‘Velma’ Season 1, Episode 5 Review

by Frank Martin

There’s something to be said about a show that makes the decision on what it wants to be and continues that trend. Five episodes in and Velma has set itself up as a deconstruction of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? characters while also having a hint of mystery sprinkled into teenage drama and witty one-liners. That’s mainly what every episode has been, and Episode 5 only furthers that concept. It doesn’t deviate from that formula and the overall show seems to suffer because of it.

Due to the continued murders, a curfew is enacted in the town. Meanwhile, Velma (Mindy Kaling) is trying to learn more about her mother’s disappearance, which leads to her hosting a band sleepover at her house. Of course, things get crazy because Fred (Glenn Howerton) is unable to secure pizza to feed the band members. Norville (Sam Richardson) is left to save the day, which also leaves him questioning his manhood as he pretty much does whatever Velma asks of him. Meanwhile, Daphne (Constance Wu) starts to learn who her real parents were and that she was part of a gang as a baby.

So far, Daphne’s storyline has been the most interesting part of the series. She’s the only one actually working on any sort of mystery fans of Scooby-Doo would expect to see in the show. And yet it’s been pushed almost entirely, which is unfortunate. Velma, who is supposed to be the star, is a bit annoying as she continually struggles with character flaws and stubbornly tries to manipulate Norville to help her. It’s hard to root for characters that continually make dumb mistakes and parody themselves. But again, the show’s witty dialogue and jokes provide enough entertainment for twenty minutes to get through the lackluster storylines.

Velma streams Thursdays on HBO Max.

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