Harley Quinn Season Three: Spoiler-Free Review

HarIvy for life

Harley Quinn: The Animated Series Season 3 premieres this Thursday, July 28th. With not only one, but three episodes. We are literally spoiled. Thank you, HQ team!

Let me tell ya, Harlivy is back with a literal bang. Unlike we’ve ever seen before, but not enough to leave them unrecognizable. Much like season 2, it’s focusing on more comic themes rather than independently banging out humorous episodes with familiar characters. I know we were told that the comic Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: The Eat. BANG! Kill. Tour (2021-) is a direct bridge between seasons. But I highly recommend picking them up if you haven’t already, as it explains what the girls got up to within the “two weeks” between seasons 2 and 3. The duo is a dream to watch, bringing the complete fulfillment we all longed for endlessly. Seamless continuity that doesn’t leave you wondering what ever happened to that subplot.

Harley Quinn
Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max

The team has really not wasted a single frame or panel; you think you’ve seen it all before and that you can expect what’s to come next, but trust me when I say at times; I didn’t have a minute to catch my breath from the brilliance the first time around. I had to do a double, sometimes triple take. The jokes are quick, like I said not a second wasted. It’s a favorite trait of mine this show has. The team made promises and they delivered. It’s evident they have been around these characters for a long time before the show. Their passion and caution for deliverance and accuracy pulls through and always has. Even when they spoof a character, it is hard to deny that is how they would act given that environment. The show writers admitted it comes from a place of love.

There’s a balance given with each character’s screen time and development, building Harley’s surroundings and herself at the same pace. The show does a clean job with each character and their placement, having them essential to the storyline rather than being there for filler episodes. It also satisfies the fantasies of what it would be like for these characters to cross paths so frequently. You’re not limited to a comic solo. I mean Episode 3 is titled: The 83rd Annual Villy Awards. Fucking fabulous if you ask me. Supervillains having social media accounts and up-to-date technology? I’m in. Again, touching base with comics, the team has thought of everything.

Harley Quinn
Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max

Harley and Ivy are a lot more vocal with each other. Everything is out in the open; everybody knows about their relationship. A positive environment for them both to grow in. The show doesn’t erase the past either, having both Harley and Ivy struggle with their former demons. Harley has outstanding fears from her previous relationship. As show editor Justin Halpern once said – “when you’ve mostly been in toxic and bad relationships your whole life, how do you then be in a good one? How does the baggage that you bring from all these other relationships affect the relationship you’re in that you really want to work?”. The show explores the fundamentals of evolving to your full self and not letting the past define you. 

We know from the synopsis that Harlivy are thriving together with a plan to work towards Ivy’s long dream of turning Gotham into an Eden paradise. Will Harley be okay giving up all that she’s created for herself in the city? Harley Quinn Season 3 exposes us to any issues both Harley and Ivy have in a healthy manner by showing positive responses when people have a conflict of interest.

Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max

Having built the character up season by season, everything falls into place rather than being rushed. In season 1, Harley discovers independence. And in Season 2, she realizes what she truly wants, and come Season 3 we see her chasing her desires. Sensitive topics don’t get overshadowed by the show’s humor either, allowing those special moments to breathe and ensuring to get the message across with plenty of laughs along the way at the right time.

Kayley Cuoco and Lake Bell are at their prime, never failing to embody the roles to perfection. Season 3 is certainly starting with a hopeful tone and is a relieving comfort to have Harley and Ivy happy. Reassurance and supportive themes show themselves at the base of each episode. The score helps these soft moments along with the intense, fun ones. Jefferson Friedman always and forever sets the ideal mood. The animation quality is good too, especially the blood and guts. In seriousness, the colors and background blend well and it compliments whichever character(s) is on screen. Harley is known to be highly expressive and never loses that.

The Harley Quinn: The Animated Series Season 3 debut will leave you exhilarated and have you smashing that “next episode” button faster than Harley smashing a skull in. A direct shot of serotonin to my veins. A decent fix, if you will. I can’t deny this show hits every note for me. As a long time, probably a bit too intense, Harley Quinn fan, I could never fault it in previous years and again here. Perhaps some references are unintentional but I couldn’t help but see so many light bulb connections – the characters are on point with their roots and original material, it can only make for good writing. I’ll be back for more articles with in-depth details and fun observations. Until then, go watch the first three episodes of Season 3!

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