"Don't let your kids watch it!" - Robbie Rotten
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Reason: Dangerous investigations and ridiculously offensive things that she's done in the show.
Velma Dinkley is the titular main "antagonist" of the infamous 2023 HBO Max adult animated series Velma, a spinoff series based on the Scooby-Doo franchise. She is voiced by a producer of the show, Mindy Kaling, who is best known for her role as Kelly Kapoor in the critically acclaimed show The Office and Disgust from the 2015 Disney-Pixar critically acclaimed film Inside Out.
In general, she is one of the most beloved cartoon characters; unfortunately, she suffered a horrendous case of flanderization in her self-named series.
Why She's Not (and Will Never Be) the Real Velma We Know
NOTE: This article will only be focused on her characterization in her self-named series.
- First and foremost, this iteration of Velma is barely anything like her actual Scooby Doo counterpart since this 2023 show of her first name was supposed to be the "prequel" of the entire Scooby-Doo franchise as she has more bad traits than the actual Velma, resulting in her being flanderized beyond recognition. Sound familiar? In fact, she shockingly makes her Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! incarnation more likable in comparison.
- She is unnecessarily race-swapped into being South Asian and serves as an example of her voice actress and producer Mindy Kaling portraying Indian girls as self-loathing, something that she is known for in her style of writing.
- If anything, she feels more like a self-insert caricature of Mindy cosplaying as the character rather than the actual Velma.
- More insultingly, all of her bad traits as described below are hardly even displayed in the actual Velma in the slightest, which just shows how Mindy Kaling knew nothing about Scooby-Doo and the Velma Dinkley character in general, despite Mindy herself claiming that she identifies with the Velma character, hypocritically.
- Not to mention she has become a criminal mastermind in the style of a drug-dealer making her very aggressive as being a drug dealer in reality solves nothing and creates conflict.
- Her character design, while somewhat faithful, renders her to be near-unrecognizable, as she looks too much like Quinn Ergon from Final Space in terms of how her eyes and lips are drawn.
- As she lacks the traits of her original self, she is super rude and mean-spirited to everyone, mostly insulting them for the smallest things. And worse, she hardly even shuts up about it every minute she's on-screen.
- She also lacks her original counterpart's intelligence, and instead she stubbornly refuses to ever admit she is wrong about anything.
- She is a pretty bad friend to Norville, who is in fact the real name of his nickname, Shaggy, Scooby-Doo’s pet owner, as she laughs when he tries to talk to her and tries to get him to get her stuff.
- Additionally, she is shown to be a hypocrite as she critiques sexism and fat-shaming but is herself a slut-shamer who assumes all popular kids are dumb and shallow.
- She is extremely ungrateful, as she was pleased with the thought of her pregnant stepmom being arrested and was glad Fred was arrested, even though he previously saved her from a school riot, albeit getting her gender wrong.
- Her backstory doesn't played for sympathetic as she was abusive her mother until she lost her eye.
- She even acts way too short-tempered, to the point that it becomes exaggerated and unfunny.
- Awful first impressions: In the first reveal trailer, she is seen sending a death threat to the employees of HBO Max because of how they butchered Judy Jetson's character, which was a bad start to introduce her character. The writers probably wanted her to be self-aware, but it fails horribly as discussed below.
- Additionally, she was just made to insult viewers who don't like the show, as in the second trailer and episode two she is seen saying "Adults who still watch cartoons" as an insult which basically screams to the world that animation is only for kids and that if adults and teenagers watch it, then they're immature.
- Yes, cartoons have a level of complexity that is toned down for younger audiences to understand, but adults can enjoy a level of charm to it. We're at an age where many children's cartoons, including the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Likewise, many adult cartoons (both good and bad) have an unbearably large amount of violence, toilet humor, swearing, and jokes that are plain offensive to brag about how their shows aren't meant for children.
- This also comes off as very hypocritical of her as she is saying this in an adult cartoon from an IP that was originally meant for kids. In a way, this is a double standard and doesn't work as a joke.
- She also has poor detective skills, which results in her failing to find the murderer at the high school.
- Additionally, most of the time she is making more jokes rather than investigating to find the murderer.
- She is also occasionally very gross as in the ending to "Marching Band Sleepover", she had the audacity to smile after losing one of her teeth with blood leaking out from her mouth. That is an eyesore to look at, despite the fact that this was the fault of a police officer because he knocked out Velma's tooth with his car.
- In the season 1 finale, The Brains of the Operation, she’s happy that Fred’s mom got impaled by stalactite and starts twerking over her corpse. Even if she was a villain who actually turned out to be the killer, this moment is unnecessarily tasteless and mean-spirited, especially considering Fred was with her when it happened, very distressed about it. Showing her unsympathetic hypocrisy by leaving an evil smirk on her face celebrating her victory.
- Since she's the main character, she appears in every episode, meaning we have to put up with this nuisance to no end.
- Speaking of which, her actions make her come off more as the main antagonist of the show than the main protagonist, as shown by her getting away with these villainous crimes she commits in public making her a karma-houdini.
- What makes it even worse is that this version of Velma is an HBO MAX rip-off of Jake Spidermonkey from My Gym Partner's a Monkey and also a female version of Cleveland Brown from the first season of The Cleveland Show, but unlike Cleveland Brown and like Jake Spidermonkey, this version of Velma is no better and at the same is very ill-mannered, making her a human version of Duncan the Stubborn/Musical/Narrow Gauge Engine from Thomas & Friends.
- To make matters worse, this version of Velma makes the original to modern versions of Velma look bad in comparison.
- Because of all these reasons and overall, this incarnation of Velma has become the most hated character of not only the entire show (despite being the main protagonist, ironically), but the entire Scooby-Doo franchise, even surpassing both Scrappy-Doo (including his villainous 2002 live-action incarnation) and the original version of Flim-Flam McScam combined.
- Despite not being as great as Velma's previous voice actors like Kate Micucci or Mindy Cohn, Mindy Kaling does a good job voicing Velma for the most part and is the best cast member who has the best acting in which she puts her own twist to Velma's voice, not just an imitation of Kate Micucci's Velma voice.
- Her design is at least scarcely faithful despite being mentioned at WSNANWBTRVWK#2.
- Speaking of her design, in the episode "Velma Kai", her hair design is decent and like that from the original Scooby Doo.
- Luckily, she still does have some traits from her original counterpart, such as her catchphrase, "Jinkies!", being here.
- She got her comeuppance and ended up being arrested in the episode "Marching Band Sleepover" due to her violating curfew and insulting the police while Sheriff Cogburn was driving.
- She was finally called out by Norville in episode 9, in which he points out her hypocrisy and cruelty, which is very satisfying.
- She was a much better and more likable character outside this show. Yes, that even includes Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! and the live-action movies, which makes her flanderization sadder than ever.