Velma dethrones Dragonball: Evolution to become IMDB's worst-rated film

Originally published at: Velma dethrones Dragonball: Evolution to become IMDB's worst-rated film | Boing Boing

1 Like

Scooby-Doo-inspired spin-off Velma

The entertainment industry rumour is that Velma was a property completely unrelated to the Hanna Barbera franchise that was quickly “re-skinned” with the Scooby character. If so, the only “inspiration” involved was the desire for a quick buck.

There also seems to be the usual fanboi blend of “you’re stealing my childhood” racism and misogyny contributing to the backlash against the series, but putting that aside it sounds like this would still be a flop.

If you’re looking for a slightly more adult prequel that’s actually grounded in the original franchise, this series is worth a look.


I would also recommend this one:


This is what I’m wondering: apart from the above, what makes it “bad?” I don’t have HBO MAX and not planning to, so won’t be watching it anytime soon to see for myself.


The main criticisms of the actual show, beyond the rumour about it being recycled and re-skinned to ride the fan goodwill of the original franchise, is that it’s gratuitously edgy. From what I’ve read, it sounds like they just toss in sex and violence and drug content for no real reason except shock value. Sort of like what Riverdale did with the Archie franchise, but more cheaply with animation.


Strong Drawn Together vibes, edgy in a way that appears superficially progressive but is really just dead-eyed transgression for its own sake, dead in the water the day it appears.


What he said


The Crystal Cove series?

Didn’t like it, but everyone has different opinions.

I’ve watched 3 eps of Velma, so far; and I have to say that it does seem like they were trying way too hard to be ‘edgy.’

Thus far the narrative will often make valid criticisms about current society, only to undermine the point by leaning into the tropes instead of subverting them.

I also think leaving out Scooby Doo was a bad idea; that alone is enough to make fanboys hate it even more than they were already going to.

Too bad.


Additionally, they don’t seem to have any regard for the original characters, and the writing is just terrible.

The first scene is literally a group of naked high school girls showering together (yes, you read that right), while one of them says “isn’t it weird how pilots often have gratuitous nudity to capture audience attention?” Pretty much every time they do something that could be criticized, they make similar comments, as if pointing out how lazy their writing is makes it not lazy somehow.

As for the characters, it’s like they just took their outfits and slapped them on to completely unrelated characters. Velma doesn’t need glasses, they’re her moms, and she’s wearing them in her honor. Norville (Shaggy) isn’t a hippie, and every time he comes on screen, he mugs at the camera and talks about how much he hates drugs. Meanwhile, Daphne is a mean-girl drug dealer. Fred is basically just there to make fun of how small his dick is all the time (it’s non-stop after the “reveal”). There is no Scooby at all.

I went in to this show wanting to like it, but boy, it’s just a hot mess. Having some confidence in their ability to tell a story, and staying slightly true to the characters, probably would’ve been enough to make this “okay” instead of “garbage.”


I’m about halfway through the second episode. It’s definitely not great, but worst ever? Don’t think so. I think the reason is pushback from the fanbois / racists / misogynists.

I second the Mystery Incorporated recommendation. I just wish the third season would hit streaming.


I think that’s going to change. It’s being telegraphed big time in the second episode.

The more that I think about this, I don’t think this is a valid criticism, at least not yet.

The opening scene of the first episode bills this as an origin story. Why would you expect them to be the same? If they don’t evolve into the characters from the original show, sure. But I don’t think you can say that now.


Scooby-Doo-inspired spin-off Velma has certainly made a name for itself as one of the worst-rated animated TV shows of all time across multiple review platforms. Having already free-fallen down the audience approval ladder on Rotten Tomatoes to a current 6% score, the same thing has been happening on IMDb, where the Mindy Kaling-led series has hit a new low and spectacularly taken its place as the lowest-rated piece of entertainment ever after scoring lower than Dragonball Evolution, which has held the unappealing title for over a decade

Having become what is seemingly the most misguided TV show of a generation, Velma has now added a new low on IMDb to go alongside its terrible Rotten Tomatoes score. As was noted by many users on Twitter, Velma has now surpassed the 2.6 out of 10 rating that Dragonball Evolution has held for more than 10 years and has done so in style by logging, at the time of writing, a 1.3 out of 10 score overall, which includes 22k 1-star reviews that equate to 88% of all ratings for the series.

It looks like someone (or AI) was trying to hit their word count; using two paragraphs to say basically the same thing.


I enjoyed Dick Town! To me it was more “Encyclopedia Brown as an adult” vibes.


I’ve been watching it out of curiosity. It’s nowhere near as bad as internet rage would have you believe.

The primary problem is it’s not very funny, but it’s trying really hard to be.

It’s attempted humor is a bit hard to read as well. Generally it falls into socially conscious criticism. But frequently there are things like shots at “cancel culture” in a way that’s not clear. It just hangs out there and you can’t tell if it’s meant to be a joke on the character for being clueless or a shitty joke on kids these days. And plots often resolve by undermining or attacking the progressive points the episode appeared to be lecturing about earlier.

A lot of the plotting and characters are kind of stock, there’s a lot of telling not showing. And plots have a similar confused tone. It’s a show clearly targeted at adults, but it still has that “lesson” element from kids and young adult entertainment. I don’t think any full grown adult needs to learn that being judgmental is bad from a snarky cartoon.

It’s just overall not very good. But it’s not offensively bad or an outright disaster. Also there’s only like 4 episodes out right now. Episodes 3 and 4 were better than the first two. If only a little.

I wouldn’t even take it that far. There’s definitely that short of shit thrown in, and an attempt to be one of them “edgy shows”. But it’s not particularly extreme and barely amounts to gratuitous. It provides little shock value. It’s just kind of boringly stock adult targeted animation shit. It’s almost token edginess.

The show isn’t half as clever, weird or gross as it thinks it is. And whatever the hell social commentary it’s playing at is weak and confused.


I couldn’t make it past the first 6 minutes, don’t know what they were going for in this… but… wow…


A friend directed me to this article that helps explain some additional backlash to the show I was unaware of. Sure you’ve got the bigoted people on the right, but you’ve also got people on the left who are apparently tired of Kaling’s writing the same character over and over again as well as a single joke criticizing a change in comedy post Me Too.

One of the biggest things going on in the discussion about the show is that the immediate backlash it’s receiving has put it in the odd position where people are watching it more critically than they would have otherwise watched a show like this. Self-aware meta-commentary is now commenting on and leaning into tropes. A character’s younger version not being the character they grow into is not opening a path toward character growth but instead a slap in the face to the original two-dimensional characterization. Perhaps what it’s trying to do it’s failing at, but that should put the failure on the execution and not on what it’s actually doing.

What I’m realizing is that this show is 10-20 years too late for the audience it seems to want. Instead of being an HBOMAX show that won’t swing as wildly as Harley Quinn, it would have worked fairly well as an Adult Swim show intended for a late night, inebriated audience ready to laugh at a manbaby Fred, sexually confused Velma and Daphne, and a Norville who looks directly into the camera at them to say he’ll never do drugs.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is probably the best Scooby production out there, but it was kind of a failure as well. That’s another case of not marketing to the right audience. Many who would have loved the show are only now discovering the show on streaming, never realizing it was a thing. The creators have moved on, but wouldn’t it be great if Warner-Discovery decided to fund a third season for HBOMAX like they did for Young Justice?


It’s too bad the show is, by all accounts… not good, as when the premise of the show was revealed, I was really intrigued. It seemed like an interesting take on the material that hadn’t been done before. A take that apparently has yet to be made.

That was pretty obvious in the backlash to the show before it came out, but once it came out, the only responses I’ve been reading have been by women of color, who understandably thought this might actually might be a show aimed at them, but are unanimously saying, “WTF is going on with this writing? It’s bad. Who is this show even for?” Someone discussed, for example, this weird cringey, un-progressive “joke” about cancel culture/“me too” that didn’t make any sense (and wasn’t even about either of those things, even). Just… inexplicable. They weren’t so much tearing it apart as just incredibly disappointed and baffled by it.


Most “articles” on the web (outside of BB) seem that way these days.

Maybe it will be like Refer Madness where a single puff turns Norville into a delinquent.


There are lots of bad shows that lean on the same jokes and have all the exact flaws of this show out there that aren’t dumped on by the internet at large and some of them are even poor remakes of old shows. I’m curious what the difference could be.


I don’t think so. I think he’s going to buy as much as he can from Velma to support her, trying to make her his girlfriend.. Granted, just a guess from the episode and a half I’ve watched so far.