I’m a hard core Scooby fan from way back. You had to be hard core back in the day. There were no DVRs back then. If you overslept on Saturday, it was game over until the re-runs came on. And now thanks to my own meddling kids, I’ve been able to watch them all over again along with all the live action movies (including the Cartoon Network made-for-tv ones) and most of the the more recent animated incarnations. Point is, I know my Scooby-Doo, and the latest series, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, which premiered on Cartoon Network on October 5, 2015, is easily the funniest and best one yet. Aaron and I, especially, are getting a huge kick out of it.
Mystery Incorporated, which aired from 2010-2013, had some things going for it, but the creators were way too heavy handed and self-consciously post-modern about it (you can read my full review here). Be Cool, Scooby-Doo, in marked contrast, manages to be hip and stay true to the spirit of the original. For example, tonight we watched episode 9, “Screama Donna.” In it the gang poses as a band in order to uncover the ghost of a past performer who is haunting the venue. Taking the stage for a sound check, the gang is surprised when Shaggy picks up the guitar (A Vox teardrop, no less) and starts wailing. Shaggy responds:
“Like what? Aren’t you guys musicians too? I thought I was the lead guitarist in our band. Why else do we drive around in the van everywhere? Right Scoob?”
Scoob, however, doesn’t answer as he’s too busy laying down some cool bass lines. Mixed in with this sort of humor, however, are the tropes we all know and love, including a song/chase scene interlude and unmasking at the end, which, in this episode is turned into an awesome homage to School House Rocks. “Entertain us in an informative way!” yells one member of the audience to prompt a somewhat reluctant Velma to begin the song. Indeed. Oh, and did I mention they finally figured out what to do with Daphne? This is not only the best Scooby of recent years, it may be the best Scooby period. Rock on.