Comic book anti-heroine Harley Quinn's new animated show is an explicit, violence-filled take on the character. The series premiered on Nov. 29 on the streaming service DC Universe.
Episode One of "Harley Quinn," was titled "Til Death Do Us Part" and premiered the series. New episodes will be released every Friday as part of the 13 episode season.
The voice acting and animation is almost perfect in the first episode. Quinn is portrayed by Kaley Cuoco, who is best known for playing Penny on "The Big Bang Theory." Lake Bell played Ivy and was an interesting contrast to Cuoco. Alan Tudyk portrays the Clown Prince of Crime, Joker. He is a self-centered character and a believable Joker.
Cuoco brings an unpredictable and comedic side of the Harley Quinn character. Ivy, on the other hand, is the more serious character that keeps her friend grounded.
Instead of Joker and Quinn as partners, the duo this time focuses on the friendship between Quinn and famous Batman villain Poison Ivy.
This relationship kicks off the premise of the show and demonstrates Quinn's life after leaving the Joker. Quinn has always been more fun to watch when she is the center of attention. DC Universe's show doesn't change that opinion.
Quinn’s character has stolen the focus in many of the stories she has been a part of including 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” “Batman: Assualt on Arkham” and “Batman: The Enemy Within.” The reason Harley Quinn steals the show is because she is unpredictable like the Joker, but is not always the villian.
Ivy spends the first episode showing how awful the Joker is for her friend. It takes a lot for Quinn to realize the reality of the situation. Ivy is a dry and serious character compared to Quinn's childish and sporadic antics. The contrasting attitudes play well off each other.
Harley Quinn and the Joker's relationship was recently romanticised in the 2016 film “Suicide Squad,” where Harley Quinn and the Joker were played by Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. In the 2016 film Joker asks Quinn to “Live for him,”’ and goes out of his way to save her.
This take on the relationship was a contrast to previous media. In “Batman: The Animated Series,” Joker has pushed her off desks and put her in harm's way in multiple occasions.
DC Universe's "Harley Quinn," showcases the abusive relationship between Joker and Quinn that “Batman: The Animated Series” alluded to, where Quinn first appeared. The one stark contrast between the two animated series is that “Harley Quinn” is not kid friendly because of the consistent use of explicit language and violence.
It is hard to find a conversation throughout the episode that doesn't contain explicit language. The episode was very funny, showcasing exaggerated versions of some characters.
The violence in the show contains blood and gore, and this adult take on animation is very refreshing. It would be hard to tell the story without the mature rating. The mature nature of Quinn and Joker’s relationship gets dark and would be hard to describe in a PG setting.
Cuoco plays a great Quinn and holds her own compared to Tara Strong, who voiced the character for many years in several properties like “Batman: The Animated Series.” Cuoco does not attempt the Brooklyn accent that Strong used but it doesn't take away from her performance at all.
When the show was announced, it seemed like a nobrainier to purchase a subscription. Now that the service is out, the wait for “Harley Quinn” has been worth it.
DC universe is offered for $7.99 a month or $74.99 for an annual subscription. There is also a seven day free trial available for consumers.