Harley Quinn: The Complete First And Second Season (Blu-ray Review)

Well, look at that everyone, wishes have been granted and wrongs have been righted as Warner Archive Collection brings Harley Quinn: The Complete First And Second Seasons to Blu-ray! You’ll remember last year I reviewed the DVD for the show which airs in HD on HBO MAX (And formerly the DC Comics streaming service where it had began). And what a joy as Season 2 of the show continues the goodwill from the first season and escalates it to an even greater quality. Seriously, this show is hilarious and the second season even had a bit that was very Monty Python-esque. To which, I have to give it major props. This one is available already, as it came out on February 16th. You can order it from the paid Amazon link below, and it truly gets my recommend. I’ll definitely eat crow on this series, that when it was announced I shrugged. Consider me a big fan!


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Originally Published for the Harley Quinn: The Complete First Season (DVD Review)

Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) has finally broken things off once and for all with the Joker (Alan Tudyk) and attempts to make it on her own as the criminal Queenpin of Gotham City in this half-hour adult animated action-comedy series. With the help of Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) and a ragtag crew of DC castoffs, Harley tries to earn a seat at the biggest table in villainy: the Legion of Doom. Don’t worry – she’s got this. Or does she? In Season 2, Harley has defeated the Joker, and Gotham City is hers for the taking…what’s left of it, that is. Her celebration in the newly created chaos is cut short when Penguin, Bane, Mr. Freeze, The Riddler and Two-Face join forces to restore order in the criminal underworld. Calling themselves the Injustice League, they’re intent on keeping Harley and her crew from taking control as the top villains in Gotham.

Harley Quinn is a raunchy, but fun and surprisingly clever comic book show in its own right. DC’s animated show itself is a twisted, comical view on the Batman world of Gotham City while keeping everything true to its history, character and lore. A zany animated comedic jaunt is fitting with its lead, as its through the eyes of the deranged and recently set off to do crime’s work on her own Harley Quinn. Struggling through a disastrous first episode (It tries WAY too hard, very overloaded pilot and a bit too impressed with juvenile things like showing “Hey look, CUSS WORDS!”), the show immediately settles down and relaxes in the second episode and through to the end of the series. One issues that does still remain is that time to time it does sit and unnecessarily explain jokes which at times ruins how funny they were in the first place. But, that is more few and far between. In addition to the humor and comedic spins on the characters, the show also relishes in violence as comedy and has plenty of vicious deaths and blood splatter galore to shock and make you laugh at the same time.

Harley’s world, friends, characters and antics fit right at home with some of the most fun and best to offer on Adult Swim. You could easily slot it in there on a Sunday night and not even blink an eye. DC creators have obviously been studying and taking notes as the style and cadence with the animation and humor feels quite inspired. Its not unlike a Robot Chicken sketch is being fully fleshed out here in this animated series. Its animation style is bursting with color and looks that of a show aimed at kids while having some really fun and classic looks to its notable villains. The characters are all quite nifty takes, especially when Bane shows up (Which surprisingly they do not abuse him, where they could easily have made you tired of the schtick). Clayface has a fun approach and what they do with Robin is honestly gut-bustingly funny that you have to see it.

Kaley Cuoco leads a pretty stacked cast of regulars and guest stars. She makes a fine Harley Quinn, keeping her a little more sane than some of the other iterations. But, that may more be attributed to the writing at the end of the day. Lake Bell is a very nice Poison Ivy and her and Cuoco level in a a good way with their performances. Alan Tudyk’s Clayface as I mentioned is quite fun. Jason Alexander goes balls to the wall here. The show does have possibly some of the most genius casting in having Giancarlo Esposito play Lex Luthor in this thing. Yeah, I can hear you know thinking “Oh shit, that’s brilliant.”

Count me as a surprised fan of Harley Quinn. When I first heard of the show, I was kind “Eh” about it and it wasn’t one to convince me to sign up for the DC streaming service. It still isn’t, but I’ll happily wait for Brian to get angry and pass me another DVD of it to catch up after Season Two is done. The show is genuinely funny, plays with the best of them in terms of adult cartoons and has a pretty decent (Sneaky) serialized story to it. If you’re able to via DVD, rental, streaming trial or whatnot, you should give it a fair shot. There have been plenty of comedic approaches to all things Batman in the past, and this is one of the better efforts!


Season 1

Til Death Do Us Part

A High Bar

So You Need A Crew?

Finding Mr. Right

Being Harley Quinn

You’re A Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon

The Line


A Seat At The Table


Harley Quinn Highway

Devil’s Snare

The Final Joke

Season 2

New Gotham

Riddle U


Thawing Hearts

Batman’s Back, Man

All The Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues

There’s No Place To Go But Down

Inner (Para)Demons


Dye Hard

A Fight Worth Fighting For

Lover’s Quarrel

Something Green

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Harley Quinn greatly improves its experience in the jump to Blu-ray. It is a much more crisp and sharp picture with all the noise and softness gone from the DVD presentation. The colors slap you in the face in this upgrade and it really rounds out for the ideal image quality here. What a relief.

Depth:  The show has a two dimensional look to it, but there are some good scale type moments and camera movements that reveal a pushback and showcase some nice depth of field. Movements are smooth and natural with no issues regarding motion distortion.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and do a good solid job coloring in, outlining and shadowing. No real issues occur with missing information. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are quite vibrant and really pop in their primary nature in the image. Compared to the DVD this is quite vivid. There is good saturation and it never bleeds.

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Harley Quinn is still in a 5.1 mix, but its lossless this time and it really does make a difference. The room feels more spacious, layered and free. The rear channels feel more present in this presentation of the mix. Vocals take center stage, but action sequences really pump and pummel through your system.

Height: N/A

Low-Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer provides a solid amount of boom when it comes to explosions, gunfire, tanks(!), smashing, punching, crashing and more.

Surround Sound Presentation: There are some nice contributions from big battle and party sequences that revolve around the room and give special tasks to the rear channels. A lot of the heavy lifting goes to the front channels, but the back always remain a sort of presence.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are the forefront as they prove loud and clear in any given circumstance.

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Harley Quinn: The Complete First and Second Seasons is a 3-Disc set and comes with no extras. The episodes are not separated either, as on Disc 2 where it the change in season would happen, they are just listed in a unified fashion.

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Harley Quinn is wonderfully hilarious and quite a joyful little dump on the Batman mythos as it loves screwing around and poking fun at the Dark Knight’s supporting cast and lore. It stinks that this Blu-ray compilation of the first two seasons doesn’t include a lick of bonus material. But seeing as they first launched it with a DVD, I suppose we should take the great picture and audio quality as our bonuses. Check the show out on HBO MAX and definitely pick up this Blu-ray if you don’t subscribe.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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