Scooby Doo and the Gang have come a long way since their creation over 50 years ago. There have been countless reiterations and reimaginings of the OG Scooby Doo, Where Are You! and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. This time, though, the clever and quick witted Velma is getting the spotlight in a new spin-off series, and it’s about time! Everyone knows the turtle neck wearing, nerdy character is the one who really solves the mysteries, and Mindy Kaling is using her voice to make Velma the star of the show.
News of the upcoming HBO Max animated series came out back in February, but since the series is at the very beginning of the long developmental journey, details are still pretty scarce. We do know a few key things about Velma, though, and what we do know is already making for an interesting spin on the popular children’s show.
Velma Is Not For Kids - It’s An Adult Comedy Series
While Warner Brothers/Cartoon Network does have a strictly kids section on HBO Max, Velma won’t be in it. According to HBO’s presentation at the Television’s Critics Association, the new spin-off series is one of a few new animated series being made by Warner Brothers for HBO Max that is specifically more mature and not child friendly. What’s even more than that: we can expect Velma to be slinging some possibly NSFW jokes, as it is labeled as a comedy as well.
Velma has always been a low key funny character, throwing shade where it’s deserved. With Mindy Kaling behind those square glasses, we can pretty much be sure that Velma is going to be one funny sleuth in the new series.
Mindy Kaling Will Act as Both Executive Producer and The Voice of Velma in The Animated Series
Mindy Kaling is involved in Velma in pretty big ways, both starring and producing in the series. The actress already has shown her ability to build successful TV projects, and has a number of these dual roles under her belt. Kaling both acted and produced many episodes of the fan favorite series The Office, in which she also had an acting part in. Shortly after, she created her own series The Mindy Project, which she had an even heavier hand in producing and starring in. Since then, she has been an executive producer on a number of TV projects, including Never Have I Ever, which she also writes for.
We Can Expect At Least 10 Episodes Of Velma
We know Mindy Kaling is acting as both star and executive producer, but we don’t yet know just how much she will be involved in the creative process. Hopefully, she will also be taking back up the role as writer for some episodes, of which there will be at least 10. The series has been green lit for 10 episodes, whether this is it for Season 1 or if the series will be cleared for more later is unknown. It is also unclear just how long each episode will be, although I’ve got my fingers crossed for full hour episodes!
The Series Will Act as An Origin Story for A High School Aged Velma
Fingers crossed for full hour episodes, because Velma is taking us to the brainy character’s beginnings as she begins uncovering her first mystery. According to star Mindy Kaling herself via Instagram, the series will show us a high school aged Velma who tracks a serial killer intent on killing all the popular kids.
Since this series is geared towards adults, we can only hope for some pretty grisly kills and a Velma who can face some raw truths about humanity. Kaling also states that Velma will be dealing with all the typical high school feelings too and it would seem like we will witness a coming of age story for Velma.
Velma Will Be Of East Asian Origins
Solving crime and hunting down mysterious monsters has taken Velma and the gang all over the world over the course of the many Scooby Doo series and films, and they’ve explored different cultures along the way. Through all of the many variations of the gang, though, they all have, for the most part, remained caucasian characters from their conception back in 1969. According to Warner Brother boss Tom Ascheim, though, Velma will take on East Asian origins in her own spinoff series, which lines up voicing actress Mindy Kaling’s ethnicity.
The decision to make Velma Indian has seen some backlash, but it actually isn’t the first time Velma has been portrayed as not white. While all the other members of the Scooby gang have been portrayed as white throughout all the different variations, Velma’s character has seen some diversity in more recent years. In the recent animated film Scoob!, she was voiced by Puerto Rican actress Gina Rodriguez - although the character was not explicitly Latina herself, she does seem to have a darker shade of skin than the other characters and she does use a Spanish word in one scene. Velma was in fact portrayed by an actress of Japanese descent, Hayley Kiyoko, in two live action TV movies (Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster).
Velma Won’t Be Solving Mysteries Alone, But Scooby Doo Won’t Make An Appearance
Right along with Velma being of Indian descent, the spinoff series will apparently take place in a “different world” - and one that doesn’t include a pup named Scooby Doo. Tom Ascheim, in his interview with TV Kids during their Summer Festival, lets fans know that there will be no dog and no van in the series. He does, however, speak of four key characters, which makes it sound as if Velma will be joined by Shaggy, Daphne, and Fred.
In this new world Velma is living in, it's possible we could see a completely new gang formed - I can’t even imagine a Scooby-less Shaggy. It’s also possible that in this origin story, especially since the Mystery Machine will not be in existence, Velma is not friends with the iconic characters (at least not yet?). If a serial killer is preying on the popular kids, Fred and Daphne may need some serious help from Velma.
A release date has not yet been announced for Velma, but the spin-off series is in development. When the series is finally released, it will be streaming exclusively on HBO Max. While there may be a while yet to wait for Velma, check out our updated 2021 Fall TV schedule to find something to tide you over in the meantime.
Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside. While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.
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