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TAC Reviews...Scooby Doo, Where are You?

Date Posted: 2/12/19


So as I am continuing to plough my way through Shadow of War and I have barely scratched the surface of Red Dead Redemption 2, I was trying to think of something to review. Recently I re-watched Avatar: The Last Airbender on Amazon Prime, and one of the suggested shows to watch was Scooby Doo, Where are You? These days the cowardly dog has been solving mysteries for forty-odd years but the show began back in 1969 with this Saturday morning cartoon that introduced the world to Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their Great Dane Scooby Doo.


Scooby Doo, Where are You? Title Screen


I doubt anyone reading this is unfamiliar with who Scooby Doo is and have probably seen cartoons, as well as animated and live action movies, but the show began here in the 1969 and was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbara.


The show basically ran with the same premise every week, we see an intro showing something creepy, then the Scooby Gang winds up in the vicinity, usually because their van the Mystery Machine breaks down, runs out of gas, has a flat tyre. Sometimes they are invited there by a friend or family member, the gist is that wherever they end up the local area is being terrorised by some monster or other.


Fred and the gang investigate usually with Fred and Daphne going one way, with Velma, Shaggy and Scooby the other. They encounter the ghost that chases them around for a while, find a couple of clue which ultimately lead them to the conclusion that the ghost is a fake that they eventually capture.


The villain is unmasked, and the infamous line “and I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids” is rolled out every week before Scooby turns to the camera, says his name and the episode ends.


Generally there are a couple of supporting characters, more often than not the person who tells them about the legend of the monster is the one in the costume, other random weirdoes tend to be undercover police officers.


The thing is that the show was always creative with the monsters being imaginative with their own creepy back stories on how and why a ghost is haunting a particular area. I remember finding the Black Knight especially creepy, admittedly that was back when I had just arrived on this planet so didn’t know that a cartoon wasn’t real. The show was spooky enough to entertain both children and adults, and even now I can quite happily settle down to watch it.


It is such an innocent show, Fred is the jock, Daphne is the hot girl, Velma the nerd, Shaggy the geek and Scooby is the dig (obviously). The friendship between Shaggy and Scooby is central to the story with them always rescuing one another and Shaggy and Scooby’s cowardice being the source of most of the comic relief. But that being said none of the gang hesitate to leap into the fray when the others are in danger, Shaggy and Scooby are regularly running back into danger to rescue the other from the various monsters.


Each monster is unique and creative, the villains have no problem being fully mobile in the costumes they have constructed with a short man being more than capable of running around in a real suit of armour.


These days however, I do read a little more into the show now than I did then. These days I strongly suspect that Shaggy is a massive stoner as he always has the munchies and is convinced that Scooby Doo can talk. Likewise Fred and Daphne always seem to go off together but never find anything, leading me to the conclusion that she gets turned on by spooky locations so her and Fred fuck in every dungeon or creepy basement they wind up in, sometimes involving Velma as well.


Thing is being critical of this show is like taking the piss out of a kitten for being cute, there is a reason that Scooby Doo is still going after forty plus years. Personally though I like the classic cartoons like Where are You and The Scooby Doo Show more than any of the more modern versions. They were a real product of the time and have resisted the temptation to change the core of the show in the last few decades.


Yes there are other versions, and other characters were introduced with varying degrees of success, Scooby-Dumb was quite good fun, but Scrappy Doo, Scooby’s nephew was generally more annoying than funny. Daphne joined Shaggy and Scooby for the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo series and the gang have appeared in one form or another over the years.


This is a bit of a short fire review this week because there is not much more to say about this classic of Saturday morning cartoons, if you have Prime then check it out because even now the episodes make me chuckle. Naturally the show gets a Thumbs Up and if you want to see how Scooby Doo first hit the screen then give it a watch.



9/10 – Great show that can still make me laugh. If you want to lean on the side of innocence then just watch the show for what it is, if you want to read more into it then go right ahead because in some ways that makes it funnier.


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© Chris Sharman