HBO Max's Velma is currently one of the most hated shows in television history, earning some of the lowest audience scores ever on Rotten Tomatoes (six percent audience score).
Last week, its first two premiere episodes were an orgy of nastiness and hate, so much so that it was impossible to imagine the show could go any lower.
But with the release of episodes three and four Thursday night, it reached a new nadir. Episode four, "Velma Makes a List," specifically hit rock bottom.
In this new episode, the town's middle-aged sheriff and mayor asks Velma to rank the "top five" hottest girls at her high school in order to protect them from a serial killer. The killer is targeting pretty high school females.
Since attractive girls are getting killed, the older men decide Velma could help by teaching the "hot girls" how to look ugly.
Velma fails in her mission and the teens, who are around 15 years old, remain beautiful. The girls consider her attempts to make them homely and frumpy a form of "slut-shaming." Apparently, the writers are very confused and think attractiveness and sluttiness are somehow synonymous.
When Velma reveals the girls, presuming they followed her advice, the mayor is clearly turned on:
Velma: Mayor Dave, Sheriff Cogburn, I want you to remember this moment. For far too long, we have told girls that pain is beauty. Well, today you will see these painfully beautiful girls transform from "Damn" to "Eh..."
Mayor Dave: Ooh, they are so hot, daddy likey...Wait. You were supposed to do the opposite. What the hell, Velma?
That's not even the perviest scene or dialogue in "Velma Makes a List." During one of Velma's conversations about "patriarchy" with her friend Norville (the new "Shaggy"), she makes a comment about children's drawings and genitalia that is just...bizarre:
Velma: This is exactly the problem with this list. Men make everything about them and what they want.
Norville: Not me. I'm an ally. Now get back to my question.
Velma: Our whole lives, girls are told by guys there's a right way to be hot, and I'm not it. Guys even teach us to be ashamed of our own bodies. Every little kid knows how to draw a penis, but make a little kid draw a vɑgina, and what happens?
Norville: You go to jail?
Velma: Exactly. But now, because of this list, I have to validate everything I hate about men's ideas of beauty norms or girls will die.
What is Velma talking about? Why does she think every little kid knows how to draw a penis? Why does she want children to draw female genitalia or any genitalia at all? The dialogue is just strange and even pedophilic.
This show has gone from vicious and insufferable to downright creepy. The series was already an endless litany of various pathologies -- from resentment of female beauty to anger against white men. Now it has added another disturbing undertone with episode four.
The series still has six more episodes left before this first season is over. I can't imagine how much worse it is going to get.