Mindy Kaling's Velma to have "no dog, no van," and a Velma of East Asian descent

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Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling

HBO Max released some new details about its upcoming adult animated series Velma today, giving fans a little more info about series creator and star Mindy Kaling’s take on iconic cartoon crime-solver Velma Dinkley. The most immediately grabbing news, of course, was—per The Mary Sue—that the show’s version of Velma will be of East Asian descent, matching Kaling’s own ethnicity. (Needless to say, the parts of the internet who always get mad about changes like this have now achieved their usual volcano of intolerance.) But Kaling’s changes to the Velma formula also have a much more interesting shift to them, as Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, revealed during a presentation at the The TV Kids Summer Festival: The series is set to feature “no dog,” and “no van.”

That’s a far more radical alteration to the formula, given that Velma originates from a series that, one might argue, is “all dog,” in the form of terrifying canine mutant Scooby-Doo. You could even go so far as to suggest that Velma was created primarily to provide a stark contrast to the famously articulate-but-not-as-articulate-as-would-be-ideal animal, employing logic and rational skepticism to solve problems that ol’ Scoob might tackle by eating a very large sandwich. Even properties that radically alter or parody the Mystery Inc. gang—like DC Comics’ Scooby Apocalypse, or The Venture Bros.’ Manson-family-ish spin on the franchise—don’t usually get rid of the dog. It’d be like having a Daria without her Beavis, or Butthead. Which, okay, that’s Daria, so maybe we should keep an open mind here.

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Ascheim did note that the core four human character of the franchise will all be intact, although god only knows how they’re going to meet up with each other without a van. No word yet on when Velma—which was announced back in February, along with the Clone High revival—is expected to land at HBO Max.