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Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is an American animated television series comedy created by Williams Street and produced by Cartoon Network Studios that aired on Cartoon Network during its Adult Swim late night programming block. The series' pilot first aired in 2000, and later became a series in 2001. The show revolves around the activity of the Sebben & Sebben law firm, which is staffed mainly by superhero and other characters who had originally been featured in 1960s-era Hanna-Barbera cartoons, most notably Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. The series had its final episode on July 22, 2007.The show also screens in Australia on The Comedy Channel as part of the channel's adult swim block of programming.
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law features ex-superhero Harvey T. Birdman of Birdman and the Galaxy Trio as an attorney working for a law firm alongside other cartoon stars from 1960s and 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. Similarly, Harvey's clients are also primarily composed of characters taken from Hanna-Barbera cartoon series of the same era. Many of Birdman's nemeses featured in his former cartoon series also became attorneys, often representing the opposing side of a given case.
Harvey usually fills the role of a criminal defense attorney, though he will act as a civil litigator or other such job when the plot calls for it. The series uses a surrealist style of comedy, featuring characters, objects, and jokes that are briefly introduced and rarely (if ever) referenced thereafter. Also, because the series relies heavily on pop culture references to classic television animation, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law constantly delves into parody, even featuring clips of these series or specially-created scenes which mimic the distinctive style of the animation being referenced. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is the first Williams Street cartoon to maintain continuity through the entire series. Various episodes reference Harvey's (or another superhero's) former crimefighting career. The episode "Turner Classic Birdman" even serves to bridge the gap between Birdman and the Galaxy Trio and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
Instead of rigid plot structure, much of the humor is derived from the fact that superheroes and supervillain are given more realistic and human qualities, such as a mad scientist named Dr. Myron Reducto, who becomes a paranoid prosecutor. Also, several of the plots revolve around the popular myths about classic Hanna-Barbera characters, such as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo being stoners.
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