Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ruh Roh

I have a confession to make: I never really liked Scooby-Doo.

OK, that's a bit unfair. I like Scooby-Doo. I've watched it and I enjoy it and it is deservedly considered a classic. Let's just say that I've always found something a about it, that's all.

First off, it was never really all that unpredictable. We all knew that there were never any real ghosts. We all knew that whoever owned the house/property/evil dude was most likely a fake ghost. And while Daphne and Fred would be the competent if uncreative leads and Velma the brains, Shaggy and Scooby would always be there to screw it up yet be the ones to actually solve the mystery by accidentally leaning on a bookshelf or sniffing a canister of pepper and sneezing the glow-in-the-dark dust right off Mr. Jones, the cryptically silent groundskeeper. No M. Night Shamalan bullshit for the Mystery Gang.

I never liked Fred. He was too alpha-dog for me. And Daphne seemed like a nice enough girl, but a bit of dead weight if you ask me. And Velma was pretended to be all smarty-pants but you and I both know she went home every night after getting dropped off by the Mystery Machine and cried herself to sleep eating cherry cordials, drinking box wine, and watching The Holiday. And don't get me started on Shaggy, that unshaven proto-hippie getting Scooby hooked on Scooby Snacks. And just who do you think was the sole distributor of Scooby Snacks? Yeah, that's what I thought. And let's all agree to never speak of Scrappy-Doo again.

Of course, if the show were to be created today, they wouldn't be "mystery solvers," but straight up paranormal hunters. Let's let that sink in for a moment: Scooby and Shaggy single-handedly created a genre that people take 100% seriously today. (OK, maybe not single-handedly, but c'mon. These guys weren't looking for D.B. Cooper or looking for the Shroud of Turin, they were looking for spooks with the Harlem Globetrotters.)

Perhaps I'm being unfair. It's a cartoon, after all, and it's not like other cartoons were exactly paragons of virtue and common sense, either. I've just never found the Mystery Gang's personalities to be all that appealing, and I can't really get behind a group that, more often than not, succeeded not due to their own abilities, but dumb luck or sheer clumsy incompetence instead.

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