Birds of Prey is available on demand today, and if it sends you down a Harley Quinn rabbit hole, the DC Universe streaming service awaits. On this episode of the Low Key Podcast, your hosts discuss the service’s Harley Quinn animated series, Harley Quinn as a character, and when to call the cops on your neighbors in these trying times.
Harley Quinn doesn’t care about offending people. The first scene demonstrates that by showing a yacht full of billionaires getting robbed and ripped apart. The show is meant to shock. But it also serves as a great example of how R-rated comic book material can allow for an intelligent subversion of tropes and dark humor that reveals why we connect to these broken characters.
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Harley Quinn herself (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) shines in both success and failure as she strives to go from the Joker’s lackey to the first modern female super-villain. It sounds simple enough but the show reveals an actual truth of comics—female super-villains are basically non-existent. Harley assembles a crew (not the Birds of Prey) to help her become noticed by the Legion of Doom, leading to hijinks that are often hard to explain, although we try in this episode of Low Key.
The mature content in animated DC films seems like an intentional way to set DC apart from Marvel’s relatively kid-friendly animation. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, scheduled for release on May 5, has an R-rated trailer that imagines a worst-case scenario for Earth in which our heroes lose and die to Darkseid’s army.
Harley Quinn is a good example of DC getting it right. Come find out why for the next 47 minutes, and don’t forget to follow us on @thelowkeypod.
Here are episode highlights, with timestamps:
1:33: Overall impressions
6:30: Best moments in the show
13:12: Talking about the show’s creators
16:16: Subverting classic characterizations of heroes and villians
19:44: The worst comic book movies of all-time
24:13: Is the show entirely in Harley’s head?
27:50: A tangent about Scrooged (1988) courtesy of Carol Kane
29:52: Final thoughts on the show
33:20: Keith and Aaron convince Tim to watch Netflix’s ‘Love Is Blind’
39:55: Keith asks about a neighbor problem