Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Harley Quinn is an explicit adult animated comedy based on characters from the DC multiverse. Harley is working to become one of the best supervillains in Gotham. This comes with a lot of gratuitous violence and death. Characters are killed in gruesome ways, including being shot, stabbed, dissolved in acid, and having their limbs removed. There are frequent mentions of sex and sexual innuendo as well as the appearance of some pixilated genitalia. Characters use every curse word in the book ("f--k," "s--t," "bitch," etc.) Underneath the racy and grisly nature of this series are themes of female resilience and empowerment.
Extreme, Vulgar and No Warnings
Report this review
Not for young people. Would say 21+
Report this review
What's the Story?
Titular character HARLEY QUINN (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) is tired of her abusive boyfriend, the clown prince of crime -- The Joker (Alan Tudyk). After he leaves her behind one too many times, Harley Breaks up with him and vows to take her revenge by becoming one of the greatest supervillains Gotham has ever seen. Harley, with the help of her best friend Poison Ivy (Lake Bell), recruits a crew of other villain misfits in order to rise to the top. However, her greatest obstacle proves not to be any superhero but instead the glass ceiling.
Is It Any Good?
Sex, drugs, blood, and guts galore, Harley Quinn is an action-packed adult comedy that is not suitable for teens. Although the series is well-paced and gives an interesting perspective on the consequences of abusive relationships, it doesn't make up for the crass humor and violent nature of its characters.
Older teens may enjoy seeing Harley take down the misogynistic supervillains that try to keep her "in her place." One of the major themes of the series is that women can be just as powerful and deadly as men, but with the increasing value of female villains comes a decreasing value of human life in general as innocent people, including children, are thoughtlessly slaughtered. The goal of overcoming a male-dominated society is a noble one, but the series pushes this theme a little too far and tends to cross the line into pandering instead of entertaining.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about abusive relationships and how they are portrayed in the series. How is Harley affected by her relationship with the Joker? What steps does she take to rediscover herself? Do you know of any real-life examples of abuse? What are some resources that help people leave an abusive relationship?
Families can also talk about how violence is used in this series. Is there any justification for the violent behavior of the characters? Do you believe series like this one desensitize viewers to violent images in a detrimental way?
Harley works to break the glass ceiling by becoming Gotham's greatest female supervillain. Why might this be important for other female villains in the series' universe? What examples of a glass ceiling have you witnessed in the real world?
- Premiere date: November 29, 2019
- Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk
- Networks: DC Universe, HBO Max
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Dark, violent series tells story of young DC superheroes.
All action all the time -- not for all viewers.
Former sidekicks battle villains in action-packed cartoon.
For kids who love comics
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate