The word “woke” has, like many overused epithets, lost most of its power. Just like one side in the culture war can find racism in a cup of coffee, the other side sometimes needs only the tiniest hint of progressivism to start frothing at the mouth and screaming about something or someone being woke. However, that does not mean it doesn’t exist and even in these ridiculous times we live in, it is sometimes possible to still go full woke. Velma is an example of that.


Imagine something being so damn woke that even the wokesters say “Hold on a minute!” By that measure, at least, Velma appears to be some kind of achievement. Shaggy, here still called Norbert, pre-Scooby and clean – therefore proving that damn dog was probably his dealer – has been black washed. Daphne has been yellow washed and Velma herself brownwashed. The only whitey of note is Fred who is a foam-brained simpleton and has his white privilege pointed out to him by the others. It seems white-shaming is acceptable.

Daphne is also the adopted daughter of married lesbian detectives Donna and Linda, and Velma herself is queer coded to the moon.

Projecting, much?

Velma then appears to make that most progressive of mistakes, that is being so caught up in its own righteousness as it’s ticked all of the intersectional boxes that it then thinks it is bulletproof. The characters are unlikeable and the show is, to not put too fine a point on it, completely shit. It is as if star Mindy Kaling and her developing collaborator Charlie Grandy surveyed the show, jam packed full of their social statements and positions, and were pleased so forgot all the rest.

Don’t just take our word for it. The reviews are beyond catastrophic. 50% on Rotten Tomatoes and, once again proving audiences are smarter than critics, 9% audience score (lol). On Metacritic it is the same story, just 57/100 from critics and a 1.0 out of 10 from the audience (rofl).

Even the massed ranks of Hollywood critics, ever ready to take to their knees and open wide to receive a face full of progressive bukkake before saying “Thank you, can I have another!” are seemingly stunned by the sheer fuckery on display in Velma.

“It’s been done before, and much better, using unique takes on the gang that maintained their essence, so Velma is never as groundbreaking as it seems to think it is. More than that, these characters are just really unpleasant to spend time with.”

Joshua Alston, Variety

“You have to wonder, in the development of ‘Velma,’ where did everything go so horribly wrong?”

Gwen Ihnat, TheWrap

“A hodgepodge of ideas that never connect, especially in its humor. The comedy lands when it veers into absurdism with visual gags and everything Howerton’s Fred says. What falls flat is the frustrating meta approach it takes.”

Randy Jones, Paste Magazine

“Velma is an often funny take on the classic Scooby-Doo series with plenty of risque humor. But it’s unfortunate that most of what makes Velma funny is completely unrelated to the character who gets a starring role.”

Brittany Vincent, IGN

Don’t watch it. You will only encourage them.

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