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AMX's Thoughts-Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated by AMX-269 AMX's Thoughts-Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated by AMX-269
Hmm...a series with an ongoing storyline featuring the classic Scooby-Doo archetypes and a sinister supernatural entity that ends up affecting all their lives. Why does that sound familiar...? www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlEb3L…

But in all seriousness, here's why Mystery Skulls works: you know exactly what it's an homage to. Vivi, Arthur, Mystery, and Lewis are clearly based on Daphne/Velma, Shaggy, Scooby, and Fred, and the overall setting looks like something out of a classic Scooby-Doo episode. But as the video goes on, the story takes a different turn than what is normally expected; not only that, but things are kept just vague enough that you actually want to know more about these characters and what happens next.

So yes, clearly an ongoing overall story can work in a Scooby-Doo setting. And, honestly, it does work in "Mystery Incorporated." Unfortunately, the story is sometimes lost to the admittedly awful Flanderization of Fred, Daphne, and Velma. In this version, Fred is a dumb jock who is absolutely obsessed with traps. Okay, yes, Fred did make traps in previous shows too, but not only did he not think about traps 24/7, he wasn't a complete doofus. Daphne, meanwhile, gets along a little better, save for her now being blatantly in love with Fred, and desperately hoping he'll take the hint (spoiler alert: he does, but it takes him a really long time).

And then there's Velma. Hoo boy. Velma definitely suffered the worst in this show. Now the idea of Velma being in a relationship with Shaggy isn't necessarily a bad thing. If handled properly, it could work. This show didn't handle it properly, and therefore it didn't work. For some reason, in this show, Velma is now also obsessed about being in a relationship; however, her romantic relationship with Shaggy is extremely problematic. Not only does she try to change Shaggy's clothing choices and mannerisms to suit her needs, as well freaking out whenever Shaggy doesn't want to do something exclusively with her, but she actually tries to make Shaggy choose between her and Scooby, his dog. This doesn't make Velma look cute or endearing; it makes her look insecure at best, and abusive at worse. Trying to change a significant other's bad habit is one thing; throwing a tantrum when he says he doesn't want to go to a school dance is quite another.

That being said, when the show actually decides to focus on everything other than the cliche teenage romance nonsense, there's actually a very intriguing story to be found. By the time each episode ends, it's hard to tell which characters can be trusted, and you're trying to fill in the blanks about what exactly happened to the original Mystery Incorporated. The show does pay proper homages to previous series as well, including old favorites like the Hex Girls and Vincent Van Ghoul, as well as Shaggy's dad being voiced by Casey Kasem (in pretty much his last role, no less). Even the gang goes through noticeable character development throughout the series, to the point where they end up much different than how they began. The show's overall antagonist, Professor Pericles, is also a big plus; say what you want about the show, but it did manage to make a three foot parrot with a German accent genuinely intimidating.

So, in conclusion: is this show perfect? Absolutely not. Does that make it irredeemable? I don't think so. And for those who think it gets too dark at times...let's be honest, this isn't the first time Scooby-Doo dove into more straight-up horror (remember "Zombie Island" and "The Witch's Ghost," or even "The Scooby-Doo Project," where it's implied that the gang were straight-up murdered?). Compared to what's come before and after this series, "Mystery Incorporated" is definitely one of the highlights in Scooby-Doo's long catalog. At the very least, in this show, the characters aren't drawn in that stupid Seth MacFarlane style.

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:iconcommandravage:
commandravage Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2016  Student Artist
honestly I think the romance part of the show sorta fit in since it showed that the gang was still in like highschool which is where most people start to date, in the past scooby doo series like the original and what's new scooby doo seem to portray the gang as early adults like in their mid 20s
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:iconamx-269:
AMX-269 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2016   Writer
Actually, even in the first cartoon, the gang have always been teenagers. Evidently, the series bible for "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You" lists their ages as 17 for Shaggy and Fred, 16 for Daphne, and 15 for Velma (Scooby is 7 years old). 

And I do agree that the romances could have worked had they been presented effectively. Unfortunately, Daphne's crush on Fred became her defining characteristic, while it took Fred way too long to realize Daphne had feelings for him, even if he did eventually reciprocate. Velma, meanwhile, just comes off as controlling and manipulative in her romantic relationship with Shaggy, which isn't going to endear her to anyone. Like I said, trying to change a bad habit of your significant other is one thing; however, it seemed like if Shaggy tried to make any decisions for himself, Velma would freak out. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's not how a healthy relationship works.

And all this is frustrating to me, because when all the romance stuff isn't at the forefront, the gang are fine as characters in this. But apparently, even Joe Ruby and Ken Spears don't like the series, claiming it was "too cynical." Uh huh. And having the gang star in a direct homage to "The Blair Witch Project" and having it end with the gang missing at best, killed at worst, is totally not a downer.
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:iconcommandravage:
commandravage Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2016  Student Artist
okay, I accepted all of what you've laid down for me but seriously? the gang are all still teenagers in "where are you" that's some real disbelieving stuff there. I wonder if it's the same for "what's new scooby doo"
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:iconamx-269:
AMX-269 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2016   Writer
From what I could tell, yes, the gang have always been teenagers.
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:iconcommandravage:
commandravage Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2016  Student Artist
dang, always figured they were like young adults not teenagers
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