5 Reasons to Watch the BIRDS OF PREY TV Show

Meg Downey

Meg Downey

Aug. 30, 2018

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It may have only lasted a single season, but Birds of Prey still stands as one of the most unique superhero shows to hit TV screens everywhere. Like it's contemporary Smallville, it helped form the foundation that went on to support the Arrowverse we know and love today -- all while focusing on one of the the first female superhero teams to make the jump to live action.


New Gotham may not be the Gotham City you know, but that doesn't mean it's not still packed to the gills with over the top Super Hero versus Super-Villain action and all the gargoyle-swinging, Oracle hacking, Batman family action you could ever ask for.


Still need convincing? Here are five reasons to watch Birds of Prey right here on DC Universe...


The Most Outrageous Gotham Ever


To be completely fair, the Gotham City in Birds of Prey isn't your traditional take on the city. It's actually "New Gotham," which is sort of like Batman Beyond's "Neo-Gotham" -- a city that's both familiar and totally new. But what makes this version of Gotham even more off-the-wall is its population of metahumans. In fact, the majority of Birds of Prey's story has to deal with just that: a city overrun by a population of newly discovered metahumans, all of whom have a special power they may or may not be able to use.


In other universes, Batman's stance of metahuman activity, especially superheroic metahuman activity has been pretty uh, strict, to say the least. But here we have the opposite end of the spectrum: Helena Kyle herself is half meta -- though where she got those genes, considering her parents were Batman and Catwoman, is anyone's guess.


Those Early '00s Outfits

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Ah, the early 2000s. An era when black patent leather, bustier-style tops, and low-cut, flared jeans reigned supreme. The design work for Birds of Prey is so over-the-top by modern standards, it's iconic. Watch Huntress backflip from rooftop to rooftop while wearing her translucent duster and slick leather corset-shirt. Enjoy every one of the choker necklaces and not-quite-cropped tank tops.


Birds of Prey is like a time capsule from a different era -- one in which studded pants and stiletto boots were the peak of crime fighting fashion -- and every part of it is fantastic.


All Those Easter Eggs


Birds of Prey may not be a faithful adaptation of any one comic book story, but it manages to pack in more than its fair share of nods, references and Easter Eggs for anyone willing to look for them. From the "No Man's Land" bar to the opening credits play-by-play of the plot of The Killing Joke, the show never tried to hide its roots.


It even featured the live-action debuts of other DC heroes, repurposed for its new universe. Lady Shiva, who appeared in one episode and Harley Quinn, who was a recurring villain (though sadly without her classic jester costume), both got their first-ever flesh-and-blood portrayals here.


Some of the references may be a bit hard to catch, but if you pay close attention and practice some real detective skills, you'll even find shout-outs to villains like Scarecrow and Clayface in the mix as well.


A New Spin on Earth-Two


Birds of Prey offers a unique take on the origin of its hero, Helena Kyle, based on the Earth-Two origin of the Huntress, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Back when the DC universe was just starting to solidify in the '50s and '60s, its continuity was split: there was Earth-One, on which then contemporary Batman stories took place, and Earth-Two, where stories from the Golden Age of the '40s had taken place. In the Golden Age universe, Bruce and Selina married and had a daughter who did indeed become Huntress -- except in the comics she went by the name Helena Wayne.


But the modern-age Huntress, a woman named Helena Bertinelli, who has a completely different origin story than her classic counterpart, is arguably the better known incarnation of the character, making Birds of Prey's Earth-Two switch up all the more unique.


Two Words: Alfred. Pennyworth.


Over the years, there have been many on-screen Alfreds, from the 1966 Batman TV show's Alan Napier to The Dark Knight Trilogy's Michael Caine. But Birds of Prey's Ian Abercrombie deserves a special shout-out. Not only does he handle the bulk of the show's exposition -- he even does the opening credits narration for each episode -- he stands completely apart from Bruce Wayne for the entire show, making him one of the most unusual live-action Alfreds.


He's still immediately recognizable, of course -- and he still raised Bruce in this universe, to be sure -- but in Birds of Prey it's just him and the ladies on the team working together, with no Batman or Batcave to be found. But don't worry: we promise he's every bit as amazing working in the Clocktower as he is in Wayne Manor.