Mindy Kaling would have done well to speak with James Gunn about his failures writing an “adult” Scooby-Doo. Her new HBO Max series Velma fails for many of the reasons Gunn’s early-aughts live-action Scooby films did—plus a whole extra heaping of other reasons. The show’s problems are best summed up in a viral tweet:
Taking a page from Gunn’s book, Kaling attempts to sex up Scooby-Doo. Taking another page from Gunn’s book, she fails miserably, with an approach to sex that a middle-school boy might deploy. The humor—if one can call it that—that Kaling and her writing team attempt to create in the show is exemplified by the fact that they’ve made a major plot point, and countless jokes, out of the fact that this show’s Fred has not experienced puberty, leaving him essentially a high school eunuch. Bizarre, tasteless, crass, and, even more unforgivably, unfunny.