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Old April 6 2013, 01:46 AM   #23
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Re: Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. - New episodes 3/25

Wow, really an epic finale. One hell of a departure from what one would expect of Scooby-Doo, but some pretty impressive storytelling, and with some nifty in-jokes. (Particularly some Trek nods in Thursday's episode. Fred doing Kirk's "What have I done" in Shatnerian cadence after sacrificing the Mystery Machine -- and Pericles's pain-inducing remote control looking just like an agonizer.)

I'd been uneasy with the injection of what seemed like real supernatural phenomena into the Scooby premise, because a while ago I read a great essay about how the supernatural had no place in the franchise because it's basically a series about kids thinking critically to expose the lies adults tell them, and if there really is something to fear then it's not a lie and it undermines the theme that rationality and skepticism can overcome fear. But I think they handled it fairly well here through Velma's reactions, through the way the story stressed that her skepticism was not folly or blindness but invaluable critical thinking skills which enabled her to adjust to new realities and find explanations for them. And though it was fanciful, they did make an effort to explain it as a consequence of science and multidimensional physics rather than the supernatural.

Moreover, the theme of standing up against liars and manipulative authority figures continued right through the end. The evil entity itself tried to stymie them with lies, but as always, they stood up to the lies and insisted on finding the truth. So although it's a bit iffy, I think the show found a way to incorporate something paranormal into the premise without undermining the basic rationalism that underlies the franchise (and I never would've thought that about it before I read that essay).

As for the ending,

Given that the show was cancelled, it doesn't seem likely that CN would give these same producers another shot at the Scooby franchise; whatever comes next will probably be more conventional and thus less appealing to me. But it'll be interesting to see what these producers do next. I know that Mitch Watson has moved on to Beware the Batman, which is good reason to think that show will be interesting.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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