Diedrich Bader is back as the voice of Batman in a new animated series, but young fans can’t — or at least, shouldn’t — see his latest series.
Bader, a UNC School of the Arts alumnus, is one of the co-stars of the raunchy animated series “Harley Quinn,” which makes its debut Friday on the DC Universe streaming service.
The series focuses on Harley (voice of Kaley Cuoco from “The Big Bang Theory”), the girlfriend and head minion of The Joker (Alan Tudyk). Finally fed up with being taken for granted, Harley splits from The Joker, changing her look and forming a gang of misfit supervillains in a quest to prove herself and convince the supervillain team The Legion of Doom to make her a member.
The series is bawdy, action-packed, funny, and at times surprisingly heartfelt — but it certainly isn’t for kids, with plenty of F-bombs, surprisingly gruesome gags (plenty of henchmen, innocent bystanders and others meet gory ends), and a racy tone.
As Batman, Bader — who isn’t in every episode, but shows up repeatedly over the course of the 13-episode debut season — is appropriately stalwart and heroic, in keeping with his performance as the hero in more kid-friendly productions including the series “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.” But the rest of the show is decidedly R-rated.
While irreverent, the series has a good grasp on DC Comics lore, incorporating obscure comics characters including Maxie Zeus and Kite-Man as well as the more familiar characters and cleverly mixing modern culture into the proceedings — a supervillain can do a lot of terrible things, but use a certain word in public and you’ll still end up on a talk-show apology tour trying to salvage your career.
The voice cast also includes Ron Funches (especially fun as King Shark, a hulking but genial supervillain), Lake Bell, Jason Alexander, Tony Hale and Christopher Meloni, in an especially needy take on Commissioner Gordon.
Subsequent episodes will air on DC Universe, a subscription service, each week. I’ve seen the whole season, and it takes some surprising turns, has stylish animation, and puts its characters to good use — but again, it isn’t for impressionable young fans or older fans who want reverential treatments of the DC characters.
“By Grabthar’s Hammer!”, a documentary about the 1999 sci-fi comedy “Galaxy Quest,” is coming to theaters for one day only later this month to commemorate its 20th anniversary.
“Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary” will be shown by Fathom Events on Nov. 26, with local screenings including the Grand 18 in Winston-Salem and the Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 in Greensboro.
The movie was a parody of “Star Trek” and celebrities, with the cast of an old sci-fi show — led by Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver — abducted from a convention by aliens who think they are real action heroes. Missi Pyle, a UNCSA alum, has a supporting role as one of the aliens.
The documentary screening includes deleted scenes and the premiere of an installment of the popular web series “Honest Trailers” devoted to “Galaxy Quest.”
More details can be found at www.fathomevents.com.
Andrew McCarthy has joined the cast of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” for its fourth season, where he will play the father of series regular Charlie. Charlie is played by Tyler Barnhardt, an alumnus of UNCG whose previous roles include episodes of the TV shows “Underground” and “Turn: Washington’s Spies.” He graduated from UNCG in 2015.
McCarthy is best known for such films as “Pretty in Pink” and “Weekend at Bernie’s,” and also has a thriving career as a director, working on such shows as “The Blacklist” and “Orange is the New Black.”
Production is now under way on the series, but a release date for the fourth and final season has not yet been announced.
Shout! Factory TV, a video label devoted to pop culture, is using a long-standing tradition to launch a new service. The “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon,” which started when MST3K was on Comedy Central and has since moved online, will showcase six classic episodes of the show, with new intros by Tom Servo and Crow. It starts at noon Thursday. Go to MST3KTurkeyDay.com for more information.
And the marathon is being used to launch a new Twitch channel, which started this past week and according to Shout “will remain a dedicated home for classic MST3K episodes and related programming.” Visit www.twitch.tv/mst3k for more information.
Shout! Factory TV is also commemorating Black Friday this year with a 24-hour marathon of “Chopping Mall,” a campy 1986 horror-comedy about mall employees tormented by security robots run amok. The livestream can be seen all day Friday, starting at midnight, at ShoutFactoryTV.com and on various apps including Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and more.