‘Velma’ Season 1, Episode 7 Review

by Frank Martin

It seems as if Velma is just trolling its viewers at this point.

It’s not that the show is a deconstruction of its characters; that’s perfectly fine because it chooses to do so. The problem is that it only barely touches upon the magic of Scooby-Doo nostalgia before dovetailing into something completely different. There are brief moments of fun and brilliance in this show, but it quickly devolves into the same old cheap and preachy drama that doesn’t really fit the brand. The show’s mystery is consistently pushed to the backdrop. Even as it becomes a more prominent part of the plot, it still feels as if it’s playing second place to the character drama that just isn’t as compelling.

The seventh episode sees the town officially declare that the killings were the work of a ghost so that they can hold a fair. Velma (Mindy Kaling) continues to investigate her mother’s disappearance, which leads her to sneak into the fair as a man because women aren’t allowed to go unattended. Eventually, Velma realizes how awesome life is as a man, and this leads to conflict when Daphne (Constance Wu) eventually figures out who she is. With the killer on the loose, a chase scene takes place that ends with Fred (Glenn Howerton) being captured.

The show’s themes and agenda are so front and center that it’s pretty annoying. It doesn’t need to slap its viewers in the face with it, especially since it’s the least appealing part of the show. The chase scene and mystery are a lot of fun, and they play it off hilariously. But for some reason, the show barely does any of this type of stuff before returning to pushing its themes front and center. This has been the format since the first episode. It’s gotten better as the season goes on, but still, the fact that the show doesn’t lean into its strengths is the biggest mystery of all.

Velma streams Thursdays on HBO Max.

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