HBO Max’s Velma is here and queer, with the character’s sexuality being one of many talking points for viewers since the first two episodes of the new series were released last week. As you may have guessed, this article will contain spoilers.
Velma as a character has always had her sexuality speculated about since Scooby-Doo’s early beginnings. Unlike Daphne, she has never really shown any romantic interest in any of her male friends, and seemed far more bothered about solving the mystery of each episode. While not exactly groundbreaking now, at the time it did lend a few fans the clues needed to wonder if Velma was sapphic.
In HBO Max’s Velma, that speculation has been given an answer in the form of Velma and Daphne’s (who is voiced by Constance Wu) budding relationship which culminated into a kiss in the series second episode. It isn’t the first time that Velma has been confirmed as queer, but it is the first time that Velma and Daphne’s relationship has been portrayed as something more than friendship.
According to Mindy Kaling’s interview with Variety, who works as the executive producer and the voice of Velma, the exploration of Velma’s sexuality has been a “gift” for her and the team. Charlie Grandy, creator of the show, also added that they faced “no resistance” in how they wanted to portray Velma’s origin story, sexuality and all.
In this iteration of the Scooby-Doo gang (which is lacking in the Scooby, unfortunately), Velma and Daphne started as best friends-turned-enemies after the loss of Velma’s mother and Daphne began hanging out in more popular-girl circles. This effectively tore their relationship apart, but after the kiss of episode 2, where can the two go from there?
“That kiss was going to be something big, so how can it also serve this larger story?” Grandy told Variety. One thing that the creator did confirm that it wouldn’t be homophobia that would keep the two characters apart. “Stories where the obstacles in their relationship are their own personal issues. I didn’t really want it to be an external thing of ‘You can’t date each other.’ It’s much more interesting, especially from a comedic standpoint. These are two young, very strong-willed, opinionated, smart characters, and they just keep bumping heads on various issues.”
HBO Max’s Velma may have given fans a romantic iteration of Velma and Daphne’s relationship, but that hasn’t stopped the show from receiving mixed feelings from viewers. There seems to be a variety of reasons for why the series hasn’t quite hit the spot for fans of Scooby-Doo, but after watching the first two episodes ourselves, its easy to see why people aren’t pleased about how cynical and downright conservative these characters have become. No longer do they seem to have their own personalities, instead warped into crude robots to spout jokes about #MeToo and sexualize high school students. Harley Quinn: Animated Series this show is not.
Will the show evolve into something worth watching by the time the last episode runs? Only time will tell.