Thursday, July 28, 2022

REVIEW: 'Harley Quinn' - Harley Obsesses Over the Validation Her Peers Can Offer Her Relationship in 'The 83rd Annual Villy Awards'

HBO Max's Harley Quinn - Episode 3.03 "The 83rd Annual Villy Awards"

After receiving a "Best Couple" nomination at the 83rd Annual Villy Awards, Ivy finds herself seated next to her ex's new girlfriend while Harley goes overboard to ensure their win.

"The 83rd Annual Villy Awards" was written by Jamiesen Borak and directed by Mike Milo

Harley has won a Villy Award for "Best Couple" before. In fact, that recognition from her peers served as validation for her relationship with the Joker. She was blind to how toxic that dynamic was for so long. She just appreciated the celebration. He didn't even take her to the ceremony several times. He extended that courtesy to a random goon. He kept all the trophies for himself. Now, a Villy Award is essentially worth the same as a Golden Globe in today's society. It's an organization that recognizes evil. As such, it should be expected the results can be tainted. The people voting for the winners can be bribed. That's the game that must be played. Harley doesn't realize that until it's seemingly too late. As such, she has to fight the android accountant charged with protecting the names of the winners. That's all she can focus on. Again, winning means so much to her. As such, it matters a lot to Ivy too. She's incredibly anxious in this situation though. She isn't comfortable at a big ceremony with lots of people. She has to walk a red carpet and talk about what she's wearing. She doesn't want to showcase her nails because they only reveal how nervous she is. In fact, she runs out of the ceremony because it's overwhelming and people seemingly want to torture her. Harley and Ivy are seated next to Kite Man and his new girlfriend, Golden Glider. It all threatens to be embarrassing. That's simply how things ended. This is the first time Ivy is seeing her former fiancé since she left the wedding with Harley. No one has any hard feelings though. They recognize how much better it is for Ivy to be with Harley. Meanwhile, Kite Man has found someone he can also be passionate about. Golden Glider is equally nervous and intimidated about meeting Ivy for the first time. She fears she doesn't measure up to how great Kite Man's last relationship was. And yet, they've gotten very close and intimate very quickly. She shouldn't have doubts about this relationship. Ivy sees all the ways in which Kite Man is showing Golden Glider how much he already cares about her. As such, she shouldn't stand in the way of the two of them being happy. They may actually be even more compatible because they have powers that compliment each other. They both have the ability to fly. Golden Glider has magical skates that make that possible. Ivy even makes the same joke Kite Man did. Moreover, he appreciates what Ivy did for him as well. He wasn't taken seriously as a villain before he started dating her. And now, he has gained more legitimacy. It's not enough to be nominated at the official ceremony. He was recognized at the technical awards from the prior week. That's good enough for him at the moment. It showcases upward trajectory. He's still a work in process. The industry acknowledges that and rewards him accordingly. It may not be enough for some. It's still worth celebrating.

Harley and Ivy don't need an award from their peers in order to feel secure. They are a power couple regardless of what happens. The Riddler believes his relationship with the Clock King has it in the bag. They broke ground as the first gay couple amongst the storied villains of Gotham. That history deserves recognition. People have immediately become so captivated with Harley and Ivy. Their relationship is only a few weeks old. Plus, they are now living out of Catwoman's apartment alongside her numerous cats. Ivy has a lab to work on her serum. She hasn't cracked it yet. She has simply made it less combustable. Harley can't help too much with the science. She's mostly good at punching people and being very excited about what's happening in the world. She uplifts Ivy just as much as Ivy does for her. That continues to showcase just how deserving they are as a couple. They do ultimately win. However, that no longer matters to them. All they truly need is a trip to Big Belly Burger. Sure, they torture the staff as well. That's how they show their love. It also means history repeats itself with the Joker taking home a trophy that rightfully belongs to Harley. He continues to exploit her image as a prop. It's all part of his opening number as host. She has evolved past his vision of her. He has as well. He's comfortable making a shoutout to his girlfriend and new family. They continue to mean so much to him. That's what is important in this moment. Similarly, Catwoman has to use her speech for the honorary award for lifetime achievement to call out the lack of diversity in this organization. No one can ignore those visuals. Her victory is a token play to appease those critiques. It's not enough. She has better things she could be doing. She attends the ceremony to make a point. She earns rapturous applause from Black Manta. Everyone else is made uncomfortable. They don't want to confront those harsh truths. Those conversations still have to occur. Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out what's actually going on. Harley needs Kite Man in order to take this award less seriously. Golden Glider needs to talk with Ivy in order to help both of them attend the ceremony. These villains may continually terrorize Gotham. They each have hearts. Their love matters to those they care about. Friendship does so as well. Sure, it's more than likely going to be a bad idea that Clayface tries to impersonate Bill Bob Thornton on the set of the Thomas Wayne movie directed by James Gunn. He still embarks on that venture with gusto and support of the friends he can always count on to cover up his messes. So many may continually see him as a monster. He desperately wants validation as an actor. And now, he's willing to steal an identity in order to get that.