Birds of Prey
Three women with amazing abilities team together to fight crime in New Gotham City.
Spoiler Level: None, Very Mild
Barbara Gordon (Dina Meyer) used to be Batgirl but was shot in the back by the Joker, paralyzing her and confining her to a wheelchair. The same night she was shot, a hired assassin killed Selena Kyle/Catwoman, orphaning her daughter, Helena (Ashley Scott) who is then adopted by Barbara and raised to be the Huntress. Young girl, Dinah Lance (Rachel Skarsten), saw both these events happening in a vision and seven years later, runs away from home to find the two women she saw in her dreams. The three women join together to form the Birds of Prey. Selena and Dinah are both metahumans, people with amazing powers and abilities. Helena has cat-like powers and Dinah, in addition to her precognitive visions, also can see things when she has physical touch with someone, often revealing an internal secret. Although Barbara has no superpowers and is now confined to a wheelchair, she transitions from Batgirl to Oracle, using her computer skills and fight training to lead the others and to guide them when out on missions. Detective Jesse Reese (Shemar Moore) assists and sometimes hinders the trio’s operation. Secretly masterminding much of the crime in New Gotham City is Dr. Harleen Quinzel (Mia Sara), also known as Harley Quinn.
The show was developed by Laeta Kalogridis for the WB and is loosely based on the comic book of the same name for DC Comics. Although each character’s backstory in the series does share some aspects to their origins within DC Comics, most of the characteristics and powers have been wildly altered from their source material and bare little to no resemblance to what appears on the pages of the comic books. The show premiered to good ratings, garnering the largest premiere in the 18-34 demographics for the WB, but the series could not maintain its viewership and the ratings dropped significantly causing the studio to cancel the series after thirteen episodes.
This show wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. The special effects, including some computer animation, weren’t bad for when it was made, but in comparison to today it comes across as unrealistic. The fight scenes were well choreographed and executed and the overall action within the episodes was compelling and exciting. The music was strong and reminiscent of the Danny Elfman scores for the Tim Burton Batman movies and created the appropriate ambiance for each scene. For the most part, the storylines were interesting, intriguing, and fun with some good character development with each character having their own traumas to overcome and past to reconcile with. The acting was adequate with no one sticking out as particularly bad. But the change in costumes and abilities for characters may have turned off fans of the comic book. Where was the Huntress’ infamous crossbow, her signature weapon? What happened to Dinah’s sonic powers–her “Canary Cry”? The writing I found to be the weakest link within the show. The dialogue stuck out to me as not feeling true or realistic and this is why I think viewers dropped from watching. The clumsy dialogue made it hard for the audience to really connect with the characters and to immerse themselves within the universe they were trying to create couple that with the alteration in characteristics from the comic books explains why the show never found a large enough fan base.
The show wasn't bad, but it missed its mark and never garnered a loyal fan base big enough for it to continue.
Birds of Prey is streaming on Tubi.
Forgotten Television: Birds of Prey
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 8/108/10
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