Well, that appears to be exactly what HBO Max is going to provide, announcing earlier this month the new series is in development.
HBO Max announced Wednesday that Mindy Kaling will executive produce and voice the lead in Velma, a comedic origin story about the “unsung and underappreciated brains” of the iconic mystery-solving squad.
Velma is described as “an original and humorous spin that unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America’s most beloved mystery solvers.”
What is particularly fascinating is Harley Quinn, the animated series, is in a lesbian relationship with her friend Poison Ivy and that excellent series is also greenlit for a new season. That show almost certainly will explore the relationship between the two comic book antiheroes.
Here is the question: is there any possibility that both animated series will cross over? What if Velma comes into the Harley Quinn universe? Is this too far-fetched?
Sometimes the different animated universes collide. This happens in the comic books somewhat frequently. At least for one episode it would be cool to see Velma and Harley Quinn and company together in a mystery of some sort to solve.
Before saying this idea is completely implausible, just think how many thought we’d ever get a standlalone animated series featuring Velma?
When growing up, I watched Scooby-Doo for Scooby and Shaggy’s scared antics and the gang of Fred, Daphne and Velma doing the heavy lifting to solve some spooky mystery. I didn’t identify with or care about the sexual orientations of any of the characters. Honestly, as a kid I didn’t think about such things in my Saturday morning animated TV shows.
Ok, maybe as I got a little older — you know, puberty age, perhaps — I might of thought of Daphne as attractively animated. Did she have a thing for Fred beyond them being mystery gang friends? I mean at some point boys do have those kind of thoughts. Maybe other boys or girls were thinking about Daphne and Velma, I can’t speak for others. Admittedly, I didn’t think about Velma’s sexual orientation, but maybe in the 70s some cartoon viewers suspected Velma wasn’t interested in guys subliminally(?)
Fast forward to the present.
In a Pride-themed Instagram post, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated supervising producer Tony Cervone hopped into the comments to clarify that Velma is indeed a lesbian
Congrats for Velma officially coming out as a lesbian.
I just don’t understand why this is relevant in the Scooby-Doo show? What am I missing here? Velma is a small sub character in Scooby Doo. She wore that blindingly orange shirt, had the thick black glasses, and was the techie in the group, often solving clues with her superior investigative skills. As a child and now an adult, I don’t really see how her sexual orientation has anything to do with the show or her character.
(or frankly how that changes Velma’s role as part of the mystery gang in the past, present or future?)
Then again, when Star Trek was rebooted by JJ Abrams Sulu was pictured briefly with his boyfriend. I never thought Sulu the character in Star Trek was gay, but when they made a movie it was important to show us that. At least in that show it kind of made sense, because Star Trek explores social themes and the real life actor who played Sulu, George Takei, is gay. So, perhaps that was thrown in as an homage to Takei’s fine work on the original series and movies?
Again, at least this made some sense in Star Trek. But here? Scooby-Doo? Velma?
Velma kissing Daphne sounds salacious rather than story-driven, not what Scooby-Doo is known for and about. Why do we have to declare the sexual orientation of characters on shows like this? Why does it matter?
Of course it matters to the LGBQT+ movement in 2020. I get it, more power to people coming out and not feeling closeted. I get that with real people, but am confused how this relates to cartoon characters.
Keep in mind that I’m a huge fan of Harley Quinn and wanted to see Harley & Ivy get together on that show, so I’m all about a good lesbian romance — when it’s part of the story. It’s more my editor hat on with Scooby-Doo making me think: how is this relevant to that story?
Maybe there will be a Scooby-Doo mystery that involves lesbian characters? I’m not saying it’s impossible to make this relevant in the show for Velma going forward, but as I’m rewatching and reviewing the classic TV series (every Saturday you can catch the reviews under the Scooby Doo search tag), I haven’t spotted any opportunities for that entering the narrative.
I’m thinking this is counter to what the LGBQT+ movement is trying to achieve. If we focus on gay characters that were previously not out as gay, is that promoting more openly gay characters in entertainment in 2020, or is that rewriting past entertainment?
Are we saying that Velma was lesbian all along, even back in the original series, and it’s important that viewers in 2020 discovering the classic 1969 series understand this going forward? I mean, because she couldn’t come out in the 70s, a freeloving, swinging era, because it was a kid’s cartoon and lesbians weren’t allowed to be in cartoons (yes, I realize censors at the time probably would have objected).
Here’s a better idea. Instead of rewriting history, instead of inserting a narrative that didn’t exist for whatever reason in 1969 in 2020: spin-off.
Yes, why not start spin-off shows and new shows with gay characters vs. changing classic characters (or having them come out when it’s not really relevant for the character in the show)? If Velma is a lesbian in a spin-off show centering on Velma, is there a need for that to be explored in Scooby-Doo? I’m simply asking the question. And if that show is popular, great, there you go. If it bombs, then maybe the story wasn’t interesting.
Am I making any sense here? This might be falsely labeled by some passerby readers as homophobic and it’s not. I don’t care if characters in fictional stories are straight, gay, bi, trans, however they are written, as long as it’s relevant to the story. Velma being a lesbian on Scooby Doo? Without attacking this falsely as intolerance, please help me understand how this is in any way relevant to the show I’ve known and loved for the better part of 40+ years?
Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam aren’t arm wrestling over their show being the most popular at HBO Max.
According to Parrot Analytics (an organization that gauges the popularity of shows based on social media, fan ratings, and piracy) the most popular show on HBO Max at launch was Looney Tunes Cartoons. Specifically, this is the latest iteration of Looney Tunes, with the characters and plot lines updated to reflect a more modern era. The drawing style is new as well, and it appears the show got some real attention from HBO Max subscribers.