The Most Controversial Show Of 2023 Is Renewed For Another Season
Mindy Kaling's hated Velma series on HBO Max is coming back for a season 2.
Eric Bischoff, a television producer and most importantly, former World Championship Wrestling executive, has said that “controversy creates cash.” The man responsible for turning Hulk Hogan into a villain certainly knows what it takes to get fans angry enough that they keep watching, but not so angry that they stop altogether. 25 years later and the former wrestling executive is bound to be proud of the work Mindy Kaling has done in getting Velma season 2 greenlit at HBO according to a new report from Deadline.
Mindy Kaling’s adult cartoon that re-imagines the classic gang from Scooby-Doo has received, well, to call it a “mixed reception” would have required positive reviews. Velma has already gone down in history as one of the worst shows of all-time, animated or not, making the threat of a season 2 seem like HBO is declaring war on its fans. Changes to the classic characters resulted in a backlash so large, so pervasive that HBO turned off comments on the series’ teaser trailer.
Velma season 2 will see the continuing adventures of Fred (Glenn Howerton), the rich white male that’s a little dim-witted, Daphne (Constance Wu) the former best friend with complicated feelings for Velma, and Norville (Sam Richardson), the anti-drug new best friend that is never referred to by his nickname, Shaggy. Velma is voiced by Mindy Kaling, and in a shock to those that have followed her career, has redesigned the character as a South Asian bisexual but still pursuing the rich, white male character.
In today’s polarized country, it’s rare for a consensus to be reached among those that profess to be on the right or the left of the nation’s politics. Yet in Velma, and likely continuing with season 2, critics on both sides of the political spectrum have found a common enemy. A show can only achieve a 1.4 rating on IMDB if everyone hates it.
Mindy Kaling has given multiple interviews stating that she doesn’t care about the reception to Velma and is in fact, likely to double-down with season 2. The former writer of The Office had grand plans for the character, proclaiming the newly lesbian character to be an icon for gay youth in advance of the series actually airing. In doing so, Kaling put her foot in her mouth with the in-universe treatment of the character’s sexuality not matching up to the pre-airing press blitz.
While Mindy Kaling doesn’t care about the bad reviews for Velma, which even come from the LGBT community, those same fans have started re-examining her entire career and finding tendencies in Kaling’s writing that are remarkably consistent. Every single one of her Indian female characters is considered to be unattractive in some way, has no desire to date anyone but white men, and is always written as the smartest in the room. Velma season 2 may be hated, and might hit all of her usual stereotypes, but Warner Bros. Discovery doesn’t care as somehow, the series has been a giant viewing hit.
Enough people hate watched Velma that season 2 became inevitable after the premiere set a record for viewers. Despite critically low marks across the board, and Mindy Kaling’s career taking irreversible damage, season 2 will likely also bring in a record amount of viewers.