New HBO Max series Velma has clearly rubbed some people the wrong way, as it appears the Scooby-Doo prequel show has been review bombed on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. Reactions to the first two episodes of the Velma Dinkley origin story have been making their way online since the series’ debut yesterday (January 12, 2023), but is there any good reason for people being so mad? Or is this another case of those who haven’t even watched the show jumping on a bandwagon because of change?
Velma HBO Max series hit with review bombing
At the time of writing, Velma has an audience score of just 9% based on 924 user ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, in comparison to its 50% from critics. There have also been over 2,800 star ratings given on IMDb, where Velma currently sits with an average score of 2.5 out of 10. This has led many to thinking that the changes made, such as having an Asian Velma, a South Asian Daphne, and a Black Shaggy, have resulted in the backlash.
Of course, there is also the chance that the show may just not be to the taste of the majority who have watched it. Journalist Emmanuel Gomez of LRMOnline tweeted his thanks for the show, “for reminding me that Scooby-Doo is the star of the gang.” He said that Velma’s “meta approach is overbearing at times,” and that “it’s just bad.”
Diversity in material based on franchises that have existed for some time has often led to this sort of reaction. Amazon’s Lord of the Rings spinoff series for example, The Rings of Power, received so much negative attention that Amazon had to suspend reviews, and author Neil Gaiman stepped in to defend the show. It’s not a new phenomena, but it’s definitely one that is way overdue coming to an end.