. I hope you enjoy the second episode!
1/12/2023 05:12:39 pm
The glasses thing is a staple of the Velma character (that Be Cool completely avoided except one episode) and is what makes her so iconic, flawed and lovable in my opinion. Going to watch the second episode now!
1/13/2023 09:49:28 am
Completely makes sense, doesn't bother me too much in this case though since so much else is changed. Hope you liked the second episode!
1/12/2023 04:24:10 pm
I was really looking forward to Velma, but I can say after watching the first two episodes that I don’t like it so far. The humor is very tryhard to me, and wants so badly to be trolling humor, but that doesn’t work in a story that we’re supposed to take seriously. I think the tone feels all over the place, and especially with that leg-chopping scene in the first episode that felt like it belonged in a different show.
1/12/2023 04:37:35 pm
"Try-hard" is a very good way to describe the humor, and I can't say I'm a big fan of that. There were definitely jokes I found funny, but like I mentioned in my review, the inappropriate "shock value" humor became grating for me quickly. The trolling/memeish humor isn't really my thing.
1/13/2023 12:04:18 am
Anyone who's worried about this show 'ruining the franchise' with it's darker, more adult tone should be reminded that 'Mystery Pups' will also be released this next couple years. That will likely be the aimed at the youngest target audience of any Scooby show.
1/13/2023 09:44:57 am
I completely agree with you. I don't think the adult tone of this series is going to transfer over to any other show or film.
1/13/2023 12:07:38 am
Welp last night, I watched these two episodes (they were very bad) and I only have one thing to say, that I've been saying since this character's first scene.
1/13/2023 08:58:24 am
I was wondering if the dad did it too. I'll be interested to see if that's who ends up being the culprit.
1/13/2023 07:22:01 am
Well that certainly was a fucked up 50 minutes. If I had to sum it up, the show is basically trying extremely hard to be terrible and cringey in the hope that makes it good. In fact, it is just ruining and overshadowing what is quite an interesting overarching mystery, something we've wanted in a Scooby series again since MI. The omission of Scooby is a big loss.
1/13/2023 09:47:34 am
I completely agree with you that the bad humor is overshadowing a decent mystery. I would have been okay with Scooby not being there if the rest of the plot was decent, but it definitely feels odd not having him here. I like your idea of a puppy Scooby!
1/13/2023 05:31:22 pm
I think the Scooby gang at a boarding school would be a very interesting idea. Hmm, what if we spiced it up a bit, make it a correctional facility for mentally unwell teens. Hmm that could make a good fanfic.
1/13/2023 06:02:27 pm
I think that would be an awesome idea for a series/fanfic! Much better than Velma haha.
1/13/2023 11:10:54 am
I actually quite enjoyed the first 2 episodes sure the characters are different but for me it feels like they just enhanced the parts of their personalities that don't come out as much so it doesn't feel weird to me
1/13/2023 12:36:43 pm
I'm glad you enjoyed the show! I find Daphne and Velma's personalities are pretty good, but I'm not a big fan of Shaggy and Fred's.
1/13/2023 12:21:16 pm
I went in expecting to loathe this at worst, be bored with it at best.
1/13/2023 12:37:31 pm
Wow, that is pretty surprising you liked it so much when you expected to hate it! Yeah, I agree Shaggy felt out of character. I'd love to see a spin-off with Daphne's moms; they were great characters!
1/13/2023 01:55:05 pm
I haven't had the chance to watch it yet, been busy, but from the opinions I've seen here and on ScoobyAddicts, I'm probably not gonna like it all that much, but not hate it either. But a lot of stuff said about it kinda leaves me with conflicting thoughts and feelings, so who knows what sides I'll fall on when I finally experience it for myself. The thing that's the most up in the air for me right now is the humor. The type of humor they're going for is quite hit or miss in my case, so the entertainment level is still a big question mark. A funny thing I've realized from fans' reception is that seemingly Norville is the only good human being in this show, while not even being remotely close to the Shaggy we know lol. Also, am I wrong in assessing that this Fred reminds you a lot of 2002 Fred? You have very similar critiques for both interpretations.
1/13/2023 03:23:19 pm
I'll be interested to hear what you think when you end up watching it. There were a few hits for me on the humor, but most of it was misses. Fred isn't really like he is in the 2002 version. He's just kind of an odd character, he's childish in the sense he quite literally acts like a child. For example, in one scene, he asks his parents to give him "cutsies" because he doesn't know how to cut a piece of steak. It's kind of offputting, at least IMO. There are also far too many jokes about him not hitting puberty and having a tiny penis. Maybe one or two jokes I could understand, but I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it's been brought up at least 5 times in just these two episodes.
1/13/2023 04:50:29 pm
I've watched the first couple episodes already, and I'm kind of in-between liking and hating it. It's like one of the shows you may not like, but want to watch anyway because you want to see what happens as it goes on. If the show only ends up having one season, I'd be ok with that, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when a show or movie doesn't get a proper ending. If the season ends with a cliffhanger, and WB cancels the series a month later, then that will really suck, especially with what's been going on with animation all year. It might not be the best show ever, but I just hope that Velma gets a decent ending, maybe where she finds her mom, she and Daphne officially become friends again, or when they introduce Scooby into the mix.
1/13/2023 05:57:06 pm
I feel the same way, kind of. I don't feel I like it, but I don't hate it either. I'm really intrigued by the mystery, but the humor is not really my style. I hope that the season doesn't end with a cliffhanger, but I could see the show doing that to troll us haha. I could definitely see it getting cancelled after one season due to all the backlash. I'd be surprised if they introduced Scooby, but it would be cool if they did!
1/13/2023 11:33:51 pm
I’ve watched the first 2 episodes. And honestly, I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t Hate it, but I don’t Love it. It’s just something I can just watch. Plus I’m invested in the story so I am looking forward for the rest of the episodes.
1/14/2023 10:02:53 am
Yeah, I'm on the same page as you. I'm mainly watching it for the mystery but most of the humor is a no for me, due to being way too try-hard. I found a few of the jokes funny, but just in general, I don't like the way some of adult animation thinks it has to be "edgy for the sake of being edgy." Almost like they think adults won't watch it if there's not tons of swearing, gore and sex, which we know isn't true.
1/15/2023 09:07:51 pm
Yeah, I'm waiting to see how the Fred in this series becomes the Fred who can make a Rube Goldberg trap. Currently, this Fred does not seem like he can hammer a nail or tighten a screw on his own. Maybe he takes shop class to try and be more manly, and that's where he gains these skills?
1/16/2023 10:00:43 am
That would be really cool if this somehow builds into Fred learning how to make traps! It would make me enjoy Fred's characterization more if they created a story arc for him like that.
1/16/2023 10:49:35 am
One of Fred's (few) positives so far was that scene in the alleyway with Velma in episode 1 when he eases and manages to drop the rude spoiled rich teen persona and even remember Velma's name. That one small moment is honestly more character development than Daphne and Velma have shown so far (which is sad).
1/16/2023 01:50:26 pm
I guess that was a slightly redeeming moment for Fred, but barely considering how he acts in every other scene lol.
1/14/2023 02:11:21 am
1/14/2023 09:58:58 am
Completely agreed with all your thoughts. I haven't mentioned it yet but I think the voice cast did a good job. My only complaints are boiled down to the way the characters themselves are written rather than the voice cast doing anything wrong.
1/14/2023 07:45:01 pm
so i tried and failed to watch both episodes (got about 3/4 of episode 2), to me that were both pretty garbage. the only things positive i could say was Norville was well written in episode 1, Fred feeling pressured to act and look a certain way is an interesting storyline (hopefully they actually take it seriously going, and velma's panic attack hallucination were actually well made for an other wise unimpressive animation show. i will try again to watch it when 3-4 but if it's still garbage i will drop it and only watch reviews like i did for pokemon journeys
1/14/2023 07:51:01 pm
Yeah, Norville was okay, he just didn't feel like Shaggy to me. I liked Velma's panic attacks/hallucinations and thought they were done really well.
1/14/2023 08:04:30 pm
I just watched the first two episodes last night and I have to say this new take on the SD franchise so far is pretty damn solid. I do have one of two nit pics about it but apart from that I think It's so far so good overall.
1/15/2023 08:18:10 am
I'm glad you liked the show so much! I thought the voice cast was really good too. The animation was pretty decent to me, although it's not my favorite animation style.
1/14/2023 08:34:16 pm
I just watched the first 2 episodes of velma and I think it's fine I don't hate it and I still think the backlash is overblown however I do see where the complaints are coming from. It does feel like like it's edgy for the sake of it, the humour is hit and miss,it can be mean spirited and the gang themself are very different but the animation is pretty good, their are some jokes that made me laugh and I am interested in where the series is going to go.
1/15/2023 08:16:46 am
My opinion exactly. Hopefully the next episodes will improve once the show gets its footing.
1/14/2023 09:34:19 pm
Have not watched yet. Have another show I am watching at the moment (Never watched Outer Banks the first two seasons on Netflix, but am watching it now so I can have it done in time for the third), but I can already tell from what I’ve heard that I am likely going to appreciate some aspects of it, but have some aspects I just disagree with so much that I won’t care for it as a whole
1/15/2023 08:16:07 am
I feel the same way. Thankfully, I haven't seen much of the "this is killing Scooby-Doo" nonsense now that the show has come out with the exception of one post last night, but I'm sure people are posting a lot of that on social media. Yeah, I've noticed how it's making Scooby more popular all of the sudden. It's really interesting to see.
1/15/2023 01:39:47 pm
Just watched the first 2 episodes. Didn't like it much. Main reason is that the characters are piles of garbage except Norville. You harped on Fred the most, but I personally think Daphne and Velma are just as horrible unlikable human beings as him. So all 3 are on the same level imo. There's literally nothing to like about them, can't think of any reason to be invested in them, they're written/characterized so poorly, just like every other supporting character as well, they're all either bland, annoying or stupid. The one good highlight so far is Norville. As I suspected, he's the only decent likable human being in this show, even though he's not at all the Norville we know. It really feels like they created a character from scratch and slapped the name Norville on him. Funny how he's the character farthest away from the iconic portrayal, yet the other 3 are irredeemable assholes. The humor in this show is usually awful or lame (something you could say for most of the dialogue itself tbh), but the far majority of the actually funny lines/moments come from Norville. Literally every scene he's in he gives at least one good laugh, which surprised me. So yeah, Norville's good; Velma, Fred and Daphne are flaming pieces of shit though. As far as the other stuff: the artstyle isn't really appealing to me (sometimes it's just gross), except Velma's hallucinations, which are pretty cool; voice cast does a good job despite not sounding that much like the other portrayals (Norville especially), but their performance is good; the mystery isn't presented in such a compelling way and it already seems obvious Velma's dad is the culprit (we can't say for sure yet though). Oh, and the damn "love square" between the 4 members is a fucking dumpster fire so far... it's illogical and completely random with no substance (to the point where the only thing I outright dislike about Norville is how much he loves Velma). It's as if the writers saw the SDMI relationship drama and said "Folks, you've seen nothing, watch this!". So yeah, not a good start to this series, I'd give it a 4/10 so far. I wouldn't keep watching if it was its own original thing rather than based on the Scooby IP. Biggest disappointment is that Daphne, Fred and Velma are all written terribly. The writing of the show in general is bad, except for Norville for some reason I can't even explain myself. He's the likable anomaly in a show full of unlikable people.
1/16/2023 09:59:26 am
It's hard to get lower than selling drugs to your dad in the park, so yeah, I agree Daphne and Velma are pretty bad too. I was able to cut them a little slack because they're at least a bit in-character, whereas Fred isn't in character at all. I agree Norville gave the most laughs out of any character. It definitely seems like Velma's dad is involved with the disappearance somehow, either as the culprit or assisting the culprit with her disappearance. One upcoming episode is called "The Sins of the Fathers and Some of the Mothers" which could point to it being him. The love square is pretty bad; it doesn't make any sense, especially with Velma and Daphne. Yeah, if this weren't connected to Scooby, I admittedly probably would soon give up on this series as well. I'd also rather watch Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue, although that probably doesn't mean much for me, since I actually enjoy that series lol.
1/16/2023 11:05:20 am
I don't know if I can cut them slack for taking their personalities and putting the most unlikable twist on them though... I might like Fred a bit more than Velma and Daphne (not by much), purely because of the aforementioned alleyway scene little development and the fact he gave more laughs than them 2 (like, ngl, the Fred Hitler got me a bit lol).
1/16/2023 01:47:27 pm
Fair enough, I found Velma and Daphne a bit more tolerable than Fred, but I guess I'll have to see if my opinions change as the show goes on. The "Fred Hitler" joke was indeed very surprising haha. Yeah, Daphne cheating on Fred was kind of a jerk move. I'll be interested (or frustrated lol) to see how they handle that. I'd rank Get a Clue a 7 or 8/10 personally; it's definitely got its flaws but I enjoy the show for its goofy tone and comedy (although there were some dumb/immature jokes that I didn't enjoy in that series as well).
1/16/2023 01:02:29 pm
Velma is not a show that was made in good faith. Everything about this show, from the marketing, to the trailers, to the fact that it's attached to the Scooby-Doo brand, is designed to farm controversy, attention, and therefor money.
1/16/2023 01:38:30 pm
I blame Mark Russell. His Flintstones comic was decent but his Snagglepuss comic was truly awful pandering headline bait and blatantly had so little to do with the cartoon. WB saw how much press that got and wanted to do the same with their most valuable HB IP (note how Scooby Apocalypse got relatively fewer coverage in comparison)
1/16/2023 01:49:37 pm
@Whackman I agree the show is a bit attention-seeking in the way that it is very try-hard at being edgy. Some of the scenes, like the bugs getting intimate, were clearly for the shock value and to make people upset and/or repulsed at how edgy they were being.
1/16/2023 01:58:01 pm
Yet another reason to avoid Velma posted on twitter by Benjamin Siemon this really sucks.
1/17/2023 01:05:04 pm
I thought I would share this review of Velma, because it's the most comprehensible review I've seen (this guy is one of the best reviewers on Youtube btw):
1/17/2023 01:34:43 pm
I'd never checked out this guy's work before, but from the little bit I just checked out (I'll watch the rest later), I agree with him that it's really united everyone about what's wrong with the media haha. I'm pretty shocked about how much attention Velma has gotten too. I've even heard people from outside the fandom talking about how bad it is, which is kind of crazy. I just assumed this would be a one-off project that wouldn't receive much attention beyond hatred in the fandom, but it's insane how much negative press this has gotten. I'll be interested to see if it improves (or gets worse) in episodes 3 and 4 on Thursday, but I can't say I have high hopes.
1/17/2023 02:44:19 pm
Didn't expect Velma to gain such a worldwide reputation right off the bat either, but I guess when something is so outrageous in every way it transcends fandom and explodes in the zeitgeist. So many people who don't usually discuss Scooby-Doo (like the reviewer in question) are talking about Velma cuz it's such an expected phenomenon. If Wednesday was the positive unexpected phenomenon, Velma is the negative unexpected phenomenon.
1/17/2023 02:57:22 pm
It is really interesting to think of it in comparison to Wednesday, which exploded in popularity, whereas I've seen very few positive reviews of Velma from those both in and outside the fandom. I really enjoyed Wednesday personally, and I wish Velma would have been more like that. I came into the series trying not to judge it, but they did the two things I was afraid they were going to do: characterizing the gang members awfully, and having the humor be edgy just for the sake of being edgy. There are so many good examples of how to do good "edgy" humor in adult cartoons, so it's a shame they did so poorly with it here and made it so cringey.
1/17/2023 04:59:43 pm
I just watched the video and I thought he made a lot of really good points. I agree with his point about how the show essentially became what everyone was hating on before the show came out, which is kind of an interesting concept. It is very much shock humor that is intended to surprise and perhaps even offend people.
1/17/2023 05:27:12 pm
Yup, his review basically put into words what I was feeling and couldn't have found a better way to express them myself. Sean doesn't call the show woke btw (he doesn't like that word and its misusage), he said it feels as if anti-woke yt channels decided to write a parody of their perception of media (which is a pretty accurate analogy, funny enough).
1/17/2023 05:33:29 pm
Oh no, I remember how he mentioned he doesn't use the word "woke" in the video. I didn't word my comment well; I was just going on a separate tangent because I find it interesting how that word (or a variation of it) comes to mind with so many people for this series.
1/17/2023 10:10:07 pm
Haven't seen the first two episodes yet, but from what I've read from the comments and a couple of Youtube videos, this show is probably gonna replace Scrappy Doo as the new dead horse. I'm still gonna give it a chance, and if I don't like it, I'll skip it and continue enjoying the previous content until something new comes along.
1/18/2023 06:25:02 am
Yeah, seems that way. And I think that's a good attitude to have :)
1/19/2023 11:36:28 am
just finnished watching episodes 3 & 4. 4 was still pretty garbage, i kind of like the message they had about their being different ways to express being femine and Norville' s and Daphne's journey together was interesting but the comedy was pretty bad and the characters are still too unlikable. episode 3 however i'd actually say is pretty good and funny, but this is all due to Norville and Fred as the Daphne and Velma plot felt force since it was even more tell not show. the jokes about therapist did get to me and i found the idea that all the inmates just wanted someone to talk to a wholesome moment. i also like how it tried to progress the storyline of the season even though it ended up as a dead end for now. personally, i'd recommend watching scream the tv show over this since although it isn't as funny, the jokes land more when they have them and the show is far more scarier and mystery oriented than this show has been in 4 episode in just 1 episode.
1/19/2023 04:16:29 pm
I guess that was a good message; tbh the shock humor soured me so much on it that I still didn't really like the episode. The comedy remained awful and I did not find the characterization to be good at all. In fact, somehow I feel they made it worse, especially in episode 3. I agree with you that the love rectangle feels very forced and it's not well written. My biggest problem with this episode is that it was pretty much all shock humor with almost no advancement of the mystery. The shock humor gets really tiring when it's as constant as it is in the series.
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