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Velma? What About Daria, Louise, and Helga?

We love the idea of a Scooby-less series focused on his pal Velma, so we concocted similar hypothetical spinoffs.

When Velma premieres tonight on HBO Max™, it will make history as the first Scooby-Doo spinoff to focus on a character other than the dog and his best friend, Shaggy. And, since the animated series is a prequel to the 43-year-old franchise, it’s notable for excluding Scooby.

But does the franchise character always need to be the focus? Velma aims to prove otherwise by putting the level-headed, whip-smart Velma Dinkley (voiced by Mindy Kaling) have the spotlight. We’re here for it, of course, ‘cause you know how much we love finding fresh perspectives and stories in familiar pop-culture properties.

Velma Dinkley holds a magnifying glass while monster hands reach out from the walls surrounding her.

(Photo: HBO)

Daria Morgendorffer, Daria

“Heh-heh-mm-heh-heh! Guess what, Butt-head? Daria already had her own show.”

Huh-huh, yeah, Beavis. We know all about Daria, the mid-90s Beavis and Butt-head spinoff that was, in hindsight, too jarring a gear-change for fans of Mike Judge’s vacuous dillholes.

But it’s 2023. Women are on the come-up, and Beavis and Butt-head is on its second reboot. How about giving their acerbic, astute Daria Morgendorffer another shot?

We don’t have to wish. In 2018, MTV Entertainment Studios announced a planned Daria & Jodie series. Within a year, the project became all about Jodie Landon. While we’re disappointed at the exclusion of Daria, we’re all for Jodie, which follows Daria’s smart, large-hearted, and occasionally snarky high-school friend as an adult.

Unfortunately, in May 2022, MTV Entertainment Studios announced Jodie morphed into an animated film. That’s the last news we’ve seen about the project. Hopefully, it’s still happening—and it’ll renew interest in a series featuring both characters.

Jodie Landon and Daria Morgendorffer in a scene from Daria

Jodie Landon and Daria Morgendorffer (Photo: MTV)

Fan-fiction folderol

If you don’t like when people mess with the canon of your favorite movie or TV franchises, don’t read these articles:

Louise Belcher, Bob’s Burgers

Some rabbit-eared, 9-year-old kids want to watch the world burn—with popcorn. So, what kind of adult would the gleefully diabolical Louise Belcher become?

Did your mind play a dark, scary trailer where Belcher looks like something out of Donnie Darko? ‘Cause dark is the only direction we see this one going.

Don’t get us wrong; Louise is smart and scrappy enough to do anything she wants—we just don’t see her using her powers for good. So any Louise Belcher spinoff has “Netflix horror-comedy” written all over it.

We think Louise could take up her dad’s spatula and run Bob’s Burgers while laundering her money from an illicit side hustle and serving mystery meat to her customers. Today’s special: The Long Pig Fleshburger with Jimmy Pesto bacon.

Louise Belcher in a scene from Bob's Burgers

Louise Belcher (Photo: FOX)

Helga Pataki, Hey Arnold!

Arnold “Football Head” Shortman’s nemesis/admirer Helga Pataki is more than a supporting character—just ask her. But don’t laugh when you ask, or you’re in for a knuckle sandwich.

Helga’s lousy disposition stems from her home life, where the rest of the Patakis—depressed mom, workaholic dad, and golden-child older sister—ignore the intelligent, talented girl. Helga’s unrequited crush on Arnold might further explain her spiciness.

The Helga character is ripe for a spinoff, and (as with Daria & Jodie) one nearly happened. The Patakis would’ve been darker than Hey Arnold!, which isn’t much of a surprise, but that’s why Nickelodeon ultimately rejected the show.

Given that darkness, we think Helga should partner up with another 9-year-old—Louise Belcher—for a Helga & Louise dramedy. Or why not indulge their sinisterness and send them on a Natural Born Killers rampage? Oh, yeah, that’s the big-money idea. Someone set up a meeting between Nickelodeon and Oliver Stone.

Helga Pataki in a scene from Hey Arnold!

Helga Pataki (Photo: Nickelodeon)

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