Folks have had questions ever since HBO Max announced its not-for-kids Scooby-Doo spin-off Velma in February. The main question being “Ok???” More details emerged at The TV Kids Summer Festival (despite the show not being for kids). Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics gave some hits as to the shape of the show. According to The Mary Sue, Ascheim said Kaling “was excited to reimagine what Scooby-Doo would be like if Velma were of East Asian descent and lived in a different world.” Ascheim also said the new show would have “there’s no dog and no van but we have our 4 key characters through a different lens and I think it’s great.”
So to recap: Velma will feature Daphne, Freddie, Velma, and Shaggy but no Scooby-Doo. That’s a major Scooby-Don’t. A new take on Velma that makes the world of Mystery Inc. more diverse is great. No qualms. No van? No problem. Even a show without Shaggy and Scoob would be chill. The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo omitted Velma and Fred (but kept the van), so Velma could take place simultaneously and still exist in the same canon. But the main thing Shaggy brings to the table is that he speaks dog, kinda. If there’s no dog, wherefore Shaggy?