How ‘Harley Quinn’ Evolved Past Season One

The “Harley Quinn” season three finale recently dropped, and it was really good! It’ll also leave fans thinking back to its first episodes, and seeing just how much the main character has evolved.

The first season of this show dealt with Harley escaping the clutches of her toxic boyfriend, the Joker. He’s portrayed not only as his usual crazy, clown self, but also sexist, toxically masculine, and extremely manipulative. It showed the audience that Harley, usually painted as his “side-kick” in the comics and other shows, could be more than that, and be her own main character in her own story. The show did something smart after the first season, though. Instead of keeping it about Quinn versus Joker, they moved past that, and onto more Gotham characters and their issues, like Bruce Wayne, Doctor Psycho, and more. While season two felt a little disconnected from the show’s main character, season three turned that around.

Season three started by establishing Poison Ivy as a kinda co-lead, rather than a friend/mentor figure which she was before then, which just makes sense for those watching up to that point. It still focused a lot on Gotham’s superhero and villain galleries, but kept it way more Harley and Ivy focused. There are still a few episodes that make you wonder: “Wait, who’s show is this again?” but they’re not even bad.

The main problem with the show before season three was explaining the jokes after the characters said them. It always just feels condescending to the audience and ruins its humor. Thankfully, after the second season, they realized that we’re smart enough to understand the jokes for ourselves and stopped doing that.

Overall, “Harley Quinn” makes you fall even more in love with the classic characters, and leans into the original just pure absurdity that the original 60’s DC comics were about. It breathed new life into the character of Harley, and also, as it should be, is extremely empowering to women, and will continue that trend with season four, which the showrunners said is on the way.

You can stream “Harley Quinn” on HBO Max.


By Inti Navia, Senior, ChiArts

Instagram @intinavia

Written by Inti Navia

I love nerding out over Star Wars, Gravity Falls, and Lord of the Rings. I'm an introvert with a never ending appreciation for all things Sci-Fi and fantasy media.

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