Friday, January 11, 2013

In defence of Scrappy Doo

At our book group the other night we were discussing children’s TV (as you do at book group!). Someone mentioned Scooby Doo and this was quickly followed by a general dissing of Scrappy Doo, Scooby’s irritating nephew who was added to the cartoon series struggled with drooping ratings in the 80s.

Scrappy Doo is so derided even his own franchise recast him as a villain when they created the live action Scooby Doo movie. He was also lampooned in The Simpsons when they introduced Poochie as a new character to freshen up Itchy and Scratchy, provoking the ire of fans.

However, my friend Bryan bucked this trend, pointing out rather passionately that Scrappy wasn’t all bad. As he said, Scooby and the Gang all started out to solve mysteries, but as soon as spooks or ghouls turned up they screamed and ran away. Scrappy was the only member of the gang who wanted to stick around to take on the ‘monster’.

I’m not saying this insight has completely rehabilitated Scrappy Doo in my mind, but it has made me think more charitably of him. After all, the frequency in which noted cowards Shaggy and Scooby seems to willingly put themselves in danger only to quiver abjectly like jellies when any apparent danger materialises is slightly stupid. If they’re that frightened by old blokes dressed in sheets, why do they keep investigating creepy old fairgrounds, abandoned warehouses, and gothic castles on dark and stormy nights?

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