Nearly two decades (and 40 million viewers) after signal boosts from early adopters like yours truly, the unstoppable Adult Swim reboots Harvey Birdman‘s postmodern satire for a more intersectional epoch.
Birdman strangely attracted me to Adult Swim shortly after the turn of the century. Its metafictional comedy had little precedent in animated television, even though its entire self-referential foundation was repurposed from it, and other corners of pop culture known and unknown. Speaking of, there may even be Adult Swim diehards who to this day still do not know that Stephen Colbert played multiple characters in Harvey Birdman, long before he became a television institution better known for playing multiple versions of himself.
It is Colbert’s riotous, hypercapitalist lout, Phil Ken Sebben, whose daughter, Judy, anchors the thankfully arriving Birdgirl. She is the irresistible force pulling the bizarre band back together again, more non-binary and anti-capitalist than before, a cli-fi upgrade better suited for a more aspirationally equitable era.
Back in the early ‘00s, I took to the pages of Salon to sing the praises of Harvey Birdman, as well as other early Adult Swim shows, some of which were resuscitated from other studios that shortsightedly dropped them for one dumb reason or another. From that early coverage to reportage in Wired and many more publications, I made time to boost Adult Swim standouts whenever possible.
That process continues. Catch up below with the latest on Birdgirl, as well as my prior coverage of Birdman and Adult Swim.
It’s a bird…
It’s a girl…
It’s just Birdgirl, a new half-hour animated comedy series premiering Sunday, April 4 at midnight (ET/PT) on Adult Swim, the #1 destination for young adults. A character spin-off from Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, the new show centers around Birdgirl and her misfit crime-fighting clan.
The series stars Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) along with the main voice cast that includes Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), Sonia Denis (Set It Up), Kether Donohue (You’re the Worst), John Doman (Blue Valentine), Negin Farsad (3rd Street Blackout), Tony Hale (Veep), and Lorelei Ramirez (Pervert Everything).
In Birdgirl, 30-something Judy Ken Sebben inherits her father’s company, which would be great if that company weren’t built around the most socially irresponsible 20th Century products and practices that, on a good day, involves clearing redwood forests or operating for-profit children’s hospitals. From the halls of the company headquarters, she assembles the ragtag, non-overtime earning Birdteam. Together, they try to undo all the luridly dangerous decisions of the generation before or contain the havoc of one of their own “world-saving” products gone bad.
Birdgirl is executive produced by Erik Richter (Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law) and Christina Miller. The animation studio is Awesome, Inc. and produced by Adult Swim’s Williams Street Production.