Genre: Comedy, Drama
Of all the "re-imagining" wreaked upon the Hanna-Barbera animated catalog by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programs, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is probably their most deliriously creative effort. The series revives second-string '60s avian hero Birdman, and via a combination of old clips and new animation, recasts him as a crusading lawyer (voiced by Gary Cole) who defends the rights of other cartoon characters. That Harvey is pitted in the courtroom against old supervillain foes, who have followed his lead and become prosecutors and judges, is one problem--but even more challenging are the pickles his fellow Hanna-Barbera creations find themselves in: Harvey must clear Fred Flintstone of organized crime charges ("The Dabba Don," perhaps the first season's most clever episode); prove that Boo Boo is not the notorious bomber known as the "Unabooboo" ("Death by Chocolate"); and on a more personal note, contend with an addiction to self-tanning cream ("SPF"). Obviously, Harvey Birdman's humor isn't for every viewer, but for those with a taste for the offbeat, the frequently hilarious scripts (mostly by show creators Michael Ouweleen and Eric Richter) and terrific vocal performances by Cole, Stephen Colbert (as evil prosecutor Reducto) and John Michael Higgins's Judge Mentok the Mind-Taker (as well as guests like Michael McKean, Spongebob Squarepants' Tom Kenny, and Peter MacNicol) make the show a cracked delight. Volume 1's two-disc set compiles all nine episodes of the first season and four from season 2 (the episodes are presented in order of production--"Blackwatch Plaid" is not included here); extras include deleted scenes, a faux movie trailer, and commentary by Ouweleen, Richter, and director Richard Ferguson-Hull on five episodes, with the option on "The Dabba Don" to also hear representatives from the network's legal and Standards and Practices departments comment on the validity of Harvey's legal decisions. --Paul Gaita

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"Harvey Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 21 Jan. 2018. <https://www.quotes.net/movies/Harvey>.

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