Velma sets record for most-watched animated series debut on HBO Max

For better or for worse, a lot of eyes were on HBO Max's Velma when it premiered on the popular streaming platform last week.

It's been said that publicity is publicity, regardless whether it's good or bad. If HBO Max doesn't care about negative reviews and comments - and it probably doesn't since it's reportedly already greenlit Season 2 of Velma - then it can celebrate two big achievements of the Mindy Kaling-led animated series in one go.

velma most watched animated series debut hbo max
You'd expect better from Mindy Kaling, who's the brains behind some of the best episodes of The Office, among others.

According to Kaling, Velma just set a new record as the most-watched animated original show on HBO Max. Unfortunately, Velma is one of the worst TV shows on Rotten Tomatoes as well as IMDB.

The backlash against Velma is understandable, if justified. It's an alternative take on the original family-friendly source that diversifies the cast by turning the lead characters, like the titular geeky girl, into Indian American, Daphne as Asian American, and Shaggy as African American. Also, there's no Scooby-Doo and it's an R-rated spin-off that alienates the intended target audiences, which are kids and families looking for family-friendly material.

To clarify, this is a Scooby-Doo spin-off that doesn't include the iconic Great Dane as part of its cast, which is downright bizarre.

Outside of racist and sexist comments, there are plenty of reasons to dislike Velma. Creative liberty doesn't excuse you from creating a spin-off to an iconic children's cartoon and forcing adult elements into it. The show feels like a poor excuse to try and bring the show to a modern audience, which, by the way, was already successfully and tastefully done with last year's Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! that officially outed Velma as a lesbian.

And, again for the second time, why is Scooby-Doo not in the show?

The talking dog is the wow factor that made the original series so iconic and interesting. The rest, like (not-so) subtle hints that Shaggy is a pothead, are just fillers meant for adults to pick up on. Velma attempts to lean towards the adult elements of Scooby-Doo but fails by pushing away adult and younger fans alike.

velma most watched animated series debut hbo max
Shaggy doesn't look and feel like the Shaggy we know and love from the original series.

The good news is that Velma still has 8 more episodes left to convince fans that it isn't as bad as everyone else is making it out to be.

Speaking of HBO Max, HBO's The Last of Us just came out after critics couldn't stop singing it praises. The consensus is that the show is as good as expected if not better, with many eager to find out what's going to happen next.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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