DC Universe’s Harley Quinn: Exclusive Interview w/ Patrick Schumacker

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick ShumackerWhat I am about to say is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke.  People look at me crazy whenever I proclaim that DC Universe’s Harley Quinn animated series is the BEST Batman cartoon ever.  Yeah I know the Batman Animated Series changed a lot of our lives back in the day, but I’m currently in my forties.  I need more in my cartoons nowadays than just mild adult themes and that’s exactly where I feel Harley Quinn immensely delivers.  It took only one viewing of the first Season One episode last year for me to ask out loud the following eight words.  Where has this show been my entire life?  And if being 2020’s Birds of Prey and The Emancipation of One Harley Quinn number one fan out there doesn’t reinforce the point enough (already at 10+ views), I’m certainly a man of exquisite tastes.  What I mean by that is I enjoy the finer things in life in my media like gratuitous moments of excessive foul language, extreme carnage and gore, poop/puke gags and the list goes on.  You know…everything the Harley Quinn show offers.  Also being a devoted fan of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory for its twelve season run and having the real life Penny from it embody your favorite anti hero of all time is literally just the sweetest icing on the cake a guy like me could ever ask for.   

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

Ironically one of the biggest complaints I hear about the recent Birds of Prey movie is that it’s not like the Harley Quinn cartoon.  That’s impossible and let me tell you why.  It’s not because Harley Quinn says so in the movie that there’s no one like me, but simply put there’s only one Harley Quinn animated series.  You just can’t bottle up this kind of R-rated insanity and expect to faithfully reproduce it in a live action movie.  To appreciate Harley Quinn fully you need to go in no holds barred, erratically open this vessel, dive in head first without a care in the world and experience every last salacious drop the show runners give us.  However, I really do feel like I’m putting the proverbial cart in front of the horse here now.   I’m going to step back and do my job more effectively.  I want to make sure to catch any newbies we have here up to speed with what the Harley Quinn animated series is all about.  You know…the obligatory 411 information!

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

First things first as I already established up above Harley Quinn is very much an “adult” animated television series.  Parents of the world please don’t take that word adult lightly unless you want your kids dropping F-bombs (check out this Tweet HERE where the F-word was said 20 times in the first episode alone) or loosely using the C-word.  Yes you heard me correct.  I said the C-word!  The animated series, based on the character of the same name originally created by Paul Dini and Bruce Time, premiered on the DC Universe streaming platform on November 29, 2019.  It’s written and executive produced by the man of the hour here, Patrick Schumacker, and his fellow associates Justin Halpern and Dean Lorey.  And if you haven’t already after just reading that last sentence, make sure you follow these three on Twitter as they all interact with their fans and are a blast to converse with.  The TV show follows the I guess you can say misadventures of Harley Quinn after leaving her Puddin’, the Joker, and tag teaming with her best friend Poison Ivy and a diverse wrecking crew that will leave you in proverbial stitches.

Let’s talk about this impressive voice cast next.  Every once in awhile the moon and stars align and dream ensemble casts miraculously come together.  Such is the case here with the Harley Quinn show.  I don’t know how they ever landed Kaley Cuoco (although I plan to find out below), but thank the heavens as you can hear it in her voice that she’s having a blast embodying our leading lady, Harley Quinn.  Now remember that crew I just made mention of up above?  Well the reason I can say this is the best Batman show ever is because pretty much his entire rogue of villains pops up throughout this 13-episode first season.  Oh hell!  Let’s call this the best DC superhero show ever because the buck doesn’t stop with just Batman and his villainous rogue of enemies.  Oh no!  The entire Justice League of heroes and villains makes appearances throughout the first season.  After all Lex Luther oversees the Legion of Doom, which Harley sets her eyes on becoming a member of.  So back to that aforementioned crew.  It consists of Poison Ivy, hilarious takes on Clayface, Doctor Psycho and King Shark and even Sy Borgman, which as a fan of DC Comics’ New 52 and Rebirth lineup of Harley Quinn comics completely thrills me.  In addition having a wisecracking, talking Venus fly plant named Frank certainly doesn’t downplay my love of the show either.

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

Woe is me.  I just noticed I started the last paragraph talking about the brilliant ensemble cast, but I got so carried away with the big character names that I didn’t even mention any real ones beyond Kaley.  My bad!  I never said I was perfect and let’s be honest if you knew me well, you would know this topic absolutely excites and thrills me.  So I have every right to be a bit erratic with my the arrangement of my thoughts right not.  Alright so try these names on for size: Lake Bell (Poison Ivy), Diedrich Bader (Batman), Ron Funches (King Shark), Tony Hale (Doctor Psycho), Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander (Sy Borgman), J. B. Smoove (Frank the Plant), Giancarlo Esposito (Lex Luthor), Wayne Knight (Penguin), Alfred Molina (Mr. Freeze), Rhea Perlman (Golda) and so many more.  There’s even cameos by George Lopez, Howie Mandel and Frankie Muniz.  Can you say star struck?  I certainly can!

The majority of Harley Quinn’s first season are comprised of standalone episodes.  However, the latter half, episodes 9-13, are a rolling continuation and things literally ended on February 21st with a bang.  The best part about it all though is Season Two is back already this week on Friday, April 3rd.  That’s because of the fact that when DC green lit the show apparently they did so with a 26-episode order.  Smart!  They whet your appetite and like smack had you quickly addicted, but kindly they gave you a fix quickly.  How swell is that?  And that’s why we’re here today ladies and gentlemen to not only discuss all things Season One, but look forward with anticipation and remind you with a swift kick in the proverbial @$$ that Season Two is already upon us.  The wait is officially nearly over!  Are you all as excited as I am?  Are you ready?  What’s your Harley Quinn Season Two watching plans?  I want to know!

Pretty much everywhere you look you’re going to find rave reviews and positive acclaim for the first season.  It’s surprising, raunchy, delightfully violent and gory, reprehensible at times (nah!) and downright nasty, but like a typical ABC Goldbergs episode the show also has a lot of heart and a strong sense of community, friendship and family.  All of this success is no doubt due to the incredibly talented writing team behind the scenes.  They’re the ones that truly bring this show to life (in addition to that beefy voice cast of course).  They take full advantage of airing on the DC Universe streaming service free from prying eyes of censors and loosely pay homage to the comics and vast DC lore by knowing how to embrace their audience, previous comic books fans and anew.  One such writer of this brilliant team I just so happen to have with me here today.  Remember when I recommended you follow this trio of writers on Twitter?  Well that’s exactly how I met Patrick Schumacker.  What I loved about the guy is he’s so nice, approachable, genuine and extremely candid as you’ll see below.  He always takes the time to interact with all the show’s fans and I never not seen him not respond to a Tweet or question addressed to him.  For those reasons and more I couldn’t resist inviting him to celebrate the premiere of Season Two this year, chat up all things Harley Quinn and more.  Without further ado please welcome writer and executive producer Patrick Schumacker.

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: Hi Patrick.  Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today.

PATRICK: And thank you for taking the time out of your pandemic to chat with me, Brian.

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: Ha! Not a problem, but before we begin talking about the show I wanted to take a quick second to ask you how you’re doing in this unforeseen, crazy world we now all live in with social distancing, lock downs and self-quarantining?   Just the other day when I reached out to you to see if you’d be interested in doing this interview I was standing outside in the rain for nearly an hour waiting to get into my local grocery store for the chance to get some fresh chicken, eggs, carrots and toilet paper.  Never in my lifetime did I think I would obsess over how fortunate I was to score some TP.  Times have definitely changed quickly over the past several weeks.  How are you holding up?

PATRICK: Well, I’m actually in Steve Mnuchin’s luxury panic yacht as we speak, somewhere off the coast of Barbados?  Or France?  I don’t know.  I’m rich.  In all seriousness, I’m doing okay.  Just trying to get used to the new normal of working in my home “office” (essentially a closet) with a four-year-old mere feet away from me.  It’s a whole lotta Zoom app time.  Honest to god, I didn’t know what Zoom was until a week ago.  I was a Facetime and GoToMeeting guy.  So I’m basically telecommuting with Justin, my longtime writing/producing partner, and our assistant, Alexis.  Working as much as our schedules and families will allow.  And I was never a huge user of TP, so I’m not worried about that aspect. 

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: I hear you.  I’ve been living on WebEx myself for weeks now.  So I got to ask you.  I noticed in your Twitter profile you’re a graduate of University of Texas down here in Austin where I’m located for the last seven years for work.  For those aspiring writers and producers out there (including me although I’ve only ever written feature length movie scripts) how did you get involved in this TV business from what I can tell way back in 2010 with $#*! My Dad Says?

PATRICK: I graduated from UT in 2002, and then moved to L.A. a few months after. I never intended to become a writer. I’d spent much of my life aspiring to direct commercials and music videos. It was a nexus of two things: 1) I grew up in St. Louis and my parents worked in marketing for Anheuser-Busch (brewers of Budweiser), and 2) I loved movies my whole life.  So directing TV commercials felt like a natural fit.  Went to film school at UT, then became a director’s assistant when I moved out. I met Justin interning in L.A. in the summer of 2001 at A Band Apart, which is Quentin Tarantino’s production company, and we both worked in the now defunct music video and commercials department. 

Justin and I wrote and directed stuff together for a number of years—always as side projects and never for a day job. 

Flash forward to 2009.  I was a freelance treatment writer, writing pitches for commercial and music video directors, and I got a horrible kidney stone that needed an operation.  It gutted me financially, because my insurance sucked.  So I freaked out a bit about that and looked for a job that offered decent insurance.  That job was running screenjunkies.com, which was a very different thing back then.  So I did that for about seven months, and during that stint—again, all the while writing and shooting stuff with Justin—he started the twitter account @shitmydadsays, which exploded in popularity, landed him a book deal, and then consequently landed us a piece of IP that studios actually wanted. 

The tl;dr version of all this is “I got lucky.”  But Justin and I had the body of scripts to show for ourselves, and so we were able to become writers on the TV adaptation, and score a very high-ranking credit on the show (co-executive producers) for our first ever TV gig.  Again.  Luck.

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: Wow!  I may ask you for some Lottery numbers to play then,  Alright so the million dollar question I selfishly want to know all about.  How did you get attached to not only producing but writing stories about my favorite character of all time in the DC Universe, Harley Quinn?  I left this out up above, but I’m pretty sure I could bore you endlessly with all the Harley Quinn items I have collected over the last several years.  I’m the guy who buys in bulk with regards to every Birds of Prey piece of merchandise I can find (my fiancé loves that).  No joke!  And yes I even own the exclusive member only DC Universe Harley Quinn animated statue (#1111 of 1250 as shown HERE).

PATRICK: So, Justin and I have been on an overall deal with Warner Bros.  Television since about 2014. So that basically means the studio contracts us out to develop projects and also, if need be, help out on projects they have in development or production that they deem could use our help. 

Cut to 2016. Justin and I are banging our heads agains the wall about what to develop that year, and we get a call from Susan Rovner, then head of development with WBTV (and now co-president of the studio), and she asks us if we’d have any interest in developing an “R-rated, serialized, animated Harley Quinn show.”  Well, I’m a dyed in the wool comic book nerd.  I have an X-Men tattoo I got on Sixth Street in Austin when I was 18.  I was a fan of BTAS since day one.  Jim Lee was a hero of mine in my adolescence and I followed his career through Marvel, then Image and then DC.  This all felt like kismet.  So of course we said yes. 

We developed a pitch for the show, but then had to put it on the back burner because the studio wanted us to help with something more pressing for them, which was a show for NBC  called Powerless.  If you’re unfamiliar, it was a half-hour comedy set in the DC Universe.  Several of the series regulars and guest stars from it are voices on Harley.  And while Powerless was a wonderful experience, it was short-lived.  So once it was canceled, in 2017, we jumped back into Harley pitch mode, and that serendipitously timed up with rumblings of DC Universe emerging as this new streaming service.  Lo and behold, we were able to just take the show exclusively to that service, and get picked up for 26 episodes (it was always going to be two discreet 13-episode arcs).

The tl;dr version of this: we got lucky.  The show was dropped in our laps and we were smart enough to say yes.   

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN:  Wow!  Talk about serendipity.  Now let’s turn the focus to that amazing ensemble voice talent you have to work with here on the show.  I’m just curious how did Kaley Cuoco get attached to embody our lead girl here?  Was there a casting process for the role of Harley?  If you count one of the DC animated films (review HERE), she’s now the second star from The Big Bang Theory to have this honor.  And I got to be honest at first I could not get the character of Penny out of my head every time I heard Kaley talk as Harley.  However, as the weeks went on you could sincerely hear in Kaley’s voice how much fun she is having playing this bad girl and the whole Penny facade slowly dissipated for me.  She is Harley to me now!

PATRICK: I love that you’re saying that, because yes, Kaley is now my definitive Harley when I hear the character in my head.  So the story with her casting is a simple one.  We knew we wanted to go more of the feature-route when casting the voices on this show.  We wanted actors with live action comedy experience.  And we got them.  But the real lynchpin was getting Kaley involved.  That was serendipitous.  She, too, is on a deal at WBTV, and when we were trying to come up with a list of possible Harley actors, the studio said that Kaley was coming off of Big Bang and looking to do something out of the box.  So we jumped at the chance to sit with her.  We did, and walked out of the meeting feeling “this is our Harley.”  Her enthusiasm for the material was astounding.  She’s just the most positive person.  I can’t say that enough.  So encouraging, and so lovely to work with.  And she just GETS comedy.  She’s been living and breathing it since she was a child actor.  Her timing is perfect.  Her instincts are so good. 

Speaking of instincts, she really wanted to depart from the classic Harley accent.  Now, admittedly I, as a longtime fan, was fearful of how that would be received.  I myself had a lot of doubt.  But at a certain point, in any collaboration, you have to trust your colleagues.  And I can look back at that moment and say I was objectively wrong, and Kaley’s instincts were right, and she knows what she does best, better than anyone else, and she just nailed it.  I love her interpretation of the character so much.  

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: That’s a great story and I hear so much good about Kaley especially all the work she/her husband does with rescuing dogs.  According to IMDB you also are credited with voice direction on 13 or so episodes here.  How was it working with and directing such a talented ensemble of big names here with their voice over work?  Did all this talent just come out of the woodwork and want to be part of this fresh new series?  I mean really at what point did Alan Tudyk’s name come up as the Joker?  Inquiring minds want to know this stuff!  And last but not least with everything going on with COVID-19 and all I swore I saw on your Twitter account where you had to do some voice direction remotely with actors.  Is that how the bulk of the work is done for the show?  I’m sorry I realize this is more than one question here.  I did warn you I was passionate about this topic!

PATRICK: So once we had Kaley cast, I think that really lent some legitimacy to the project in the acting community.  But on top of that, our casting directors Ruth and Robert are awesome at bringing in talent, and then between Justin, myself and Dean Lorey, the other showrunner, we’ve worked with a lot of the cast on past projects.  So Alan Tudyk and Ron Funches and Matt Oberg (who voices Kite Man) worked with us on Powerless.  Chris Meloni (Jim Gordon) was the star of a show Justin and I created called Surviving Jack that was on Fox for a season.  And Tony Hale who voices Dr. Psycho worked with Dean Lorey on Arrested Development.  Those are just some examples.  Lake Bell we’d never had the pleasure of working with before this, but Ruth and Robert brought her to our attention, and she’s just… she’s a real standout.  Alan was always in our head as the Joker.  He’s just so good at anything.  We probably thought of him as Clayface before Joker, though.  Alan went to Juilliard.  He gets the cliché, perceived pomposity of master thespians.  He knows it so well and can lampoon it to perfection. 

In terms of directing the actors, the majority of it is done in person, in a studio.  But with the exception of the pilot, all the actors are pretty much in the booth solo.  And I, or Dean, or the brilliant Charlie Adler, who directed 95% of Kaley’s performances, will be on the other side of the glass and perform the other roles opposite the actor we’re recording.  It’s a blast.  And yes, the other day, I did tweet out that I was “directing” Diedrich Bader as Batman, over the phone, while he performed into an iPhone in his wife’s closet. COVID-19, man.  It’s making us get creative.  

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker (from Just Jared)

BRIAN: That’s amazing!  I’m curious too.  How did the look of the show come to be?  We’re you involved in any way as to how the artwork or animation of the show would ultimately turn out to look like?  I do love how its drawn, but I’m just curious about the development of it all.

PATRICK: So, in the very early days, Amanda Conner came on board to do some concept work for us.  And we jumped on a couple of collaborative phone calls with her before she went off and did her brilliant thing.  And then once the show was in proper pre-production, Jennifer Coyle came on board as a supervising producer, and she, along with our lead character designer Shane Glines, and art director Bill Wray really came up with the look of the show.  We always had genera ideas about what we wanted Gotham to look like.  We knew we wanted it to be a lot brighter and neon and fun, because that would be Harley’s perspective.  But Jen and her team are the ones who really gave it its lifeblood.  We just get to sit back and give them annoying notes.   

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN:  I love that about the brightness of Gotham from Harley’s perspective.  They used that same concept in Birds of Prey and you already know I love that.  However, let’s tackle the subject of the comic books now.  Without boring readers we all know that around the time of 2016’s Suicide Squad movie Harley Quinn looked completely different that she did let’s say the “Mad Love” Batman The Animated Series timeframe.  I also know that her look in said movie influenced and ultimately echoed the hair color of her character in the comics around the same time ditching the black and red contrasting hairdo.  I’m curious was there ever any doubt in your minds that you all were sticking with her new comic book look in the television series here or are there alternate versions/sketches out there of what our animated Harley Quinn may have looked like in the show?

PATRICK: As with all animated projects, there are a million drawings and iterations that get thrown out on the journey to landing on the right one.  The main thing was that we wanted to show Harley’s metamorphosis from Joker’s sidekick to her own boss as much as we could aesthetically, and so it made sense to us to go from her harlequin suit to the Rebirth look by the end of the pilot.  Those two designs are great.  Why deviate far from greatness? 

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: Exactly!  That’s what I always say.  Also, on the subject of the comics I have one more thing I want to get out on record here.  I know the answer to this one, but sometimes you need to play the role of the dumbest person in the room and make sacrifices for all the fans out there reading this that don’t know.  How closely or loosely for that matter did you base any of our character’s television storylines or ideas in regards to the still running Harley Quinn comic books series? 

PATRICK: It was more aesthetics than anything.  When we were developing the show, the “current” Harley was the New 52 and Rebirth version that Jimmy and Amanda set in Coney Island.  She was much more of an anti-hero.  But that didn’t work for the arch story we wanted to tell.  We wanted to tell the story of her breakup with the Joker, and felt like we were more intrigued by the criminal aspects of her life.  Of forming a crew, and running heists, etc.  I think there are tonal similarities between those comics and the show.  And then of course, Sy Borgman, whom Jimmy and Amanda created, is a big part of the show.  Sy is really the most overt theft from the pages of the comics. 

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: I spoke up above about the smorgasbord of DCEU characters this how contains.  What I didn’t talk about is how absolutely zany you all make them out to be.  They are an absolute parody of themselves.  Take the character of Bane for example.  He absolutely cracks me up with his Tom Hardy accent.  Jim Gordon is an alcoholic and bonds with Clayface’s lost hand.  That montage alone makes the $19.99 price tag of Season One on digital video completely worth it (second with Aquaman attempting to save all the fish from the smashed aquarium).  The Penguin’s nephew makes his Bar Mitzvah.  And the list goes.  I’m obviously not telling you anything you don’t know, but what I do want to understand is the carte blanche you have with the characters.  It seems like you have a whole sandbox to play in with no censorship at all.  Is the sky the limit, no holds barred from DC, to what you’re allowed to cook up and play out on screen here with any DCEU character at your disposal?  It sure seems that way (and in a hell of a good way too).  

PATRICK: Yeah, we pretty much got carte blanche from DC to have fun with it, within reason.  We had to protect the integrity of characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.  Basically the big seven.  And then sometimes you want to do things with a certain character that involves a discussion.  Gordon was a discussion, but our logic was that every day of his life is David Fincher’s SE7EN, so that would fuck someone up.  And drive them to drink.  And go on inane rants.  But DC was an amazing partner.  Very liberating. 

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: I really do have a serious question for you next here, but before I ask it I have to get this long and bloated story out of the way to set it all up.  However, a million and one thanks to you and your crew because you made what I am about to tell you all possible.  In October 2018 Warner Bros. released Batman The Animated Series on Blu-ray.  I was slow to pick it up, but when I did I remember watching all the episodes left and right in Digital HD whenever time permitted me to do so.  My fiancé, on the other hand, repeatedly made fun of me for watching cartoons.  I would usually spend my weekend mornings huddled around the kitchen table iMac in our house eating breakfast and watching what she called my “Saturday morning cartoons,” not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Somehow I convinced her to watch the premiere of DC Universe’s Harley Quinn show.  I truly believe she only did so because of her love for Kaely and the fact that she was a bigger fan of The Big Bang Theory than anybody I know.  That’s completely true.  She got me into the show back in the day.  Anyway, it was the third week of Season One.  I had watched Episode 3 “So You Need a Crew?” before venturing into work that Friday morning.  The following Saturday morning I decided to sleep in and she got up early as her body is more compliant and conditioned to early rising than mine.  I remember slowly waking to what I thought was a really good dream.  I was dreaming of this Harley Quinn show…or so I thought.  I also remember hearing hearty laughter and chuckling and that C-word being dropped a few times by Doctor Psycho.  But wait I thought to myself paralyzed in bed.  It wasn’t a dream.  That’s Harley Quinn playing on the television downstairs and that uncontrollable laughter was coming out of my fiancee’s body.  I remember thinking to myself oh my God she’s watching and enjoying the hell out of a cartoon.  My world was never going to be the same and I was never going to let her live this down.  I actually laid in bed the remainder of the episode as I did not want anything in this world to disturb her tender bonding moment with Harley Quinn here.  When I awoke I confronted her on the topic and told her very much the same story I just told you.  I got to tell you, Patrick, that was the proudest papa moment of my life (as I don’t have kids of my own).  Our world together has never been the same.  From then on out she would actually get mad at me if I watched the new weekly episode without her so I did what any wise man would do in this scenario.  I waited until after work to watch it together with her every Friday night.  So I ask you.  In your opinion does this new animated series or take on the character resonate stronger with lifelong fans of Harley Quinn or do you tend to see newbies attracted and falling in love with this show more often?  I realize that it can be both, but I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the topic.  I can’t tell you how many people I convinced to give this show a watch and walked away absolutely loving it.  That’s quite an accomplishment too when you tell someone not only are you going to have to trust me here, but also you’re going to have to pay for it.

PATRICK: That’s a great story. And I think it’s emblematic of the show’s appeal.  I mean, we definitely thought the pilot needed to be an access point for those who don’t know anything about Harley.  That’s why it was a premise pilot.  We thought yes, we might be telling a version of the story that many know, but at the end of the day, we want as wide an audience as possible.  And I think it’s paid off.  And I think my chief concern was that the diehard fans would hate the show because we did take license with a lot of what’s considered “canon,” but I think we managed to thread the needle.  

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: You absolutely did!  Hopefully she will be kinder to my BTAS viewings from here on out.  Also, I have been asking some really long winded questions.  I realize that so I’m going to throw you an easy one now.  I’m just curious without going into spoilers for folks that haven’t seen Season One yet of the show what episode was your favorite of those 13 and why?  I just asked myself the very same question and you know what?  I’m having a hard time answering that one as every episode has something truly memorable happen in it.  So many laugh out loud moments come to mind!

PATRICK: They all feel like my kids, and it changes all the time, but right now, for comedy, I’m digging the third episode overall, “So You Need a Crew” that intros Clayface and Dr. Psycho.  It’s the one we submitted to the Annie Awards, and it got nominated (and lost to Bojack Horseman, which is okay cause that show’s great), but I just thought that was the episode where I was like “Oh, we’ve figured out the show.”  And then we went back and rewrote a bunch of the second episode with what we discovered in episode 3.  Also, for drama, I really love episode 10, “Bensonhurst,” which was anomalous, since the crew isn’t really in that episode, but I love the genuine family drama in it with Harley and her parents. 

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: Also, without going into too many spoilers what can fans expect in Season Two of the show, which starts this Friday?  Anything you can tease them with or whet their already hungry appetites even more with?  I know you have to have something nearly tangible and juicy ready at a moment’s notice to dangle like a carrot in front of us all.

PATRICK: The scope of the show gets huge. We’re gonna meet more characters from Gotham—Batgirl, Catwoman, e.g.—and from other planets.  That’s all I’ll say. 

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: You had me at scope, but the other planets thing.  Well now you have my wheels turning!  I got to say that one of the most lovable characters other than King Shark has to be that of one Kite Man.  His incarnation here kind of reminds me of Family Guy’s Quagmire.  I was shocked as well to see how Poison Ivy took to him, but I digress.  What I really want to know is will we ever see a “friends with benefits” kind of relationship between Ivy and Harley like in the comics?  I realize you may not be able to answer that, but you can never fault a guy for trying.  

PATRICK: I’ve been pretty open recently that Harley and Ivy’s relationship will evolve in season two.  I probably said too much already on twitter, but a pandemic will make one do impetuous things.  We go beyond friends with benefits.  I’ll leave it at that. 

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: I know there is no mention of whether a Season Three will happen or not yet, but if the Gods answer my prayers and there is, do you guys have any thoughts or things mapped out for that journey?  Is Kaley onboard?  I really shouldn’t even be talking like this.  I mean of course there’s going to be a third season.  It’s only a matter of when!

PATRICK: Everyone is on board for a season three on our end.  We don’t have too much of it mapped out yet.  Just some broad strokes.  And I don’t know if there’ll be a third season, honestly.  I mean, if life were fair, then 100% there’d be a third season, but I think we’re seeing very clearly right now that life is most certainly not fair haha. 

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: Indeed.  Nothing good ever lasts forever.  Well I think I’ve probably taken up enough of your time and before I really outstay my welcome I want to ask you one last question.  I always ask this one of everybody I interview as it’s really a way to get someone to open up and identify with them even more.  So simply put, what makes Patrick Schumacker tick?  We already know about your writing and producing career, but outside of all that what makes you get up every day and tackle life?  Do you have any hobbies, bucket list items or motivations that you want your newfound fans to know about?

PATRICK: Zoloft?  That’s not even really a joke.  I’m lucky to be here, man.  I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would get to work on this show.  It’s truly the most creatively rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  I mean, I’m at the comic shop every wednesday, as I did when I was growing up, so this is just an absolute honor.  I also never thought I would have a family, but I do, and that’s never going to stop being weird and amazing.  So I’m just lucky all around.  I think luck has been a recurring theme in this interview.  Luck!  The hallmark of the white male. 

Harley Quinn Interview with Patrick Shumacker

BRIAN: Well I definitely envy your luck, but despite that fact I completely respect your mad talent with this property.  Thanks so much for sharing and taking the time out of your busy day to meet and chat with me.  It was both a pleasure and a sincere honor getting to know you better and find out so many bad@$$ things about my favorite television show.  April 3rd can’t be here fast enough!  But before you go I’ll just throw this out there.  If you ever need anything, and that includes any producing help with Season 3, I’m there for you man.  Just shine that proverbial Bat light out there in Los Angeles and I’ll see it here down in Austin and answer that call.  Take care brother and well wishes to your and your family to stay safe.

PATRICK: Thanks so much, Brian, and when it’s safe to go outside again, please send me a photo of you toasting the show with some migas and a Shiner Bock. 

BRIAN: Absolutely!  Will definitely do!  Until then…

Harley Quinn Season 1 Interview with Patrick Shumacker

There you have it folks.  I can’t thank Patrick enough for stopping by today, chatting with me and for all the newfound joy he has brought to my life with DC Universe’s Harley Quinn animated series.  For anybody that has not caught the show yet, what are you waiting for?  It’s a perfect time to binge free over a 7-day trial period with this quarantine and all going on.  Like Mikey and Life cereal, you might just like it!  Who am I kidding?  You’re going to love it!  And just in time too because Season Two of the show starts this Friday, April 3rd.  So what are you waiting for?  Give Season One that Life cereal trial today!  And for those of you who would rather own Season One outright, you’re in luck too.  Check out your favorite online digital retailer platform like iTunes or VUDU and purchase Season One of Harley Quinn today.  And most importantly, ENJOY!

Harley Quinn Season 2 Premieres April 3rd

ONLY on DC Universe!


Harley Quinn Season 2 Premieres April 3rd!


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “DC Universe’s Harley Quinn: Exclusive Interview w/ Patrick Schumacker”

  1. Jason Coleman

    Great interview Brian – love seeing passion pieces that rock from you!

  2. Gregg

    Absolutely bangin’ interview!! I feel like I spoke to the guy myself after reading that! So much behind-the-scenes insight to be gained by delving into this read. Bravo!

  3. Brian White

    Thanks Gregg and Jason! I appreciate the comments. I had a blast with this one!