Harley Quinn is Like Nothing You’ve Seen Before

If you think you know everything there is to know about Harley Quinn, get ready to be surprised. Harley Quinn, created and written by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Dean Lorey, delivers a powerful comedic punch while playfully exploring Gotham City and all its inhabitants through Harley’s colorful eyes. While the series is chock full of expletives, gore and violence, it also features intriguing storylines, endearing characters and a surprising amount of heart.

Before reading further, this review will mention brief spoilers and some topics and events from the series. That being said, it will not discuss any major plot points. If you’re spoiler-wary and would like to go into the season completely blind, this is your warning. 

The series kicks off with Harley Quinn (Kayley Cuoco) breaking up with the Joker (Alan Tudyk), heading on a mission to make a name for herself in Gotham and join the Legion of Doom. She is guided by her close friend Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) and her crew, Clayface (Alan Tudyk), Dr. Psycho (Tony Hale), and King Shark (Ron Funches). On this path, the team goes through a surprising amount of adventures together, encountering several members of the Justice League and Legion of Doom. 

On the whole, Harley Quinn is fun. It’s unafraid to poke fun at everything, including itself. While the humor can sometimes be crude, more often than not it’s incredibly creative and witty, able to make even a casual viewer smile. It’s interesting to see Gotham and its inhabitants through Harley’s eyes, making everything brighter, more colorful and to the extreme. When you see Harley’s highway, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. 

In addition to the humor, the show tackles some deeper issues. One episode focuses on a mentally-broken Harley, her crew racing against the clock to restore her psyche and delving into her deep, personal memories. Relationships, both abusive and loving are all represented in an appropriate light. Toxic behaviors are also present, and they aren’t all coming from the Joker. 

For those who are turned off by the graphic depictions of violence and crass language, we strongly advise giving the show a chance in spite of them. Both are pretty strong elements as the season begins, but as the episodes find their footing and focus more on the plot and characters, the less the language and gore matter. If you’re able to wait and binge the series, it’s easy to become desensitized to them. Overall though, we think that these elements don’t detract from the show as a whole, and there are an overwhelming amount of positives to combat them. 

One of these positives are the characters themselves. It’s incredibly refreshing to see Harley portrayed in such a positive light. She’s confident and embraces herself for who she is, flaws and all. Naive and trusting, yes, but she’s able to learn! Her teacher is often Ivy, who steals the show on several occasions. She’s often the sole voice of reason, and because of that, her suggestions are frequently ignored. Still, between her deadpan humor, reluctant relationship with Kite Man, and her strong commitment to Harley, she quickly became a favorite of ours. Joker’s portrayal is nothing short of hilarious, perfectly intermingling his psychotic behaviors with comedic moments. We loved Jim Gordon’s (Christopher Meloni) unique portrayal, and how realistic it is. The other members of Harley’s crew are all delightful to watch, especially King Shark. We could go on about each and every character, but we’ll let you experience those for yourselves. 

One of the best aspects of the show is the ridiculousness of it all— and that’s a good thing! In one episode, Harley enters what she thinks is a Legion of Doom meeting, but is actually a child’s Bar Mitzvah. The entire episode then takes place in the setting of this Bar Mitzvah, and total hilarity ensues. On the flip side, there’s a moment with an entire moral argument over the killing of innocent people and whether that’s an acceptable thing for Harley. The show balances the two extremes quite well, and we think it makes for very entertaining viewing. 

The new Harley Quinn series is a hell of a ride, cleverly joining adult themes with witty humor, a cohesive plot, and memorable characters. Each episode is entirely unpredictable, taking its viewers on a journey with a front seat view. We very much hope that the series will pick up for a second season, because we have no idea where the show is headed after that finale. 

Harley Quinn begins airing exclusively on the DC Universe streaming service on November 29th. Make sure you’re following our Twitter to stay updated on all the new Harley Quinn content!

Ariel Horn
Author: Ariel HornWebsite: https://harleyquinn.tvEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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