Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

FAN: Discuss various fictional worlds that don't qualify for SF.

Moderator: Steve

Post Reply
User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 20914
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-18 11:37am

Wondering if anyone else here is watching this show.

My feelings about it are still... decidedly mixed. The show relies a lot on shock value, gore, and offensive/"politically incorrect" humour. Some of the characterizations are very far off from how they're normally depicted (most notable Bane and Jim Gordon). Most seriously, the show has been criticized, with considerable justification, for anti-Semitism: https://change.org/p/dc-comics-dc-comic ... and-hamner

I have watched enough of the show to vouch that every complaint against the show in that petition is accurate, and that its by no means a complete list.

Though to be completely fair, Harley herself is portrayed as ethnically Jewish in a not-noticeably-stereotypical way, and I think some of the writers are Jewish. In which case, I leave it to others to decide whether Jew jokes/stereotypes are still offensive if they're made by a Jewish writer (its one of those questions, like "Is it okay for black people to use the N-word", that I really don't feel its my place to weigh in on, on account of not being a member of the group in question).

On the plus side, the voice acting is overall quite good, and I've genuinely grown to love Kaley Cuoco as Harley, to the point that I'd rather like to see her play the character in live action. Alan Tudyk does a good Joker voice, if not quite up to Hamill's level (and also Clayface and a bunch of other characters- the man is versatile). Bane is complete OOC, but also oddly endearing and occasionally bad ass. And Ivy is just the best character, and basically the most likable eco-terrorist ever. And underneath the absurdity and shock factor, there's a pretty strong story about breaking free from an abusive relationship (particularly in the first season- the second thus far feels like its more just action and has less of a solid arc).

I do think the best interpretation of the show is that its the DC Universe from Harley's POV. A lot of the weirder aspects of the show make a lot more sense that way.

Also, props for this scene: https://youtube.com/watch?v=iM1mukkBlzc

And the conclusion of this one: https://youtube.com/watch?v=c3SySD4650U

Oh, and as of last episode, it looks like they're Spoiler
finally shipping Harley and Ivy.
So there's that.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

chimericoncogene
Padawan Learner
Posts: 192
Joined: 2018-04-25 09:12am

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by chimericoncogene » 2020-05-18 11:46am

This show is totally totally awesome. 100/100. Watch it. That is all...
...and apparently I have more to say.
There is no need to expect stringent adherence to established canon and/or characterization (internal logic runs very strong though, and the cartoon is nothing if not consistent). This is a zany little cartoon, meant to be consumed with delight, joy, copious suspension of disbelief and much disgust at the frankly excessive gore which adds little to the story but is kept in anyway as a screw-you to the sensible viewer. Roaring buckets of fun, consistent quality across episodes and seasons, and heartwarming moments to rival Futurama.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 20914
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-18 11:57am

chimericoncogene wrote:
2020-05-18 11:46am
This show is totally totally awesome. 100/100. Watch it. That is all...
...and apparently I have more to say.
There is no need to expect stringent adherence to established canon and/or characterization (internal logic runs very strong though, and the cartoon is nothing if not consistent). This is a zany little cartoon, meant to be consumed with delight, joy, copious suspension of disbelief and much disgust at the frankly excessive gore which adds little to the story but is kept in anyway as a screw-you to the sensible viewer. Roaring buckets of fun, consistent quality across episodes and seasons, and heartwarming moments to rival Futurama.
There are so many different versions of the DC Universe, all with their own continuity to some extent (although certain ideas tend to reoccur) that almost anything is fair game within a given interpretation.

Like I said, I like to think of this show as "the DC Universe from Harley Quinn's POV".

Incidentally, here's the trailer for next episode: https://youtube.com/watch?v=JTNs1SRJTbk
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

User avatar
Solauren
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 8412
Joined: 2003-05-11 09:41pm

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by Solauren » 2020-05-18 02:43pm

I agree, his is probably from Harley's POV, as filtered by Harley's insanity.

Put into that context, and add in jewish writers, you can't complain about anything going on in the show. It's literally a insane individuals point of view. This could literally end up being 'and it was all a delusion', and it would still work, and not be a cheap 'way out', because it's from an insane persons mind!
\

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 20914
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-18 02:47pm

Nah, "it was all just a dream" is pretty much always a cop-out, and I think it would be here too.

The approach I take is that the broad events are largely "true" within the universe of the show, but skewed by Harley's perceptions, ie everything is just a bit crazier, more over-the-top, and exaggerated than it actually is.

It also explains why Ivy always seems so supportive and level-headed, even though she's a fanatical eco-terrorist- we're seeing Ivy as Harley sees her, as the best friend she can always count on.

Edit: Actually, I think the perfect ending to this show might be to reveal that its a story Harley is telling to someone, leaving it ambiguous what's true, a delusion, or her embelishing for effect.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

User avatar
FaxModem1
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 7616
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2020-05-18 06:11pm

I enjoy the show, but there are large parts where I'm thinking, "Why am I rooting for these people?"

For instance, the first episode has Ivy wondering what happened to the kid she hired to look after her plants. Cue plant vomiting up dead body. Ivy wonders what happened to the kid's parents. Cue plant vomiting up parent's dead bodies.

It's great for a parody work, or a sketch like Robot Chicken or Family Guy. But these are our main characters, and they're fully the bad guys, as in they kill random people all the time, they're just more relateable bad guys due to (with the exception of Dr. Psycho), being much more 21st century in outlook about the world.

That said, I still enjoy it.
Image

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 20914
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-18 06:51pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2020-05-18 06:11pm
I enjoy the show, but there are large parts where I'm thinking, "Why am I rooting for these people?"

For instance, the first episode has Ivy wondering what happened to the kid she hired to look after her plants. Cue plant vomiting up dead body. Ivy wonders what happened to the kid's parents. Cue plant vomiting up parent's dead bodies.

It's great for a parody work, or a sketch like Robot Chicken or Family Guy. But these are our main characters, and they're fully the bad guys, as in they kill random people all the time, they're just more relateable bad guys due to (with the exception of Dr. Psycho), being much more 21st century in outlook about the world.

That said, I still enjoy it.
Yeah, that's very true.

Harley does argue in a recent episode that they can't kill "normal" people. And she was freaked out when Queen of Fables slaughtered a family just to cover her tracks. Her attitude seems to be that its okay to kill other criminals or law enforcement/superheroes, but not "civilians". I'm not sure any of the crew has ever intentionally killed or maimed a random bystander since the first episode* (the opening scene with Harley and the Joker brutally slaughtering a bunch of rich capitalist assholes on a yacht, but they're rich capitalist assholes so I guess that's supposed to make it okay?)

Then again, even if she didn't directly cause it, she was happy when Gotham got destroyed at the end of season one, and that had to have killed thousands of people, so...

Ivy is characterized as a misanthrope who's attitude toward human beings outside her small circle of friends ranges from "homicidal" to "barely tolerating". But because we mostly see her interacting with Harley, she usually comes off as level-headed and likable because that's how she is toward Harley.


*Edit: Excluding Ivy's periodic murders of environmental polluters. Come to think of it, Ivy's probably the most unapologetically murderous of the main cast.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

chimericoncogene
Padawan Learner
Posts: 192
Joined: 2018-04-25 09:12am

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by chimericoncogene » 2020-05-18 09:39pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2020-05-18 06:11pm
I enjoy the show, but there are large parts where I'm thinking, "Why am I rooting for these people?"

For instance, the first episode has Ivy wondering what happened to the kid she hired to look after her plants. Cue plant vomiting up dead body. Ivy wonders what happened to the kid's parents. Cue plant vomiting up parent's dead bodies.

It's great for a parody work, or a sketch like Robot Chicken or Family Guy. But these are our main characters, and they're fully the bad guys, as in they kill random people all the time, they're just more relateable bad guys due to (with the exception of Dr. Psycho), being much more 21st century in outlook about the world.

That said, I still enjoy it.
It's semi-parody, IMO. You can tell from the deconstruction and reconstruction of various major characters e.g. drunk Gordon, millenial Batgirl, ineffectual Batman, and attempts to explore what supervillany actually entails in terms of human lives and rank incompetence of law enforcement. Setting -cogent and logical yet absurd consequences result - e.g. Vegas style lairs unnoticed by law enforcement in the middle of the city.

Also, while Harley et al are terrible, the other supervillians are supposedly worse.
I don't think we're supposed to be rooting for their victory so much as rooting for them by default (supporting the characters becomes part of suspension of disbelief - you know it's silly, but cheer anyway), and just laughing at the mayhem, since they are obviously godawful criminals.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 20914
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-22 04:13pm

chimericoncogene wrote:
2020-05-18 09:39pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2020-05-18 06:11pm
I enjoy the show, but there are large parts where I'm thinking, "Why am I rooting for these people?"

For instance, the first episode has Ivy wondering what happened to the kid she hired to look after her plants. Cue plant vomiting up dead body. Ivy wonders what happened to the kid's parents. Cue plant vomiting up parent's dead bodies.

It's great for a parody work, or a sketch like Robot Chicken or Family Guy. But these are our main characters, and they're fully the bad guys, as in they kill random people all the time, they're just more relateable bad guys due to (with the exception of Dr. Psycho), being much more 21st century in outlook about the world.

That said, I still enjoy it.
It's semi-parody, IMO. You can tell from the deconstruction and reconstruction of various major characters e.g. drunk Gordon, millenial Batgirl, ineffectual Batman, and attempts to explore what supervillany actually entails in terms of human lives and rank incompetence of law enforcement. Setting -cogent and logical yet absurd consequences result - e.g. Vegas style lairs unnoticed by law enforcement in the middle of the city.

Also, while Harley et al are terrible, the other supervillians are supposedly worse.
Except Mr. Freeze, the most woke ice-themed villain in all of New Gotham. :D
I don't think we're supposed to be rooting for their victory so much as rooting for them by default (supporting the characters becomes part of suspension of disbelief - you know it's silly, but cheer anyway), and just laughing at the mayhem, since they are obviously godawful criminals.
Yeah. Plus Harley is somewhat sympathetic due to her backstory of chronic abuse from both her parents and boyfriend, and her arc being about breaking free of said abusive relationships and basically learning to have healthy-ish relationships (for a supervillain, anyway).
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 20914
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Harley Quinn (2019 cartoon) review/discussion.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-25 12:10am

Well, last episode pretty much Spoiler
killed the whole Harley as a sympathetic anti-villain thing. She allied with Darkseid and slaughtered a bunch of innocent people because she had relationship issues with Ivy. I hate to say it, but even for a semi-parody show, that feels like jumping the shark. Harley earlier drew a line at killing a family, and two episodes told Ivy they couldn't kill a normal person. Now she's committing atrocities to work out her relationship issues.

Guys, lampshading the fact that you basically borrowed Game of Thrones' Mad Queen Daenerys plot line doesn't change the fact that you basically borrowed the Mad Queen Daenerys plot line.

Harley going really dark could have worked, but I feel that it needed more build-up, and not so quick a resolution. They just failed to sell it, for me. Unless they retcon that Psycho was mind-controlling her or something, and have their be real consequences down the road (like Darkseid coming for Harley), then... yeah, I think they've kind of jumped the shark.

I don't know, they haven't been confirmed for a third season yet, so maybe they're just trying to wrap up all their plot lines as quickly as possible. But season two just doesn't feel as carefully plotted, or have as strong an arc, as season one.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

Post Reply