dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

I, like, love a mystery.....

In order to explain why it is that I don't care for the latest version of the long-running Scooby-Doo franchise, I'd like to take a bit of a side-trip off the comics page and onto the small screen.  I'll start by more or less giving you the Secret Origin of Mystery Incorporated. What a lot of the younger set don't realize is that the whole meddling-kids genre had started pretty much when people really started to object to the rock'em-sock'em superheroics Hanna-Barbera was known for in the mid-sixties; Standards and Practices (i.e. the network censors) told the studio that people were starting to worry that all the violence their kids were subjected to was warping them. Their solution was to do what they always did: bludgeon a sitcom into submission and graft a hook on it. Just as "The Honeymooners + Cavemen = The Flintstones" and "Blondie + Space Travel = The Jetsons", so would "Dobie Gillis + Mysteries" equal a project with the working title "Mysteries Five". What they conceived of was a pop combo consisting of five teenagers (Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda and W.W.) and their comic sidekick sheepdog Too Much (a sort of proto-Farley); the reason for the group's name is that they  solved mysteries in between gigs. The problem was, of course, that the artwork they came up with still scared the crap out of the gang down at S&P. Since the studio needed to get this project on the airwaves, they did a bit of a retooling. First thing was that the Mysteries Five stopped being a pop combo and turned into a group of kids who, for reasons beyond their control, got waylaid by costumed jackassery when they were in a hurry to get some place. Next, Too Much was changed into a goofy, cowardly and somewhat misshapen Great Dane, Geoff and Mike were merged into a character named Ronnie, Kelly became Daphne, Linda was renamed Velma and W.W. became Shaggy while the show itself became "Who's S-S-Scared?" The idea was to focus on Too Much and Shaggy as they did the sort of comic pratfalls running from dudes in rubber masks messing with them that we've come to expect; the final touches to the comic mystery show came from Fred Silverman. First, he'd insisted that Ronnie's name become Freddy as a condition to greenlight the thing; second, he'd renamed Too Much "Scooby Doo" and, since he was the tentpole character, named the show after him. Since Scooby had no real interest in tangling with the baddie, ghost or now, he could be counted on to not step up and they'd have to ask "Scooby Doo, where are you?" The world has never been the same again because he's pretty much the main character of the Hanna-Barbera cosmos. 

Tags: mysteries five
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