Harley Quinn Showrunners Elaborate On Why Harley And Ivy Will Never Break Up

Harley Quinn turned 30 last year, and in that time, she's gone from the Joker's quirky hench-woman to the star of her own spin-off series. In the eponymous, R-rated "Harley Quinn" series on HBO Max, Harley (Kaley Cuoco) ditches Mistah J. (Alan Tudyk) and starts running her own crew. Her first recruit is her best friend, Poison Ivy (Lake Bell).

Over the series, Harley and Ivy realize their feelings for each other run deeper than friendship. The romance has been a long-time coming, with the subtext between these two stretching back to their very first meeting in "Harley & Ivy," an episode of "Batman: The Animated Series." 

In HBO Max's "Harley Quinn," Ivy is the one who frees Harley from the Joker's grip. She has the Riddler kidnap both Harley and Batman and then make the Joker choose one to free and one to drop in (fake) acid. The Joker chooses his true love -- Batman, that is -- and Harley finally wakes up to reality. Harley and Ivy then hook up in season 2; in the finale, Ivy calls off her wedding to Kite-Man then she and Harley run off together (police cars in pursuit).

Season 3 features the villainesses in a stable relationship. As Harley tries to turn over a new leaf and be a hero instead, she manages to talk Ivy down from conquering Gotham with an army of plant zombies. In the recently released "A Very Problematic Valentine's Day Special," the pair celebrated their first Valentine's Day as a couple.

/Film's Ben Pearson recently spoke with "Harley Quinn" co-creators Justin Halpern & Patrick Schumacker. The latter put his foot down: "As long as we are in charge of the show [...] They will never break up."

Portraying A Happy Queer Relationship

Why so ironclad? Halpern & Shumacker have a few different reasons. For one, they feel that both Harley and Ivy have already been through too much. As the series explores, both had unhappy childhoods. And of course, Harley just got out of an abusive relationship with the Joker. Harley and Ivy are the first positive influences in each others' lives (relatively speaking), and Halpern and Schumacker want it to stay that way. Halpern said:

"We just decided it's more interesting to us to see a relationship that is healthy, but goes through the same struggles that everybody else goes through. That feels like more fertile ground that hasn't been tapped into with Harley than the, 'will they, won't they, they break up, they come back together.' We've seen that s***."

Indeed, break-ups are a rather routine way to drive relationship drama, and that routine has cheapened it as a dramatic device. The writers of "Harley Quinn" clearly think it's more interesting to see a burgeoning anti-hero and full-on supervillain try to keep it together than call it quits.

Schumacker added another, more socially-conscious reason for this "no break-up" rule: "It's really important to everyone who works on the show to portray a queer relationship as a happy one. That's so important for us." The reason it took so long for the relationship to be official is that queerness was long considered taboo. Now that this is rightfully changing, we shouldn't be so eager to see Harley and Ivy be torn apart again.

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