Jinkies! Has Warner Bros. made the right decision?
Related: Warner Bros. Under Fire For Reckless Canceling of Entire Movies
It’s no secret that Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) owns a frighteningly large collection of intellectual properties (IPs) — from Harry Potter and the Wizarding World, to superhero giant DC and their DC Universe (originating from the DC Comics) and all their mighty heroes (see: mega-popular icons like Superman and Batman). Also under Warner Bros.’ wing? Classic Hanna Barbera cartoons, like Scooby-Doo and its Mystery Machine-driving, “meddling kids”, Mystery Incorporated.
Warner Bros. also has ultimate control of HBO, and the streaming giant HBO Max. This beloved platform has given the world such TV classics as Game of Thrones and its ever-growing franchise, as well as new classics like Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby-led pirate “office comedy”, Our Flag Means Death. But reboots are not out of Warner Bros. purview, and more than present on HBO Max — including the show at the heart of the current outrage.
Related: Fans Try To Get Warner Bros. CEO Fired As Company Makes Big Moves To Shut Down Diversity
Unfortunately, it is evident that the public find some HBO offerings rather atrocious — and bad enough to warrant serious ridicule online. This is what happened to the Velma (2023) animated series in its first season, a spin-off and adult “reboot” of Hanna Barbera’s Scooby-Doo series. Velma focuses on the titular character of Velma Dinkley (Mindy Kaling) of the Mystery Inc. gang, and is directed and created by Charlie Grandy meant to be a gory, raunchy, and adult comedy while also offering mystery and horror elements, as is at the heart of the original franchise. In addition to being a Mindy Kaling vehicle — who executive produces as well as plays the main character — the series also stars Glenn Howerton as Fred Jones, Sam Richardson as Norville Rogers AKA Shaggy Rogers, Constance Wu as Daphne Blake, and Frank Welker as William Jones, Fred’s father and the original voice of Fred Jones since the character was created in 1969. Supporting roles in the show are Jane Lynch as Donna Blake, Wanda Sykes as Linda Blake, Nicole Byer as Blythe Rogers, Cherry Jones as Victoria Jones, Russell Peters as Aman Dinkley, Melissa Fumero as Sophie, and even Weird Al Yankovic as Dandruff Tuba.
Velma was known (especially online) for taking the concept of the “spin-off” and taking it in a direction that seemingly no-one enjoyed — a quick Google or YouTube search for the show will reveal copious articles and videos regarding the topic, often with millions of views — absolutely trashing the Scooby-Doo reboot show. Apart from the beloved canine Scooby-Doo being noticeably absent, the show was said to indulge far too much in shock-value comedy that tried to incorporate overhanded racial jokes, “inclusion” merely as a prop, and overly sexual, vulgar, and gross humor. Many spoke out on how the series while attempting to come across as “progressive”, instead failed by being the opposite. A frequent gripe was also the fact that there were one-too-many “dick jokes” about “spoiled, rich, and white” Fred Jones’… unfortunately sized weiner.
The series was so panned by the public, that it resulted in the phenomenon deemed “hate-watching” — having become a meme on the internet hated by those on both sides of the political spectrum, individuals allegedly began watching it out of spite — which is where the issue apparently stems.
Recently, it was announced via Deadline that Velma has been greenlit by Warner Bros. Discovery for HBO Max, and the resulting online furor was palpable. Thousands of comments flooded social media, with tweets from outlets like DiscussingFilm announcing the Season 2 greenlight to burst into angry gifs, more memes, speculation, and significantly — blame.
For example, Twitter user @batknight66 calls out the public for potentially giving a hand to the Season 2 greenlight, posting a clip of the DCU’s upcoming The Flash (2023) featuring a young Superman screaming, “what did you do?!”, at Michael Shannon’s General Zod, while adding:
This is what y’all get for hate watching it
This is what y’all get for hate watching it pic.twitter.com/9VCgwanLQd
— BatKnight66 (@batknight66) February 13, 2023
Larry Fisherman posted an amalgamation of distressed, distorted screaming across multiple television properties, including clips from the Breaking Bad, Stranger Things, The Boys and SpongeBob SquarePants franchises:
— Larry Fisherman (@Ob24M) February 13, 2023
User @AlexWritesHype shares:
Amazing that we live in a time where you can make the most universally disliked show of all time but get to keep your job because of the politics.
(continued) “Hatewatching” is not a valid reason for season 2. A streaming show is only succesful if it brings in new subscribers.
Newsflash: People aren’t buying into HBO Max to watch this garbage lol.
"Hatewatching" is not a valid reason for season 2. A streaming show is only succesful if it brings in new subscribers.
Newsflash: People aren't buying into HBO Max to watch this garbage lol.
— Alex | Writing Hype Man (@AlexWritesHype) February 13, 2023
While Johan Carter demands for Warner Bros. to “fire Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling”:
fire Charlie Grandy & Mindy Kaling, HBO
fire Charlie Grandy & Mindy Kaling, HBO pic.twitter.com/UgfId8kE7g
— Johan Carter (@Johan7Carter) February 13, 2023
It’s important to note that despite these calls of “hate-watching” being the sole cause of the additional season, it’s also likely that this was already planned by Warner Bros. and HBO — regardless of reception. These tweets are definitely not the extent of the call-outs and hate that the new animated comedy series is receiving throughout the internet. However, if Season 2 is truly going ahead — it is almost definitely not the last.
Do you think “hate-watching” actually caused HBO to greenlight Velma Season 2? Share your thoughts in the comments below!