Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk (VOICES)
Release Date: June 2, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Harley Quinn has finally broken things off once and for all with the Joker and attempts to make it on her own as the criminal Queenpin of Gotham City. With the help of Poison Ivy and a ragtag crew of DC castoffs, Harley tries to earn a seat at the biggest table in villainy – the Legion of the Doom. She’s got her eyes on the prize and nothing can stop her, except maybe Batman and Commissioner Gordon or her jealous, deranged ex. But don’t worry – she’s got this. Or does she? So strap in for this non-stop, demented thrill ride!
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The debut season of ‘Harley Quinn’ introduces viewers to a different look into Gotham City which joins Harley Quinn as she finally reaches her breaking point with the Joker and calls things off for good. Finally free to follow her own path, Harley joins forces with her friend Poison Ivy before enlisting her own ragtag group of secondary villains to help her carve out a place in Gotham while also attempting to realize her dream of joining the infamous supervillain group the Legion of Doom. Getting their attention and a potential invite on the other hand will prove more challenging than she realizes, especially with so many still only seeing her as a castoff villain, insignificant without the Joker behind her. Fortunately Harley is more than up for the challenge so Gotham better watch out!
The new DC animated series ‘Harley Quinn’ is a clever, unique and shockingly violent and vulgar new animated take on the world of DC comics. As opposed to the more family-friendly animated Batman shows we’ve become accustomed to over the years, ‘Harley Quinn’ offers an almost polar opposite, instead concentrating its focus primarily on the exploits of a newly single Harley Quinn as she tries to develop her brand of villainy in Gotham and attempts to attract the notice of the biggest supervillain group around. Make no mistake, this is an animated series made solely for adults and even I was mildly surprised by the extreme level of graphic language and over the top gore around nearly every corner. Not only does the show never pull its punches, it almost goes out of its way to overdo it, throwing blood, body parts and f-bombs left and right in order to humorously exaggerate the goofy, yet often quite dark content and topics within and it actually works remarkably well.
Absent of any pesky content limits, it also cleverly addresses some fun concepts we’ve never seen before, like a drunken, vulgar Jim Gordon and a Batman with some rougher edges than usual. While also offering a plethora of DC cameos with everyone from Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to Lex, Bane and many more and in most instances finding some hilariously new and unexpected ways in which to explore these familiar heroes and villains. Featuring the voice talents of Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) as Harley and Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) once again returning to voice Batman, plus Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, Tony Hale, Jason Alexander, J.B. Smoove, Christopher Meloni and more who all do a great job of contributing to the show’s energy, ‘Harley Quinn’ is even better than expected and DC fans out there are likely to have a lot of fun with this animated series.
Overall, the debut season of ‘Harley Quinn’ is a fun, violent and hilariously vulgar animated look at your favorite DC characters and adults who aren’t easily offended will strongly want to consider giving it a chance. Cleverly exploring various popular DC characters in a new light that isn’t afraid to poke fun at each and continually throw heaps of blood and cursing around, it’s a far more enjoyable and smartly crafted show than many might expect. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s 2-disc DVD release of ‘Harley Quinn: The Complete First Season’ is recommended for fans of the series who don’t mind (or prefer) the DVD format. While it may not include any extras, it does serve up all thirteen episodes from the debut season in pretty solid standard definition video presentations that are complimented by more than capable multichannel soundtracks which shouldn’t have any trouble satisfying the DVD collectors considering a purchase.
The DVD release of ‘Harley Quinn: The Complete First Season’ features a 16×9 friendly video presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the debut season’s episodes. The video presentations look great altogether, especially within the confines of the aging DVD format, offering sharp, clean and nicely colored presentations on all thirteen episodes, spread between two discs. They hold up smoothly even during the numerous fast moving, heavily populated and occasional darkly lit sequences, never resulting in anything onscreen becoming notable affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are more than adequate standard definition video presentations from Warner Bros. and DVD fans that enjoy the show should be quite pleased overall.
The DVD release includes a 384 Kbps 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack on all 13 Season One episodes. These multichannel soundtracks provide clean, sharp and fairly active audio presentations for every episode. They regularly take advantage of all five available channels in order to send some music, action effects and other tidbits throughout the various speakers on a fairly frequent basis, while never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, these are solid 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtracks that are more than up to the task and shouldn’t disappoint.
The DVD release of ‘Harley Quinn: The Complete First Season’ doesn’t include any bonus content whatsoever.