Thoughts & Essays

Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated

I’m pretty full up on pandemic misery, fires, catastrophic flooding, murder hornets, earthquakes, and other biblical signs of the encroaching End Times, so let’s talk about something else today.

I spent the past weekend and part of this week binging Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated, the 2010-2013 Scooby cartoon, and, um. Well. That was a thing I did. Not sure it was a good thing?

It was kind of like watching a brightly colored, slow-moving train wreck.

It was a weird cartoon, you guys. A handful of episodes were, bare minimum, seriously culturally insensitive, if not outright racist. I’m pretty sure these episodes/characters were meant to be parodies and/or homages to other genres of film, but… yeah. Huh. Also, the cartoon was pretty sexist. To women and men. It was kind of… tongue-in-cheek sexist? Like, I think that was the tone they were going for? I think they thought they were being funny? But it didn’t quite land, at least not for me.

But in between all the sexism and racism and whatnot, there was just a whole big-ass pile of weirdness. Like it got all Lovecraftian up in there towards the end of the series, and the next thing I knew I was hip-deep in multiverse theory and parallel dimensions and monstrous horrors from outside time and space and bizarre conspiracy theories made real. And it was cool, don’t get me wrong, but also, Scooby Doo is not where I go for that flavor of shit.

I must say, the art in this cartoon, particularly the background art, was spectacular. Frequently just gorgeous.

Anyway, if you’re willing to slog through occasional fits of cultural insensitivity and racism trying to be homages to old film genres and attempts at making fun of sexism that fall flat, it might be worth checking Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated out for the profound and – gotta be honest here – kinda fun weirdness.

The show’s on Netflix. You can watch it here.