RedEye Rogue would like to introduce the first column from our newest contributing editor, Billie X.
Scooby Doo, What the Hell’s Wrong With You?
As per usual, I was backed up with a ridiculous amount of paperwork the other day, so I compensated by thinking in depth about Scooby-Doo: Where Are You? (I’m sure you can relate). I know I don’t have to give you any back story here: if you’re considered conscious by the majority of the medical community, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the show at one point or another.
Here’s what bugs me: You know how in every episode they always get to a point where the gang decides to “split up to look for clues”? I’ve noticed that unless the Globe Trotters or Sonny and Cher have stopped by for a visit, they always split up the same way: Fred, Daphney and Velma go in one direction, and Scooby and Shaggy go the other. You ever watch this happening and think to yourself, “Well that’s just bullshit right there.”
Seriously, this has been bothering me for the better part of three decades now. Why do they always do this? You’d think that they’d have learned in the past forty years that it’s just not getting good results. Sure, they eventually figure out that it was the motel owner in a sheet or a handyman wearing a mask trying to pull off some kind of hoax to buy up useless real estate in West Bum-Fuck Alabama (because that’s how hillbillies think real estate scams work?) but it’s not by any of their own devices, that’s for damn sure. They’ve just been getting lucky up ‘till now and sooner or later, someone’s going to get hurt.
The more I think about it, the more I kind of feel like there’s something mean spirited going on. Consider the group dynamic: Fred’s got a deep voice and perfect posture, so you know he’s the muscle. With those glasses, Velma either pilots a B-17 in her spare time or she’s the smart one. And Daphney’s rocking a purple skirt: I say good for her. In any case, they all have something going for them: the strong one, the smart one or the one the rest of them want to bang (yes, that includes Velma).
Now lets look at Shaggy and Scooby: they’re fucking useless. First off, Shaggy is clearly stoned all the time and it’s a straight-up necessity to have someone there to keep him from eating fatal quantities of lead paint. So obviously they’re going to pair him up with a dog that has an obsessive-compulsive eating disorder. This is their idea of fair? The two of them should have their own court-appointed social worker, but week after week we see them cast out on their own to wander the dimly lit halls of some God-forsaken shit-hole in the middle of Where-The-Hell-Are-We, Pennsylvania with nothing to rely on but their sharpened wit and killer instincts.
For the love of all that’s good and sacred in this world, why the hell would you even bring them on a ghost-hunt to begin with? At the first sign of any kind of trouble, they both have the same well-developed and time-tested strategy of run like hell in pants shitting terror until they find a kitchen that’s (for some reason) stocked full of cold cuts. So now Shaggy’s stoned out of his mind and Scooby’s pumping pure cholesterol through his veins, and they’re both tearing through an abandoned theme park in the middle of the night in a full-out panic. How are they not dead yet? Why not just set them in the van with a bag of Doritos and a copy of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and solve the mystery while they’re passed out?
You know what? Throw Daphney in there as well. I’d be willing to bet that it’s really Fred and Velma carrying the whole team.
Come to think of it, why do they even need to split up? That strikes me as being a load of crap. Remember that they deal with criminals: I’d say there’s an element of danger there. Wouldn’t the concept of strength in numbers outweigh the benefit of doubling the search radius – especially when half the work is being out-sourced to a pothead and a dog that only seems to be able to sniff out snack-bones? It’s like they want something bad to happen to Shaggy and Scooby and that’s just messed up.
In fact, I want to say it’s a little bit racist, but I can’t back that up with anything so let’s move on.
In any case, it seems like a weird dark cloud over what’s otherwise a pretty morally sound children’s show. And the truth is, this isn’t some random thought that just occurred to me; this has been bugging me since I was a child. Why is Scooby-Doo promoting a “cool-kids table” paradigm of social interaction on a Saturday morning cartoon; and what’s more, why doesn’t anybody care? Obviously Shaggy and Scooby are too burned out to give two shits at this point, but you’d think that one of the sober members of Mystery Inc. would have written some kind of memo by now – or at least figured out that there’s more money to be made from the fact that the dog can kind of talk than wandering around through Back-Woods America looking for economically depressed tourist traps to flop at like a bunch of hippy-van driving carpetbaggers (that’s right, I said it: carpetbaggers).
Whatever. No one gives a shit anymore. People say, “Let it go,” “What’s wrong with you?” “Shut up about Scooby-Doo and get back to work” or “Put the gun down; for God’s sake I have a family!” but no one wants to address the real issues here. Well, I’m done with it. I’ll tell you this much right now: If I’m going to spend my precious free-time watching television, it’s going to be something that promotes social harmony and inclusion, like Duck Dynasty.