“Velma” - Season 1 Review

Story posted February 15, 2023 in Arts & Entertainment by Carly Dell’Oso.

Jinkies! The cast of the iconic “Scooby Doo” is back!

“Velma,” a spin off series to the original, was released at the beginning of this year from the point of view of Velma Dinkley, voiced by Mindy Kaling.

This series contained the same major characters from the iconic original plotline, including Velma, Daphne and Fred. Shaggy is replaced by Norville in the new series who has very similar tendencies to the original character, and Scooby is not present. This spinoff was an interesting idea that had a lot of potential, but was ruined by being almost too different from the original series and dragging the plotline out through too many episodes. 

To start the season, a brainless dead body of one of the most popular girls in school is found in Velma Dinkley’s locker. With this discovery, eyes immediately fell to Velma as a suspect for this said murder. After a little bit of time, a second brainless dead body is found and Velma is blamed once again.

Being innocent, Velma begins to do everything in her power to try to convince her classmates that she is not the murderer, however no one seems to take her seriously. Velma begins to search for the true murderer with this strange set of circumstances at hand. Everytime Velma obtains clues and comes closer to solving the case, she gets frightening hallucinations, stopping her from continuing her work.

While the chaos of the recent murders naturally inflates, Velma is simultaneously attempting to solve the case of her missing mother. When a third brainless body is found and Velma continues to uncover clues pertaining to both mysteries, she begins to believe that they could be connected.

With the help of Daphne, Fred and Norville, Velma fights through her hallucinations for clues and answers to the two mysteries that continue to eat away at her. Will Velma find her mother? The murderer? Her purpose? The season culminates in a final episode that answers all of Velma and viewers' questions.

One aspect that stood out to viewers over the course of the season was the amount of political topics discussed. Though the season contains some attempts at comedy, there were many instances that political opinions were worked into conversation of the characters, or even presented in actions.

One of the biggest political topics of discussion is racism, however topics of gender inequality, sexual orientation and more are also discussed. The political opinions presented were very blatant throughout the show, and in many cases irrelevant to the current situation at hand.

Viewers potentially could have been offended by the opinions expressed throughout the season, which may have caused less viewers to stick with the show through the full 10 episodes. Discussing heavy topics is very different from the lighthearted original series, which potentially could have been what the audience was hoping for in this spinoff.

The second aspect that stood out to the audience was the difference in Daphne and Velma’s relationship compared to the original “Scooby Doo.”

In the original series, Velma and Daphne are best friends. In “Velma,” the series begins with the two girls not speaking to each other because Daphne is the most popular girl in school, while Velma is a well known “dork.”

As the series progresses, the girls are forced to work together to solve the various mysteries at hand. In that time, Velma and Daphne begin to develop feelings for each other. They go back and forth on whether they should explore the potential feelings that they may hold, but ultimately decide against the idea.

The attempt at this “Scooby-Doo" spinoff was underwhelming. The mysteries could have been solved in a smaller amount of episodes, but the content was extremely drawn out, causing viewers to lose interest.

This season is very different from the original series which may surprise some viewers or old fans looking for the iconic Mystery Gang. This show had potential to be great, but came up short, potentially disappointing audiences.

Rating: 2/5

Carly Dell’Oso is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email ced5690@psu.edu.