Why was the WB's show "Birds of Prey" cancelled after 13 episodes? Bridget looks at some possible reasons with a dash of her own opinionated beliefs.
I re-watched the WB series Birds of Prey. It's based off the DC comics by the same name starring leading ladies, Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress. The show has an older Batgirl as Oracle; Black Canary's telepath daughter Dinah; and Huntress, daughter of Batman and Catwoman.
So why was it cancelled after 13 episodes?
The writing was bad. The villainess would cackle her plans to ridiculous metahuman henchmen, never truly touching upon what she actually wanted. To take over New Gotham? Ok, but why?
It was so painfully cheesy as to be cringe-worthy. Helena (Huntress) was a bit too flat to be interesting. Plus, every time she enters a fight, there's an obvious CG zoom in to her eye going all cat-like. We know she's Catwoman's daughter, but since when did Catwoman have that annoying trait?
I think the worst element was the psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel who turned out to be (Spoiler!) Harley Quinn, the Joker's sidekick/lover. As soon as it is revealed who she is to the viewer, it seems that all Mia Sara's acting skills were thrown out the window. Whether this was due to the acting or script or direction, I don't know. But soon she's making it incredibly obvious that she's a villain. Even her voice changes.
Then you've got Dinah, the teen, the progeny of the Black Canary. Why didn't they just use...the Black Canary? One can only wonder if Dinah was merely a gateway to get teenage viewers interested in watching the series, like Wendy and Marvin in Super Friends (circa 1973).
The show relied heavily on CG for battles and the city backgrounds--which was distracting. Perhaps if it was done today, they could in fact CG the crap out of the sets to make it look like New Gotham. And there's another facet I have a beef with. Why “New Gotham”? If you're going to use all Gotham-related characters, just put them in Gotham!
Perhaps what irks me the most about Birds of Prey is wasted potential.
The series did end with quite a fun fight scene in the women's headquarters, although this part too is laced with camp (like awkward Power-Rangers-esque sound effects and slow mo, and the inexplicable way the characters can leap up to a second story with no superpowers to speak of).
A DVD was released in 2008, so fans could rejoice. However this good news was dampened by the fact that many of the songs, including the rockish theme song, were replaced by far inferior tracks.
If I were to re-start this show (which the source material deserves), the baddies would be more believable. I wouldn't rely so heavily on CG. Each of the main characters would have more personality traits to make them realistic. Oh, and I wouldn't have such emphasis on the love interest for each female character, which made it feel more like 90210 or Dawson's Creek than a superhero show.