Spotlight: Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy Share How ‘Velma’ Reflects Modern Times

Everyone’s favorite meddling kids have gotten a makeover, courtesy of Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy.

Kaling and Grandy executive produce “Velma,” which premiered on HBO Max on Jan. 12. A prequel to “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,” the animated series follows Daphne (Constance Wu), Fred (Glenn Howerton), Shaggy (aka Norville, played by Sam Richardson), and, of course, Velma (Kaling) as they embark on one of their most terrifying cases ever: surviving high school. That becomes all the more difficult when a mysterious, brain-snatching serial killer enters the mix, threatening Velma and her friends in Crystal Cove.

Grandy, who also serves as showrunner, explained in an interview with Character Media that he hopes “Velma” will resonate with audiences who watched “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” in their childhoods. “This show really began as a love letter to all of ‘Scooby-Doo’ and our own personal connections to it,” said Grandy. “So, as fans of the show, we tried to create a show that fans would also really like, really focusing on updating the comedy and the horror for adults who’ve grown up with the franchise.”

Emphasis on “adults.” “Velma” is no kids show, with plenty of mature themes that audiences are unlikely to remember from the original “Scooby-Doo” series. According to Kaling, those darker elements create a heightened setting for the show. “[Charlie and I] really wanted it to be legitimately scary with a really good mystery,” Kaling said. “We are used to now seeing stories with young protagonists in tightened, stakes-y situations, and we wanted to put Velma in those situations and have her triumph and struggle. It’s an adult show because we wanted the crimes to be scary and dangerous.”

For more, watch our interview with Kaling and Grandy above. Then, head to HBO Max to check out “Velma!”