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Max should be embarrassed for releasing a show this bad

Published Apr 26th, 2024 2:51PM EDT
Velma on HBO Max
Image: HBO Max

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The newly debuted second season of Velma on Max is so bad, it’s not even worth a hate watch.

That’s according to one of the Rotten Tomatoes reviewers who’ve already weighed in following the show’s arrival on Thursday, and who’ve given the new season of the show that’s ostensibly set in the Scooby-Doo universe an embarrassingly bad 15% audience score. Of course, this was probably to be expected following the similar reaction that Velma’s first season got last year, when I wrote that it was an example of a kind of creeping rot spreading throughout the Max empire.

Changing the name of the streamer to Max signified that more of this kind of tripe was in the cards. The premium cable network that had been regarded as the home of prestige TV, a la The Sopranos and Game of Thrones, would now have a “max” version that’s literally just stuffed with more of anything and everything. Including this dumb extension of one of the most beloved animated classics of all time.

Somehow, Velma managed to bring both critics and viewers into alignment over how big a piece of garbage it is. And one thing that made it such a punching bag was its dramatic departure from the tone of the OG series, bringing in a cruder and more mature vibe to the characters that viewers came to see as mean and nasty (again, this is the Scooby-Doo franchise we’re talking about here!).

The Season 2 cast includes, in addition to Mindy Kaling, Glenn Howerton, Sam Richardson, and Constance Wu. And, of course, there’s no Scooby-Doo.

“The first season was dreadful and they basically ignored the feedback and continued on,” another viewer writes on Rotten Tomatoes about the new season of Velma, which stars and was executive-produced by Kaling. “This show was never meant to honor the previous creators’ vision but to basically hijack an intergenerational show to modernize it in, effectively not putting in the work but rather trying to coast off of what was once a great family show.”

The 10-episode second season of Velma, from Warner Bros. Animation, promises “an even spookier mystery” that grips Crystal Cove, with Kaling’s Velma looking for a way to balance her detective work with the demands of her new popularity. “Meanwhile, her faithful friends Daphne (Constance Wu), Norville (Sam Richardson), and Fred (Glenn Howerton) are powerless to help thanks to their own personal battles and worse… Detention.”

In addition to its staggeringly bad Rotten Tomatoes score, Velma also has an abysmal 1.6/10 on IMDb. “If Max is just going to throw money away,” another Rotten Tomatoes reviewer opined, “I’ll be happy to give them my Venmo ID.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.