Saturday, September 5, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Strategery"

I just realized that there’s a very good probability that you’re not old enough to know that the word “strategery” is in reference to Bush-era SNL. Between this, my explanation of dial-up internet, and the death of Adobe Flash, I’m starting to feel like an old fogey. So when my birthday comes around in a few days, there’s a very good chance that I’ll be having a mid-life crisis about twenty years early.

Anyhoo, let’s talk about a Flash animation that debuted in the Bush era that people first watched with dial-up internet.

Before I snap and start yelling at you dang kids to get off my lawn.

This time, the pre-load game is yet another clone of Simon. But instead of feeding Poison Ivy’s plant, this time you play as Batgirl to disarm Joker’s bomb. If you fail three times, it releases gas and you hear Batgirl’s death rattle.

That's actually disturbing. Not gonna lie.
The episode opens with Poison Ivy at the top of a building holding a computer disk, slowly followed by Harley Quinn.
Harley Quinn: “I don’t do speed. I do style.”
Batgirl: “You’ll both do 8 to 10 for stealing government property.”

Stealing government property only gets you 8-to-10 years? Man, things really were different before 9/11.

The two villainesses play keep away with the disk and Batgirl, and I’ve noticed that the animation looks really good because of all the custom poses.

Just don't pause it at the wrong time.
After a bit more keepaway…
Batgirl: “Harley! Over here! I’m open!”

Harley falls for the trick harder than Daffy Duck fell for the old "Duck Season, Rabbit Season" gag, and Batgirl runs off to return the government’s data, setting back the formation of Wikileaks by five or six years. Our villains, defeated and despondent, return home and decompress.

Poison Ivy: “I’m not mad at you Harl. It’s unrealistic to expect someone to perform beyond her limitations.”
Harley Quinn: “Right! …Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?”

To illustrate her point, Ivy does the “what’s that on your shirt” gag and flicks Harley’s nose, telling her that she’ll need to be less gullible in order to fight Batgirl.

You should have seen the time she fell for the "got your nose" gag. She cried for days.
And so, Ivy decides to unveil her rather large chest.

Not like that. Get your mind out of the gutter.
It’s filled with random stuff. Moose head, Joker doll, et cetera. But the last one is a chess board.
Poison Ivy: “There’s only one way to learn to think strategically. Chess!”

Oh, God, please no. Whether it be Beware the Batman, Avengers Assemble, or even Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four, it seems like nobody knows how to play chess in fiction. And honestly, learning how to play chess isn’t the hard part. Getting good at it is what requires patience and intelligence.

But Harley, the dumb-as-a-sack-of-hammers bimbo with a PhD in psychology, can’t even master which pieces are hers.

Here's a hint. It's not the green ones.
After trying and failing to remove one of Ivy’s pawns from the board, Ivy unleashes the “What’s that?” trick again.

"Is that the word 'gullible' written on your shirt?"
Poison Ivy: "And Batgirl will do a lot worse. Now concentrate."

After hours pass for Harley and Ivy, we get to the second interactive portion where you help Harley put Ivy in checkmate. Finally, a cartoon admits it needs help with chess.

I was born for this moment.
Harley wins...

Thanks to some actual chess strategy. You're welcome.
...but Ivy tells her there’s one last test. She tries the earlier gag a third and final time, and Harley doesn’t fall for it. With that low standard met, Harley’s ready for Batgirl. We then cut to Harley and Batgirl fighting in a nicely atmospheric fight.

No joke, I just really like the way this looks.
Batgirl tells her opponent to look out for that thing behind her, but Harley ignores her. Too bad for Harley, Batgirl was being serious. Harley gets hit by a wrecking ball.

Obvious Miley Cyrus joke goes here/
Harley Quinn: "Check, please….”
And with that, the episode ends.

This was above average for Gotham Girls. If the animation were more refined and polished, I could see this being on TV as a short, say, during the DC Nation. You know, the one that doesn't exist anymore because the Cartoon Network executives are more childish than their audience.

Oh well.

Either way, this is definitely a step up from last season and an above average installment for this season.

Next time, we get a baby boom. Thankfully, it doesn't involve Harley Quinn bombing an orphanage. See you then!


  1. Except.. this was made in July 2001. Surely Will Ferrell's Bush hadn't said 'strategery' yet since there was nobody to strategerize at.

    1. Actually, the sketch aired in October of 2000.
      But you raise a good point; who exactly WERE we strategerizing at in they year 2000?