The guilty pleasures of Scooby-Doo

February 15, 2012

When I’m totally honest about it, I can admit that Phil and I watch too much Scooby-Doo, the animated TV show about four mystery-solving teenagers and their Great Dane. But when I’m feeling slightly defensive, rationalizations abound.

To start with, there is, “Carl Sagan endorsed it, so it must be good.” Sagan presumably knew a thing or two about compelling, worthwhile videography, as he starred in the TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage and wrote the novel on which the movie Contact was based. In his book The Demon-Haunted World, Sagan praised Scooby-Doo for consistently showing that paranormal events have rational explanations.

Then there’s the nostalgia angle. We’ve been watching the What’s New, Scooby-Doo? incarnation of the show (2002-05) in which the character of Velma was voiced by Mindy Cohn, and Shaggy was voiced by Casey Kasem — Mindy Cohn of The Facts of Life, and Casey Kasem of the American Top 40 countdown. For those who grew up in the ’80s, as I did, these familiar, iconic voices are more than a little pleasing.

Phil likes the show because, hey, it’s about a big, goofy talking dog, and what’s not to like about that? But perhaps there is more to his enjoyment than meets the eye.

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