Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Mystery Incorporated - Welcome to Coolsville

There are several issues when attempting a live-action adaptation of Scooby-Doo. When taking the characters out of a half-hour cartoon and placing them in a feature film or ongoing hour-long drama, you have to think about why this unusual collection of meddling kids (none of whom look high-school age) are actually hanging out together. The solution for the Mystery Incorporated series is to kill off a couple of parents and bring together the group to solve the mystery. That means for most of this first episode the characters are left on their own various, not all that interesting, subplots that almost all revolve around some kind of bullying at the school.

Making the decision to use a real dog, rather than CGI, and not have him talk takes the most famous member of Mystery, Inc. out of the show as anything more than a periphery character. Also troubling is the series ignoring the basic tenant of classic Scooby-Doo cartoons being that monsters are not real and every ghost, demon, or vampire the meddling kids ran across on their classic adventures always had a real-life explanation (a rubber mask, wires, fog machine, etc.). Making the same mistakes as the Scooby-Doo live-action films, Mystery Incorporated chooses to make demons real (although the look of the various demons we see certainly attempts to stay true to the style of classic monsters).

The creation of our gang begins with the recently orphaned Fred (co-creator and director Dade Elza) teaming up with the brainy Velma (Dayeanne Hutton, often seen wearing glasses without lenses) who also believes one of her parents was killed by the demon which Fred saw. We also get the bitchy rich girl Daphne (Jessica Chancellor), along with her equally unlikable boyfriend (James Tolbert), and her campaign to win homecoming queen, and the reluctant drug-dealing Shaggy (Chris Villain) getting dragged back into a life he was trying to leave behind. "Welcome to Coolsville" ends with Shaggy and Daphne aware of the odd events in the unfortunately named Coolsville but having not yet been pulled into Fred and Velma's investigation.

  • Title: Mystery Incorporated - Welcome to Coolsville
  • IMDb: link

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