Harley Quinn S3 First Review: Harley’s Playground Delightfully Welcomes Harlivy’s Bond And Energy


Harley Quinn has always been a standout figure within the Batman mythos as well as the greater DC Universe, though when I first heard of her getting her own show, I’ll admit I felt a bit skeptical. However, after witnessing Harley’s return for another season of hijinks and chaotic, bloody misadventures, I finally understand that the Gothamite princess of crime was definitely meant for a show as crazy as this one is.

Though the previous seasons have only hinted at Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy’s (Lake Bell) throughout the series, this season completely brings out their open relationship, specifically in its first episode. Harlivy, this season’s first episode, completely brings out the chaos and gore through what Harley calls the “Eat, Bang, Kill Tour” while also delivering on creating an almost nuanced issue of the two differing personalities of Harley and Ivy. Harley clearly wants to have more action in their lives while Ivy has a more slow, yet peaceful approach to her plans and their relationship. However, it’s clear they both still love each other and want to support each other in any way even if it means hitting some obstacles along the way.

Going deeper into their relationship, the tone of this storyline, so far, has a grasp on those tones from Jody Houser’s Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy and the Injustice series while also building up the two as they further discover themselves and potential for each other. In between the moments of referential, fun-to-foul comedy and intense fighting, this season is willing to take its time with layering such a unique relationship by establishing two characters we’ve come to see with troubled pasts coming to support one another. I have been anticipating this story arc since the previous season and seeing this coming out only makes me want to see more of where these two are headed.

Meanwhile, in the Batman side of things, the ironic comedy within the Bat-Family still sticks and further grows out with a returning Nightwing (Harvey Guillén) to Gotham. Though the team has only made a prevalent presence in the second episode, the humor that comes from the Bat-Family felt a bit in-the-face, but there were a couple of jokes that worked (seeing Alfred (Tom Hollander) back in his pompous, classical outfit and on his “macaroni” was admittedly funny.) However, with Nightwing’s attempt to put himself back into the spotlight of Batman (Diedrich Bader) while also making him almost have a whimp-ish personality, it perfectly works out for what Harley Quinn is trying to make out for this team.

However, we can’t leave out the guys of Harley’s party, being King Shark (Ron Funches), Clayface (Alan Tudyk) and Frank (JB Smoove), Ivy’s living plant-friend. Specifically, Clayface might have an actual storyline for this season rather than just being the sidekicks to Harley and Ivy like King Shark and Frank. In addition to the Bat-Family’s humor, Clayface’s arc centers around him going into the Hollywood business after multiple failures throughout the series with the James Gunn serving as the hook to his character. This storyline might not have as much as a significance right now, but if we do get to see it play out, it’ll be hilarious to see how could play into the bro-ship of King Shark and Clayface (since Frank is now a god!)

The standout episode to me, so far, has to be The 83rd Annual Villy Awards and not just because we get to see the returns of the Joker and the (in)famous Kite Man (Matt Oberg) (even though they’re a delightful surprise to see!) While Harley and Ivy are still figuring out what works for them, we actually get to see the two have those moments of worry that feels in-tone with what Harley Quinn is all about. Listening to the duos of Harley and Kite Man as well as Ivy and Golden Glider (Cathy Ang) talk about their troubles and supporting one another felt very realistic and heartwarming to see and the dialogue shared between these characters felt like a great step forward for where these characters are headed. It’s clear that these characters, even though they might not share the same levels of love, still care deeply about each other and have the empathy that this show perfectly encapsulates. Watching this all play out in this episode was incredibly great to see and left me leaving wanting more of what this major storyline has to give in this season.

So far, Harley Quinn‘s third season serves as a good representation to understanding complicated relationships even if some of it gets muddled in between the blood and guts of the show’s craziness. Whatever this season has in store, we’re excited to see where Patrick Schumacker and the team behind Harley Quinn go with Harley, Ivy, and their friends in the future.

Current Rating: 90%

Harley Quinn‘s third season is now streaming on HBO Max.

Christopher Gallardo

Christopher Gallardo

Hi, my name's Chris and I write things at The Hollywood Handle. I like to write and learn about the animation world, play video games, and yes, go outside. A big Marvel, DC, and Star Wars fan/comic reader (indie too!) and occasional cinephile.
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