The early reviews for HBO Max’s controversial Velma animated series are in.
Back in October, we saw the first trailer for the new adult animated show Velma, following the Mystery Inc. crew from Scooby-Doo fame when they were still in high school and before they met Scooby or traveled the country solving crimes.
Created by Charlie Grandy and Executive Produced by Mindy Kaling, who also voices Velma, the show also stars Constance Wu as Daphne, Sam Richardson as Norville, Glen Howerton as Fred, and Jane Lynch and Wanda Sykes as Daphne’s two lesbian moms.
Of course, because the internet is terrible, when the trailer and character designs were released, thousands of people complained that Velma was brown, Shaggy (portrayed as a drug-hating nerdy teen who goes by his given name Norville) was Black, Daphne was Asian, and that the show was focused on girls.
Many cried that the show was “wokeness run amok” and couldn’t possibly be good or funny if it focused on a non-white, non-male protagonist. But early reviews are indicating that those haters couldn’t have been more wrong.
According to Inverse, the show is “not what you expect” and “underneath all the jokes and references there could be a companion to the esteemed Harley Quinn on HBO Max’s slate.”
Discussing Film called the show a “success” in its review, saying that “Velma doesn’t sink, but swims” and “more importantly than anything else, it’s funny.”
“The writing in Velma is sharp and curt, relying more on cultural awareness than anything else,” Discussing Film says. “There is enough traditional adult-oriented comedy relying on the characters being cringe or crass to keep audiences captivated, however, the jokes poking fun at the show itself through a feminist lens is where it is at its funniest.”
Reviews are also pointing out that the show explores Velma’s sexuality, much like other recent Scooby-Doo projects. While in Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! and Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, Velma is portrayed as a lesbian, here she’s better described as bisexual or pansexual. Apparently, she has crushes on both Daphne and Fred in the show, and her feelings for them are discussed early on.
While not all early reviews have loved the show, hopefully, these positive ones will give Velma enough of a chance to get a second season and become another great adult animated show like Harley Quinn.
Velma premieres on HBO Max on January 12.