Velma Episode 3 and 4 Review
I just finished episodes 3 and 4, and honestly, I thought they were even worse than the first two episodes. I thought the third episode started out surprisingly well with two amusing jokes. The cat taking the hair and nail vitamins and suddenly getting luscious hair gave me a good chuckle. That Russian soldier spying on Velma because he's curious if she's gay was so random that it made me laugh quite a bit.
However, I thought overall, episode 3 showcased what terrible people the characters are, especially Velma and Daphne. The fact that they were fighting each other until blood sprayed out of their bodies was quite the sight, and the fact that a song in which the phrase "Bad Ass Motherf**ker" is repeated was played during the montage was probably one of the most shocking scenes in the franchise. I mentioned in the last review that I thought Velma and Daphne had some redeemable qualities, but after this episode, I don't feel that way anymore. Velma reading Daphne's deepest, darkest secrets from her diary in front of the entire school was really awful, and made me lose what little respect I had for her as a character. The joke where Velma says Daphne punched her so hard that her tubes had to be tied was really gross, and took it too far in my opinion. In general, this kind of sums up the second major issue I had with this episode.
The first two episodes at least had the mystery to diversify the plot a bit, but this episode's plot felt like it was almost entirely just shock value stuff. As with the previous episodes, humor that's clearly intended to be super raunchy just to get people to be shocked and offended isn't up my alley. I felt the joke about Fred saying his mom watches him while he's peeing, and Shaggy sharing that his mom just told him he was an accident, illustrates this really well. I completely understand that some people enjoy this humor, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If you enjoyed the inappropriate humor, that's great, and I'm glad you liked the episode. For me though, the shock humor felt almost constant in this episode, which greatly took away from my enjoyment. I also felt a lot of the humor got repetitive as if the writers were obsessed with certain jokes, like how they reference Velma putting bean bags in her bra to make her breasts look bigger numerous times throughout the episode. I was able to ignore it easier when they were also juggling the plot with the mystery of Velma's mom's disappearance and the serial killer, but this episode was pretty much no mystery and all shock.
The romance stuff doesn't really interest me at all. I know some people enjoy that, but for me, the romance here is not well written. The Scooby-Doo franchise has had a history of not doing romantic plots well in my opinion, but this show writes it particularly poorly IMO. The "love rectangle" is kind of nonsensical and is not really explored in any depth. It feels like it just feeds into the "shock value" of the show to an extent. I also was not a fan of how they intentionally tried to make certain scenes awkward, like Velma and Daphne trying to decide if their boobs should touch during a hug. The part where Velma narrates and says she knows viewers are wondering if she's "g-g-g-g-gay" was also a bit too much IMO. Again, while there's not anything wrong with it, this show seems to like making things as intense and edgy as possible, and it continues to feel try-hard.
One thing I wanted to note that I found interesting from "Velma Kai" was the backstory of Velma abandoning Daphne as a kid due to an issue with her mother. It seems like they took that from the Daphne & Velma novels, because there's a backstory there of Daphne parting ways with Velma due to an issue with her mother.
Speaking of references, I found the references kind of interesting in general in these two episodes. It was surprising Mayor Janet Nettles from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated appeared in a picture on the wall. I thought that was a neat, obscure little references. Daphne calling a list of Hanna-Barbera characters to find out about her mom, including Mumbly, The Clue Club, Inch-High Private High, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Snooper and Blabber was also interesting to see. I'm not sure if anyone else noticed, but Daphne also has a poster on the wall that appears to be picture of The Hex Girls, although it says "Teen Angels." It's unclear to me whether that was a mistake, or if it was supposed to be the Teen Angels and they just happened to look a lot like the Hex Girls.
The next episode wasn't quite as bad as "Velma Kai," which I would honestly say would probably make it on my all-time worst list for the franchise. However, it still was not good and I had a lot of the same issues. The plot doesn't really make any logical sense. The police drawing that attention to all the hot girls by having a top 5 list of them does nothing to protect them (in fact, it would just encourage the serial killer). It was painfully clear they only did this plot so they could make a social commentary episode on beauty norms. While that's fine, the fact that the writers could not think of anything better than having the cops stage a beauty contest is bad writing in my opinion. The writers could have better introduced the exact same plot with a lot better writing that didn't randomly and nonsensically throw us into the "hottest girls list" plot.
The "shock value" humor was still very present in this episode, particularly Shaggy saying he remembers breastfeeding, and perhaps most notably, the high school girls acting sexy to distract the cops from watching Velma's stepmom giving birth. I'm positive the writers' motivation behind this scene was to shock and offend people, and make them say "oh my god, I can't believe those girls are being sexual/rubbing on things erotically while a woman is giving birth!" To be honest, I wasn't shocked or offended; I just thought it was dumb how painfully obvious the writers were being about trying to shock people. Although I'm not a fan of shock humor in general, I would argue it could be much better done than this. I feel shock humor should be an occasional thing, rather than constantly shoving it in the audience's face. The fact that the writers are obsessed with constantly needing to shock the audience gets cringey very quickly, and the fact that it's constant honestly makes it less shocking and more annoying. As an aside, Fred's animation for when he's horny is probably the most repulsive thing I've seen in this show lol.
The one thing I did really like about this episode is that the "everyone has different ways of being feminine, and that's okay" message. I thought that was nice and positive message to put out there, and it felt kind of wholesome. It actually surprised me a little bit in a good way that they put a message like this in there, given it was all shock humor and edgy stuff, but I thought it was great that they included this.
Sorry to be so negative in this review, but I honestly really did not enjoy these two episodes. If I were to sum up my issues, I would say it's slightly reminiscent with an issue I have with The Simpsons. For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of The Simpsons. Recently, I feel their episodes have been very hit or miss due to the huge amount of social commentaries and parodies. While The Simpsons doesn't intentionally pander to shock the audience, and I still love the show, I've noticed that the show essentially throws characterization out the window sometimes for the sake of the plot. The characters sometimes behave unlike themselves so that they'll fit the plot of the week, and are essentially empty plot vessels without strong character development. (I actually wrote an entire article on this, which you can read here if you're interested!)
Velma has a kind of similar issue, although to a much worse extent. I watched a review of the show the other day, and I thought this review excellently illustrated that the writers are obsessed with social identity, and the characters are written very two-dimensionally as a result. I agree with this argument, and I'd honestly even take it a little further and argue that the writers are using these "shock value" type jokes to the series' detriment, because there's so much focus on being "edgy" that there isn't much focus on character development, or compelling any advancement of the plot. I realize this is a bit of strong opinion and you're welcome to disagree with me, but this was a realization I came to when watching these two episodes.
All of that being said, even though I really did not like these two episodes, I still plan to see the series through to the end. I look forward to hearing what others thought of the episode, whether you loved it, hated it, or are somewhere in the middle.
1. The Candy Man
3. Velma Makes a List
4. Velma Kai
1/19/2023 04:28:16 pm
I agree that episodes 3 and 4 are worse and also that episode 3 actually started out strong and really just let me down! Where episodes 1 and 2 would have gotten a 5/10 from me each, both episodes 3 and 4 have gotten a 4/10 from me. There are occasional funny jokes, especially the smaller animation sight gags that they kind of leave in the background, but mostly it seems that these newer episodes are doubling doen on the show’s zaniness which hurts how I perceive the so-called “danger in the show, and even more they are doubling down on the show’s and characters’ unlikability.
1/19/2023 04:35:31 pm
I liked the occasional animation sight gag, but for the most part, it fell into the same zany/try-hard edgy category as the rest of the humor. The focus on how unlikable Daphne and Velma are as characters in episode 3 in particular really soured the episode for me. I hope there's more focus on the mystery in episode 5 and 6.
1/19/2023 11:49:13 pm
The new episodes weren't perfect, but I did kind of see them as an improvement from what we got last week a little bit (mostly the "List" episode TBH). I enjoyed the character developments from the characters, such as Fred's realization on the importance of inner beauty, Norville's (I like calling Shaggy this because I feel like it separates him from his usual character) decision to move on from crushing over Velma, and Daphne's determination to discover why she's so different from everyone else by finding her parents. I liked how it was revealed that Velma and Daphne's personalities were kind of similar when they were kids, and I think that might've been why the became best friends in the first place. I also liked how one the girls actually followed Velma's example to just be herself, and it seems that decision is already starting to pay off.
1/20/2023 08:51:41 am
The inner beauty message surprised me about how positive it was, and I was glad they had it in there. I agree with you it was really cool to see how one of the girls followed Velma's example of being herself! Clearly, it is paying off since the preview shows her dating Shaggy. Tbh, I didn't really enjoy the character development all that much otherwise, especially Velma and Daphne brutally beating each other up and being awful to each other in episode 3. The Shaggy/Daphne plot was at least somewhat interesting, but it didn't feel like it led anywhere (at least not yet). Hopefully it heads somewhere though, because I think that plot could have potential. The backstory bits were cool. It honestly seemed like they drew from the Daphne & Velma books for that plot, so I'll be interested to see if they continue being inspired the novels.
1/20/2023 09:41:15 am
I highly doubt they were inspired by those novels. I'd bet these writers have no idea those novels even exist. It was just a coincidence that one plot point happened to be the same.
1/20/2023 11:47:23 am
I'm sure you're right, I just thought it was an interesting parallel.
1/20/2023 01:32:33 am
I've just watched 3 & 4 and, like MysteryMan59, found them an improvement.
1/20/2023 08:48:06 am
I hope they improve as characters, but given what I've seen so far, I don't have super high hopes. I kinda feel like there is a connection between all the parents' disappearance. However, with how shocking the show is trying to be, I hope the mystery doesn't resolve in some stupid wacky explanation that makes no sense. I was able to somewhat ignore the shock value moments in episodes 1 and 2, but the fact that there was very little mystery in episodes 3 and 4 made it much more difficult for me to ignore.
1/20/2023 09:42:13 am
Wait, did I miss something? Norville's mom is the school principal, who didn't disappear.
1/20/2023 11:46:57 am
I don't think Norville's mom disappeared, there's just a secret about her as hinted by his father at the end of episode 5. Btw, I forgot to mention I loved the "Dr. Bad Excuse" joke haha.
1/20/2023 01:11:09 pm
Episode 3 I think it was
1/20/2023 02:37:30 pm
Sorry, I definitely meant to say episode 3 there. Episode 5 isn't even out yet so I have no idea how I wrote that lol.
1/20/2023 04:24:41 pm
My bad. I meant the insane asylum situation Lamont hints at.
1/20/2023 06:49:25 am
Yeah, these last two episodes seemed to have no mystery at all and episode 4 for me especially was a total mess and unbearable 20 minutes of total WTF. At least 3 had some redeemable qualities with a few of the gags. I'll force myself to watch until the end but right now, I'd honestly call this the worst show of this millennium. These last two episodes seemed to have no real plot and right now I have absolutely no clue where this show is going. They couldn't even be arsed to show us the third victim.
1/20/2023 08:44:57 am
I'm completely on the same page as you. I liked the cat growing hair and especially the Russian spy wondering if Velma was gay, but otherwise I don't think I found anything really funny in episode 3. Them not showing the third victim bothered me too. They were so focused on the beauty norm plot that they didn't even bother to show us that detail. This is my least favorite Scooby show thus far, one of my least favorite shows I've ever watched all the way through.
1/21/2023 08:38:57 am
In total agreement.
1/20/2023 09:37:14 am
This show is just baffling to watch. Episode 3 is more of an M-rated Velma/Daphne fanfic than anything. It's the episode that does the least to further the overarching plot and is more preoccupied with the unnecessarily convoluted love square, especially the Daphne/Velma side of it. Speaking of which, the way their relationship is portrayed and handled is some of the most unbearable and cringiest stuff this show has to offer. It's god-awful. Which automatically results in most of the episode being god-awful. Velma and Daphne are at their most terrible in this episode. And their interactions are so awkward it's almost unwatchable. I still can't tell if they hate each other or love each other. I also hated the weird-ass fighting tournament and everything about it, those scenes really highlighted all the worst aspects of this show. To not be completely negative, a positive here is Norville, as usual, and most of his dialogue (despite some of it falling in the show's typical cringy/edgy/way-out-there category too). The therapist cardigan mesmerizing people was a fun enough concept I guess. Even Fred had a few zingers in the scenes he shared with Norville ngl (however, once again, some of the stuff that came out of his month was garbage too). When Norville forgot to come to the therapy session with the convicts it did get me. Norville's mom looked weirdly suspicious at one point too, is she the one killing hot chicks or what?
1/20/2023 09:52:45 am
Out of his mouth, not month lol
1/20/2023 10:22:23 am
I completely agree with you that episode 3 felt like a cringey M-rated fanfic. I know I said I didn't dislike Velma and Daphne as much as I did Fred in the last review, but that's definitely changed now lol. They were absolutely awful to each other in this episode, especially how they punched each other so hard that blood was spraying everywhere and Velma apparently had to get her tubes tied. The fighting tournament made no sense...like it was just supposed to be a self-defense lesson, and then somehow by the end it's full on WWE: Monday Night Raw without any explanation in the plot as to how or why that happened. Random stuff can be funny, like the Russian soldier spying on Velma, but IMO the whole plot can't just be a series of random events that make no sense, and that's kinda what this episode was. It's like the writers are so focused on being edgy and shocking that they're cutting major corners with the plot, and I find that to be bad writing.
1/20/2023 01:23:23 pm
How you manage to make the title character of your show the worst character is beyond me.
1/20/2023 02:36:51 pm
I don't think I've ever seen a show where the main character is as awful as cringey as Velma is in this IMO, especially in these last two episodes.
1/20/2023 06:32:30 pm
I being thinking and I could be wrong but I feel like the art style and animation for this new take on SD looks very somewhat similar to the same style that was used for INFINITY TRAIN.
1/20/2023 09:40:10 pm
I haven't watched Infinity Train before but I Googled an image of the animation, and you're right, it does look really similar!
1/20/2023 07:53:33 pm
I've managed to watch episodes 1-4, and yeah, this show is definitely not a favorite of mine, with reasons being pretty much the same as everyone else. Although, I do find Norville to be somewhat fun, and at least a better character than the other three. I'll probably continue to watch it and let it be a one and done thing and never go back to watching it again.
1/20/2023 09:41:09 pm
I like Norville too, even if he's pretty different from the Shaggy we know from all the other iterations. Yeah, that's how I'm feeling too. Unless they really turn it around in the last six episodes, I can't see myself ever returning to this.
1/20/2023 11:44:50 pm
I feel exactly how I felt last week. I’m still in the middle. The jokes are still forced. And Velma’s “jokes” sound like Twitter posts and expositions. I wished the episodes actually focused on solving the serial killer mystery and figuring out what happened to Diya Dinkley.
1/21/2023 08:26:29 am
I like your point about how Velma's jokes sound like Twitter posts, because they absolutely do. Me too! I would say that's my one of my biggest issues with the show. The mystery almost feels like an afterthought, and the focus is all on the comedy. And when the comedy is forced, that makes it much less enjoyable for me.
1/21/2023 04:45:19 pm
Still haven’t gotten around to watching it. Honestly, kinda dreading it. Well, maybe not dreading it, but delaying it because I know I will need to have a lot of thoughts on the show. Definitely does not seem to be something I can just watch mindlessly and think “I like this!” or “I don’t like this!”
1/21/2023 06:11:02 pm
I'll be very interested to hear your thoughts on the show when you do watch it! It's definitely not a "mindless watch" type of show; the weird humor makes it kinda complicated because it pretty much overtakes every element of the show, even the mystery and the characterizations.
1/23/2023 05:02:29 pm
episode 3 is decent, the best so far. still has bad main plot but the prison story line was actually somewhat enjoyable, 4 at least has a good message but other than that it is as bad as 1 and 2. like said on the previous review for episode 1 & 2 about how scream the tv show does the same shit with twice the screentime but is actually good, s2 espically. Velma can't top being Audrey in being a gay icon.
1/23/2023 07:19:28 pm
The prison storyline was better than the Velma/Daphne plot. I liked the positive message in four as well. Otherwise, I wasn't really a big fan of the plot of either.
1/25/2023 03:50:13 pm
I have just watched episode's 3 and 4:
1/26/2023 04:52:17 pm
I didn't really like either of them. I would say episode 3 was worse for me, but 4 was still not good either.
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