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What Parents Should Know Before Letting Their Kids Watch HBO Max's Velma

HBO Max's "Velma" proves that the trend of reinventing classic kids' properties for an entirely new modern audience is still alive and well. Similar to how shows like "Wednesday" and "Nancy Drew" provided new takes on old icons, "Velma" serves as yet another reinvention of the "Scooby-Doo" franchise. This time, however, the action centers on the eponymous glasses-wearing sleuth that often serves as the brains of Mystery Incorporated in other iterations. As Velma notes in the show's opening monologue: "This is my story, told my way."

Indeed, "Velma" may be a "Scooby-Doo" spin-off, but even taking a brief glance at the series reveals that it goes in a very different direction with the classic animated property. The goofy great dane himself isn't even present this time around, and that's still one of the show's less egregious differences from other "Scooby-Doo" series. Before parents sit down to watch a few episodes of "Velma" with their kids, there's a couple of things they might like to know about the show and the nature of its content.

Velma features a lot of mature content

Don't let the attachment to the "Scooby-Doo" IP fool you — HBO Max's "Velma" is decidedly not a children's show. The series has a rating of TV-MA, indicating that it is intended for adults and may be unsuitable for audiences under the age of 17 years old (via IMDb). As becomes immediately clear from its opening, "Velma" does nearly everything in its power to earn that mature rating.

It's only a minute into the "Velma" pilot before viewers are treated to the image of two cartoonish cockroaches having sex. This sequence is followed by Daphne and her high school classmates taking showers in the girls' locker room. There's partial nudity on display along with verbal references to sex. The group then discovers a lobotomized corpse missing its brain, emphasizing that the show won't be skimping on gore either.

The content remains risqué throughout the rest of the series. Characters swear frequently. Norville, this show's version of Shaggy, is an out-and-out stoner who smokes. Velma finds herself juggling attractions to Daphne and Fred, among other characters. Even the frights can get unexpectedly intense, trading in some classic ghost shenanigans for disturbing sequences involving Velma's panic attacks.

In terms of content, "Velma" features all of the mature elements one would expect out of an adult TV show. Parents may find it more comparable to other adult animated series like "Rick and Morty" and "Harley Quinn" rather than anything from the typical slate of Saturday morning cartoons.