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If there’s a genre I love with all my heart, then it’s the detective-mystery genre. Books, movies, TV series — I lap them all up. I grew up wanting to be Nancy Drew and to meet my own Hardy Boy. If Harry Potter wasn’t so spectacular, Sherlock Holmes would be my number 1 fictional series.

Scooby Doo and Gang

Out of all of the detective mystery stories I’ve read and watched, however, nothing holds a soft spot in my heart more than Scooby Doo and his ragtag group of friends. I remember catching a random episode and pining for my mother to install cable so I could watch it. Alas, she refused and my heart broke. I think the internet wasn’t so commercial then so I couldn’t just go online, search, and download. I contented myself with catching random episodes.

When Studio 23 started airing episodes, I made sure to watch every single episode I could. By then, I was in my teens. That’s just how much I love this adorable bunch. Scooby Doo has had a lot of incarnations (the most recent one being theĀ Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated series), but for me, the heart of this show will forever be the bond between Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby.

Classic Scooby Gang

Classic Scooby Gang vs. ....

the "updated" Scooby Gang

... the "updated" Scooby Gang

It’s a simple show with a pretty simple plot and straightforward execution. The Scooby gang (not to be confused with Buffy’s Scooby gang) lands in the middle of a suspenseful, ghost-filled mystery, which they try to solve — Fred using his traps, Velma using her brains, Daphne using her gut, and Scooby and Shaggy using their inordinate timing — before ultimately catching the bad guy and proving that he was a real person imitating a ghost or a monster.

Daphne

Daphne

I think the simplicity made it work. And it’s a big part of why I love the series. It’s a classic cartoon. Daphne has always been my favorite, because even if she’s a damsel in distress, she tries her hardest not to be one. I think my love of the color purple somehow stemmed from her.

They’ve made a reincarnation recently, and I’ve found out (through Googling) that they’ve changed a lot of stuff from the original, from the characters to the storyline. They changed the look to be more retro and cartoon-y. It doesn’t evoke the nostalgia of cartoons from the past, but has been stylized to look a bit more like modern cartoons. They’ve even updated the cast’s wardrobe (somewhat). Maybe it’s a small thing to change their eye shapes or eye colors, but to me who grew up watching these characters, it’s a pretty big change. It’s as if these are whole new people, and I’m trying to find in them the characters I grew to love. Also, they’re trying to incorporate a bigger, season-arc mystery in the story as well as focusing on character growth and real-life relationships. That’s a good thing — if this was a teen melodrama.

Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated

The New Series: Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated

But it’s not. It’s a cartoon, and they’re changing what made it a classic in the first place. I find that their (producers’) actions in attempting to make it more relevant to today’s target audience (by adding drama, drama, drama) is just destroying my Scooby Doo. They’re trying to add misplaced gravitas when what made Scooby a hit in the first place was because it was so fun and easy to watch. Sure, it became a routine — but one which was enjoyable to follow.

I’d rather watch a Scooby Doo trying to string a few words and mumble them with his rolling R’s than one who’s able to form complete sentences and communicate well. That first one is my Scooby Doo — the bumbling Great Dane with his equally bumbling friends.

To those curious about the new series, here’s a clip of Mystery Incorporated‘s preview:

It’s just not the same, isn’t it?

And to all those who feel like me, here’s a throwback to the Scooby Doo we all love: