Adult Swim always has some interesting programming.
They’ve dabbled in live-action, but their main market is adult animation.
Birdgirl, a spinoff of a Hanna-Barbera character, is a wonderful new venture for Adult Swim.
The show follows Judy Ken Sebben (AKA Birdgirl) as she juggles inheriting her father’s (Birdman’s) company, Sebben & Sebben while being a superhero.
Hilarious antics ensue, as she is not prepared to run her father’s company.
Many things make this show a delight to watch.
Probably the most important, the leads are two strong women.
Judy’s second in command at the company is Meredith. Meredith also has superpowers. She is a Mind Taker: she can read minds, influence minds, and communicate telepathically.
Meredith is a sweetheart. She cares for Judy and tries her hardest to help her run the company. She also helps her balance her superhero persona with her human self.
They have an extremely close relationship, and their bond is undeniable. They are there for each other even when times get weird.
Their super-adventures together create lots of laughs while also bringing them closer together.
The minor characters also include two interesting women, and both have their exciting storylines throughout each episode (and one has super strength).
The other side characters offer very interesting foils to Judy and the bird team. The notable standout here would be Dog With Bucket Hat. He is amusing and adorable.
As a senior executive, Dog With Bucket Hat performs some essential tasks for the company while also acting like a dog. His relationship with Judy is endearing, and he has some witty one-liners.
Another major standout is Judy’s secretary, Gillian (with a hard G). She’s incredibly quirky, and the way she embraces her quirkiness is charming to see.
The side characters all contribute to the funny dynamic throughout each episode of Birdgirl.
The antics Birdgril and the team get into are very funny and outlandish (in the best way possible).
This show, however, is a departure from the early 2000s Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Everything is crazier, and so far, there are fewer references to other Hanna-Barbera properties. Birdgirl was a minor character in the original, and Adult Swim lets her shine with her own show.
The comedy can be crude at times but is not overly inappropriate as Adult Swim often can be.
If you were a fan of the original, Birdgirl is something fresh. Having watched a few episodes of Harvey Birdman, I can confidently say that Birdgirl holds her own as the star of a new show.
Judy Ken Sebben also has to deal with the loss of her father. The show has only touched on her grief, and the writers keep it pushed back — for now. Eventually, I feel the show will have to deal with her grief. For now, they bring it out when Judy makes irrational decisions, which may lead to something more emotional soon.
Luckily, some of her grief did make an appearance. Harvey Birdman left the company to Birdgirl, not Judy. Judy had to deal with the grief while being thrown into the position of CEO as her alter-ego. Luckily, Meredith helps her cope with emotional hardships.
The show balances the seriousness of running a company while keeping its crazy absurdist humor front and center.
Absurdist humor is not for everyone, but Birdgirl’s is nothing compared to other Adult Swim shows. Adult Swim is known for being weird, and Birdgirl fits comfortably in that category without being too odd.
The voice cast is pretty star-studded too. Birdgirl herself is the incomparable Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds). She is reprising her role from the original Harvey Birdman series, and she is the ultimate Birdgirl. Her voice acting is superb, and she helps Birdgirl/Judy stand out.
The rest of the ensemble also have familiar faces (voices), including Tony Hale (Veep), Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), John Doman (The Wire), and Kether Donohue (You’re The Worst).
The characters are brought to life wonderfully by this powerhouse of a cast. Each character is unique, and the results are pretty entertaining.
The chemistry presented through the animation is terrific, and it feels like watching a standard sitcom. The characters, although super, are all very human and grounded by their human/non-super side.
Of course, this isn’t due to the voice acting alone. The writing is very clever and comes off as very natural.
Adult animation is not an easy market. The crowd is full of staples like The Simpsons, American Dad, and Family Guy. Adult Swim already has one winner with Rick and Morty (and arguably, Primal). Birdgirl has to be unique enough to survive the disadvantage of not being on a major network and being on at midnight.
Birdgirl so far has succeeded and is very refreshing in comparison to the usual suspects. The crudeness of the comedy doesn’t overshadow the show’s heart.
The show, at its core, revolves around Judy adjusting to her new life. She has new responsibilities that she needs to balance with old responsibilities, and the people around her are her support group.
Everyone from Dog With Bucket Hat to Gillian cares for Judy in one way or another.
Birdgirl may be a small, lesser-known Hanna-Barbera property, and the show may not be for everyone, but it really has a lot of heart. The character dynamics are touching and the laughs never stop. I’m so excited to see what the full season brings.
So what do you think?
Will you give Birdgirl a try?
Birdgirl airs on Sunday nights/Monday mornings at Midnight.
Let us know in the comments below!
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