Every season we’ve got a new Disney+ MCU series. After Moon Knight, I was quite marvel-ed out so I skipped Ms. Marvel (which I may still watch at some point. Well, as Summer is drawing to a close, She-Hulk, that is the female cousin of Bruce Banner’s Hulk, will keep us company through mid-October.
The fact that the show has mostly women behind the scenes is something I’m thrilled about, natch! We’ve got Kat Coiro helming most of the episodes, and Anu Valia directing 3 eps. The show-runner is Emmy-winning writer Jessica Gao (Rick and Morty, Silicon Valley) with Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany as the title role. I’ve actually never seen Orphan Black, but I was impressed with Maslany in the movie Woman in Gold (as the younger version of Helen Mirren’s character) and the HBO series Perry Mason.
I didn’t get a chance to watch all four episodes of the screeners that Disney sent me, I managed to only see the pilot episode yesterday, so here are my thoughts on it:
- Firstly, Maslany is terrific as Jennifer Walters! I’ve only seen her in dramatic roles but she clearly has comedic chops. She’s fun to watch even though I haven’t quite warmed up to her character just yet.
- As someone whose clients are in the legal industry, it was fun for me to see the first superhero lawyer of the MCU, though there’s not much lawyering yet in the first episode. LOVE the artistic end credits sequence that shows the classic courtroom drawings!
- The CGI rendering of She-Hulk is not that much better compared to the trailer. It’s quite distracting, especially her facial expressions (and why is her curly mane becomes straight when she’s transformed??).
The action scenes during the island training look especially fake, I wonder if the VFX budget crunch is affecting those. But according to that article, they had to cut down several sequences from the script in order to keep the budget in check. In any case, hopefully it gets better in future episodes [fingers crossed]
- She-Hulk’s origin story is done in such a rushed, almost blink-and-you-miss-it style… though that -eating-Cheetos-with-chopstick bit is pretty funny. I didn’t read the comics so I have no idea how Jennifer turns into She-Hulk, (SPOILER ALERT) but here it’s Bruce’s blood spilling on Jen’s open wound that somehow turns her to become the Hulk instantly.
- I guess we shouldn’t overthink it but we’re supposed to just accept that Jen could easily manage her hulking transformation so well, nary the destructive rampage her cousin was plagued with for years before Bruce became the calm yoga master he is now. As a woman, I can relate to Jen’s rationale as to why she could control her anger better than Bruce …
- … by the same token, the writing is a bit too on the nose and heavy-handed. I expect a healthy dose of gender disparity woke-ness from a female-led superhero directed by a woman, but at the same time, I feel like the message could perhaps be better delivered by a ‘show-don’t-tell,’ lead by example approach. The way it’s handled feels a bit preachy and an oversimplification of a complex topic. Plus, the fact that She-Hulk is phenomenally better than Hulk in speed, strength and pretty much everything is quite unrealistic (yes even for a fantastical superhero series!)
- Seems that TV writers think every strong female protagonist shouldn’t just break the mold but also break the fourth wall … it’s getting a bit tiresome as the novelty has long worn off.
- While the riff between Ruffalo and Maslany is mostly fun, Jen comes across as pretty mean towards Bruce who’s just trying to help… I understand her laments about being underestimated as an in-depth woman AND a female attorney but Bruce is not underrating her nor ‘mansplaining’ to her, I mean, how many people got exposed to gamma radiation and lived to tell about it? If Bruce’s cousin were a man, he probably would’ve been reacting the exact same way.
- I’m only familiar with Jameela Jamil mostly from talk show interviews, but she seems like a fun gal. Her character Titania burst into the show quite literally… Was it a memorable entrance? Yes. Was it cringe-inducing? Also yes. Plus the CGI and the slo-mo effect in this action scene are laughable!
- Overall I enjoyed it but I wasn’t wowed by the pilot, that said I’m curious enough to keep tuning in, especially since Charlie Cox‘s Matt Murdock will make an appearance down the line. Of course I’m still wishing for more Daredevil standalone series, given how it ended on such a spectacularly high note in season 3.
As for the review-bombing on IMDb, I chuck it to toxic fandom, something that’s just par the course when it comes to female superheroes, especially those with female show-runners. It’s one thing to criticize a series for its shortcomings, but leaving negative user reviews even before the show is even released is so infantile and idiotic.
SPOILER ALERT! (highlight text below to read)
P.S. As for the bit about Captain America, I for one am not one of those who are clamoring to know whether Steve Rogers is a virgin or not. I guess that’s a very human thing to be thirsting over America’s @$$ and I find her obsession over Capt’s sexuality pretty amusing. Her not-so-family-friendly declaration has been all over Twitter, even Chris Evans himself reacted to it.
Have you seen SHE-HULK? What did YOU think?
14 thoughts on “10 Thoughts about ‘She-Hulk: Attorney At Law’ episode 1”
CAPTAIN AMERICA FUCKS!!!!!!!! I love this episode. I had fun watching it as I also enjoyed the gender-politics of the show and how Jen is better at Bruce at certain things. I think one of the reasons he’s upset is because… he’s lonely. He lost a few friends. 2 of the original Avengers are out doing their thing and raising kids as they probably don’t have time to chat with him. Clint! Thor! Help your friend out.
Yet, I do have a theory into that spaceship Bruce and Jen did run into. Everyone saying it might have to do with the World War Hulk comic plot but I don’t think that will happen due to legal reasons since Universal still owns the rights to a solo Hulk film and it causes a lot of problems for Marvel as I’m sure there were a lot of issues there when The Incredible Hulk was made.
Here is what I think. I think that spaceship from Sakaar is more about introducing a new character that could play a key role in the Young Avengers. Since the show is open about the idea of a sex life. Oh Bruce. You naughty boy!
I do love Tatiana Malsany in this so far as I actually think the visual effects have improved in comparison to the trailer as I think the trailer was rushed. Plus, I hear the show will give Wong a girlfriend in Madisynn. WONG HAS A GIRLFRIEND!!!!!
Yeah poor Bruce has lost a bunch of Avenger friends 🥲 I’m curious what that spaceship is all about.
Maslany is so talented! The SFX on the other hand, needs a lot of improvement!
Wong gets a girlfriend?? Oh that would be so amusing & cute to watch!! 😍
Well, the effects are better than what was presented in the trailer. I cut the visual effects people some slack since I’m sure they wanted to make She-Hulk be more realistic as it’s not easy to make a big green woman.
I was on Disney + the other night and decided to give the first episode a watch since it’s only 35 minutes long. Not sure if I’ll continue to watch it, I’m so Marveled out. I think it’s great that Disney/Marvel are hiring more minorities and women to write and direct these shows. But they’re still look and feel the same like every other Marvel shows and movies. Yes, on some of these shows, the creators were able to put their own voice into them but visually, they all look the same. And I’m just bored with them.
As long as people keep watching and paying to see these shows and movies, Disney/Marvel won’t change anything.
I hear ya Ted, I was quite marvel-ed out as well but was curious to check out She-Hulk. Glad I did despite its flaws, though it won’t top Wanda for me as my current fave of the MCU series. I think since all my current clients are legal professionals, the premise is fun for me, but I totally get how others are bored w/ these MCU series. I really wish they hadn’t canceled Daredevil, that show ended on such a high note and it looked (and feel) very different from the formulaic Disney+ series.
I’m curious what they’ll do with Daredevil: Born Again when it airs on Disney+ in 2024. I’m sure it won’t be as gritty as the version that aired on Netflix. But with reports that all the cast members will return, hopefully it won’t be as bland as these MCU shows that already aired.
Yeah I hope Disney would at least match the grit and intensity of the original, I mean they now have Deadpool and some other R-rated movies on Disney+ anyway. In any case, at least we can look fwd to the original cast members!
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It hasn’t called to me due to my general superhero story fatigue. But you never know. The mood might eventually strike… randomly.
I hear ya! I skipped Ms Marvel for the same reason, but the ‘attorney at law’ bit intrigues me as I work in the legal industry. Plus there’s Matt Murdoch coming and I LOVE Netflix’s Daredevil series.
Makes sense. It’s often whatever uniquely connects us to a story, whether the end product is likely to be great or not.
Exactly! So far it’s worth watching, but it still hasn’t topped Wanda Vision which is the best of MCU series so far.
WandaVision was very popular. However, was it even more popular than the Loki series?
I think Wanda Vision is more popular than the LOKI series, and rightly so, I feel like none of the MCU series on Disney+ could match it.