Towards the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the WB* attempted to keep the Girl Power strong with their network by bringing in some DC characters. After all, the WB was riding high on Smallville‘s success. They still had Charmed, but they seemed to want some ladies who kicked ass, without the cartoony silliness the Halliwell sisters sometimes got into- I don’t mock, still love Charmed!
*yes, I know that Buffy was on UPN for it’s last two years, but we all know the WB still thought of it as their baby.
What they got was thirteen episodes of what could’ve been awesome.
‘Could’ve been’ being the operative phrase. Of course, the fact that I own the DVDs also says that while the show wasn’t great, Birds of Prey was a lot of fun. And it had so much potential.
It would’ve worked really well as an animated series. However, as a live-action, hour long drama, it was trying too hard to work and just missed the mark.
Let me start with one awesome bit- Shemar Moore as Detective Reese. Baby Shemar stepping away from his soap opera roots… as a cop who believes something weird is under the surface of New Gotham. Yeah, I’ll take that any day.
Dina Meyer as Barbara Gordon who was attacked by The Joker and left with a broken back, thus destroying her life as Batgirl and turning her into Oracle. Alright, I’ll buy this. Dina Meyer is fabulous.
There’s the Huntress, with a better origin (canon, right?) story than Helena has on Arrow, sadly. Here she is the illegitimate daughter of Batman and Catwoman. And she ends up being raised by Barbara. She’s also somehow meta-human. This never makes sense to me considering neither Bruce nor Selena were anything but human.
There’s Alfred Pennyworth doing his best Alfred and taking care of all the ladies.
Ugh. I’m going back to Shemar Moore.
They did one thing right though- Mark Hamill voiced the Joker. And Mia Sara as Harley Quinn… who is almost channeling “dark Lily” from Legend.
This series could have been good. But it feels like it relied more on the Joel Schumacher Batman. And we all know that sucked. It’s hard to pin down exactly why the series didn’t work. My gut tells me that it was trying to fill a void left by Buffy, and connect to Smallville, but both of those series felt real. There was a distinct lack of cartoony feeling to them, even if they were dealing with mutated folks or demons. This series just feels like it was pulled right from the mid 90’s Batman animated series- which was a pretty series, but would not work in live-action.
There are some nice visual effects. The bad guy in the second episode is water- and it’s a beautiful effect.
Anyways, the series is worth a viewing or two. Especially to see some actors in their early roles. But it hurts my head to know how it could’ve been.
Scroll back up and enjoy baby Shemar shirtless. Mmmmmmmmmmm…