Mar. 31st, 2015

polychrome_pen: (Sokka rainbows)
 I have to admit, I never thought I would admit to unabashedly enjoying a Scooby Doo show.  Prior to now, my only experience with Scooby-Doo as a franchise was catching old episodes on my Grandparents' cable when I was sick as a kid and stayed home from school.

But Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated isn't just good for a Scooby Doo show.  It might be the best thing I've watched so far this year.  I can hear the cries of shock, I know.  You say, "But Ry, Scooby Doo is a weird 70s relic about mystery-solvin' teens and their hungry great dane - not good television."  And before finishing Mystery Incorporated, I would have agreed with you!  Such is the power of this show.

You see, for the first time in 40+ years, the characters actually have character.  Sure, Fred is all about traps, Shaggy and Scooby eat a lot, Daphne gets captured, and Velma is the genius who looses her glasses and says "Jinkies!".  But this go around, the creators were actually allowed to create interpersonal relationships and conflcts.  The show starts out with Shaggy and Velma dating, and progresses to add Fred and Daphne into the mix.  The interpersonal relationships between the characters are never static, and it always takes into account material from the preceeding episodes.  The gang are given parents for the first time, too, and live in a town called Crystal Cove that bills itself "The Most Haunted Place on Earth" and depends on monster tourism.  So when they unmask criminals who could be potential tourist draws, they really are "meddling kids!"  Genius.

This is without even mentioning all the delicious backstory. It starts with another group calling themselves Mystery Incorporated who disappeared in the caves beneath the town twenty years ago, and goes all the way back to ancient Mayan prophecy.  Every episode has a more or less self-contained mystery, but the writers deftly weave the central mystery in and out through most of the episodes.  Suffice to say the climax of S2 is epic and an incredible payoff.  I mean, Velma brings up string theory in the final few episodes.  How is that not amazing?

The show is full of hilarious sci-fi and horror references and great voice acting too.  Fred and Scooby are voiced by the one-of-a-kind Frank Welker, who is an animation voice-acting legend and has been portraying these characters for something like 40 years.  For the Monster High/Ever After High crowd, Kate Higgins (Frenkie Stein/Briar Beauty) voices the mayor in the second season, which was a fun treat.  Patrick Warburton turns in a great performance as the Sheriff.

So yeah, apparently I totally fell in love with a Scooby-Doo show.  I'm actually afraid to go and check out any of the other material produced for this franchise, though, because I know it won't be as good as what I've just finished.  And ye gods, I totally want to get a little bit of merchandise for my toy collection now. >_<

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