Harley Quinn Cover: Harley Quinn and her friends stand in front of a cityscape with Joker's face


Title: Harley Quinn (Seasons #1-2)
Released: 2019

Fix: You Need A Little Villainy In Your Life, Surprisingly Heartfelt Comedies, Female Friendships, Badass Ladies, Found Family
Platforms: HBOMax

HBOMax Summary:

The series focuses on a single Harley Quinn, who sets off to make it on her own in Gotham City.

FYA Summary:

Harley Quinn is devoted to her boyfriend, archvillain and guy you’d love to kick in the balls, Joker. Hopelessly devoted, you might say, because even as he uses her as a patsy yet again so he can make a clean getaway, and even though he leaves her rotting away in Arkham for years, Harley still believes Joker’s just biding his time before he rescues her. But when Harley finally does escape Arkham, it’s in no small part due to her BFF, Poison Ivy, who begs Harley to come to her senses and stop giving Joker the ability to hurt her. So Harley reinvents herself and makes a go of it as a single lady villain, hellbent on taking control of Gotham and her own destiny.

Gotham may be Batman and Joker’s playground, but with her ragtag crew of evil baddies and her best friend at her side, there’s no telling what Harley can accomplish (or what havoc she will wreak).

Familiar Faces Voices:

Kaley Cuoco as Harley Quinn

Color me shocked when I realized that Harley was voiced by Kaley. She’s also a producer of the show, so good on her! You probably know her from The Big Bang Theory—which I have never watched a full episode of—but I remember her best as John Ritter’s daughter from 8 Simple Rules. I don’t have a lot of experience with Harley Quinn as a character (I haven’t read the comics or watched any of the DC Justice League or current Suicide Squad-related movies), so I don’t know how faithful this iteration is compared to others, but I like what I’ve seen so far.

Lake Bell as Poison Ivy

Ivy is that get-a-grip friend we all need. As she tells it, she isn’t EVIL, thank you, she just strongly advocates for plants’ rights. The close friendship between Ivy and Harley is hands-down the best part of the show, and Ivy’s supremely sardonic delivery is the perfect complement to Harley’s boundless energy. Lake Bell always delivers in everything I’ve seen her in.

Alan Tudyk as Clayface and The Joker

Alan is one of those modern-day voice character geniuses and seems like a genuinely cool dude in real life (so if he isn’t please don’t ruin it for me. 2020 has taken enough). I’ve loved him since A Knight’s Tale and Firefly. His Joker is perfectly slimy, but his wannabe-thespian, Clayface, is truly delightful. Clayface is part of Harley’s reject crew and has never met an accent or costume change he doesn’t 100% fully commit to, which kinda makes me feel like he’s the loveably-evil cartoon version of Alan himself…

Tony Hale as Dr. Psycho

I love Tony Hale’s voice and his portrayal of the brainy little bastard who you can’t help but kind of like, Dr. Psycho. Tell me I’m not the only one who indignantly shouts “Mother!” every time you think of Tony Hale? (“These are my awards, Mother. From Army!”)

Ron Funches as King Shark

Ron is unfamiliar to me but he’s done a ton of voice work for things like Adventure Time and Bojack Horseman to name a tiny few. King Shark is a brilliant hacker and seems like a pretty nice guy who kinda just goes with the flow (at until you bleed in front of him).

Jason Alexander as Sy Borgman

I could not place Jason’s voice until I looked him up and then it was like, DUH. Of course. Sy is Ivy’s very un-PC, ex-spy landlord who has plenty of secrets of his own and longs to be a part of a group again.

There are SO many recognizable names/voices in this show I could go on and on (Rahul Kohli as Scarecrow, Christopher Meloni as Commissioner Gordon, Giancarlo Esposito as Lex Luthor, Wanda Sykes as the Queen of Fables) but if I haven’t convinced you to watch it yet, I’m not sure who else will do it for you.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Gather Your Crew

(We’ll just pretend for a moment you’re reading this in the future when you’re free to have spontaneous gatherings of more than your own household without a nagging sense of guilt.) There’s something in this smart show for everyone who has a pretty liberal sense of humor and a strong stomach for violence/cursing, so gather your crew of appropriate besties and make a night of it (just leave the kiddos in bed or at home, because, again, it’s very much an adult cartoon).

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low

This has been my work-from-home lunch-time show since it’s only a half-hour and easy to pick up and put down for days on end. There’s no reason to get smashed while watching, especially because you’d miss the many, many inside jokes and real-world references if you did.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Required

I was in a grumpy mood when my husband suggested we put this on, and he basically had to force me to watch it. It made it that much worse when I had to begrudgingly admit that I effing loved it. So don’t be like me, because this show is a fantastic hidden gem. Yeah, it’s a cartoon based on a comic book and a superhero world that has been done to death, but it takes that framework and uses it to tell some heartfelt, feminist, and funny stories about good and evil and loving yourself first.

Season 3 will come back sometime in 2021, and while I haven’t quite finished season 2 yet (I’m savoring it!), I know I’ll be waiting impatiently for more episodes to arrive.

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.