Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you? Hopefully not on Netflix

Michael Duckworth doesn't need to do much investigating to realise a Netflix Scooby-Doo adaptation is a bad idea

Michael Duckworth
18th February 2021
Credit: IMDb, Netflix
Netflix’s grand tradition of taking beloved childhood character and giving them an edgy, angsty live-action makeover is one that feels like marmite.

Some people love the teen drama and mysteries of Riverdale and the spooky hellbound antics of Sabrina and their latest venture, Fate: The Winx Saga which has debuted with a mostly positive reception. I, however, am less enthusiastic about their past ventures. They usually only hold my attention for a few episodes before they become background noise to Twitter or video games so at least I can understand any memes that pop up, and write articles complaining about them.

Matthew Lillard and the voice of Neil Fanning in Scooby-Doo, Credit: IMDb

With the release of Winx, obsessive binge-watchers are eagerly anticipating the next butchering of sweet, innocent childhood memories, and while they may take whatever liberties they like with Ben 10 or Jimmy Neutron, they better keep their filthy paws off Scooby-Doo.

The widely beloved Mystery Inc. absolutely do not need an overly dramatic “mature” Netflix adaptation. First of all, the iconic supernatural detectives already have incredible live-action adaptations in Scooby-Doo (2002) and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) and it is my firm belief that no actors could embody the mystery gang better than the main cast of these films.

Netflix has a problem with making the shows too dark, while previous adaptations play with more complex and mature themes (Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated (2010-2013) did a fantastic job of discussing more mature issues for a teenage audience, for example), no one wants to watch Shaggy Rogers battle with a drug problem or watch Fred Jones grapple with a broken home or see Velma Dinkley struggle in an abusive relationship.

The darker themes of Netflix adaptations don't fit within the world of Scooby-Doo

These darker themes don’t fit within the world of Scooby-Doo, where the greatest evil is a greedy ex-gold miner called Old Man Jenkins or a disgruntled janitor trying to bring down his rude boss. There is a way to adapt these stories for an older audience but I do not trust Netflix with the job or it will resemble the melodramatic, exaggerated horrors in Riverdale.

I’m sure everyone can agree that our beloved childhood companions Mystery Inc. deserve better.

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