The tonal structure of “Harley Quinn” is an interesting quandary in that it is definitely a reflection of itself and the ideas and darker imagery that were always prevalent in DC Comics. What the series here has is playing on the outskirts of the sandbox. Some iterations work. Some don’t. However it is usually influenced by those making it. For the 2nd Episode of the 2nd Season entitled “Riddler U”, the play on the college frat comedies and especially “Clueless” is undeniable. The best angle by Clay Face (played by Alan Tudyk). His act of a monster playing another character in this structure is just classic but undeniable at showing some weird multi-layer structure as if schizophrenia is taking the character over. Jim Rash plays The Riddler with a bit of fun as well but Alan just brings a undeniable subtlety to what he is doing.
Barbara Gordon in her odd way is brought into the proceedings with a tongue in cheek angle. Briana Cuoco (sister of Kaley and a performer in her own right) finds the right balance. Harley and Ivy (Kaley Cuoco and Lake Bell respectively) seems to find the right amount of outside ferocity and meta that works well with the episode without taking it too seriously. The amount of violence and language maintains the right pitch. And the parallel story of King Shark and Dr. Psycho going out to find a household item in New Gotham and their shenanigans is just as funny (despite the fact that it is completely unwarranted). The resolution is undeniably Harley but plays to the aspect that what is the new normal depends on her person looking at the situation.
By Tim Wassberg