DC Universe released the first episode of the Harley Quinn cartoon, based around the idea of Harley breaking up with the Clown Prince of Crime and deciding to go off on her own and become the big villain in town, herself.
Spoilers ahead for the first episode.
Episode one, “Til Death Do Us Part“, sets up the series. We see Harley and Joker together, her tolerating his less than savory treatment, and still desperately clinging to hope that they’ll live happily ever after as partners in crime, even after he abandons her for a year in Arkham Asylum, after leaving her to take the fall with Batman so he could escape.
After some help from some other villains, Harley eventually realizes she’s done being a sidekick to someone that doesn’t love her, and breaks up with the Joker for good: by marching into his hideout, donning a new look, and not taking anymore of his crap.
Joker, of course, was not having it. He orders his goons to kill Harley, and she has to fight her way out. In the process. She destroys his hideout, and leaves him alive, telling the Joker she’s only doing it so he can watch her become the best villain in Gotham.
Here’s my thoughts:
I wasn’t super hyped for the show, if I’m being honest. I had mixed emotions about the approach to the show, based on trailers, and while I figured I’d at least give it a shot, I didn’t think I’d really enjoy it.
While I’m not in love with it yet, I will say it has potential, and more than I originally thought it would. I have my hangups about it.
For example, one big thing everyone is talking about is the adult language/humor and violence/gore. I didn’t find the violence or gore to be that bothersome to me, but I watch a lot of horror, so I wouldn’t expect graphic cartoon violence to be too disturbing. However, I’m picky about language/humor. More so, language. Profanity does not offend me, but I prefer it to be well written, appropriate in context, and make sense with the characters. It’s obvious when you’re trying too hard to just make something sound more edgy by dropping the F word every few seconds. It makes it a bit cringey, and then can make anything else you’re trying to do with a scene a bit cringey, too. At least, that’s my opinion. Note: I can swear like a sailor, so this isn’t just me trying to pretend swearing is the worst thing ever haha. Just use appropriately. Too much can definitely be a bad thing.
Now, here’s the good things:
I appreciate two big things about this show so far: Harley is a badass that can hold her own when it comes to fighting, and they acknowledge that under the facade of being a goofy hench wench, Harleen was, and still IS, incredibly intelligent.
Those are two big things I look for in my Harley portrayals, and with those two things, they have my attention.
There is a blend of Harley to this adaptation. We have touches of the original Harley Quinn, mixed with a bit of the more Connor/Palmiotti interpretation, and perhaps a dash of Margot Robbie. But more so, I feel like it’s definitely it’s own thing, and it’s trying to accomplish a lot, whether people realize it or not. It seems like it’s trying to build a bridge between fans of Connor/Palmiotti Harley and classic Harley fans, by letting her have the aspects from both sides of the spectrum.
I’m curious to see where the show goes, and if they can get a good grasp on a middle ground.
It’s worth a shot if you’re willing to have an open mind, can handle adult language and gore, and can overcome some cringey parts.
If you watched, let me know what you think!