Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Ginger Gonzaga, Mark Ruffalo, Charlie Cox, Jameela Jamil, Tim Roth, Benedict Wong, & ensemble.
Creator: Jessica Gao (for the television).
Director: Kat Coiri & Anu Valia.
Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar (In India).
Language: English (with subtitles).
Runtime: 9 Episodes Around 40 Minutes Each.
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Review: What’s It About:
A lawyer (Jennifer Walters) who handles superhero cases is also Bruce Banner aka Hulk’s cousin and one accident leads to her also becoming a Hulk variant and She-Hulk is born. She has to now make peace with this new identity and also save the day because even if she likes it or not, she is now a superhero herself.
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Review: What Works:
Even while there are more misses than hits in the kitty of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one cannot deny the fact that the creators together are experimenting with new ideas and storytelling techniques. She-Hulk comes right between a movie that was not at par with the hype (Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness), and another that has promised to be a rollercoaster of emotions (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), is a comedy show that makes clear in the beginning that it tends to lead you nowhere. Think of it as a superhero Seinfeld who only lives in that moment without really thinking of what is about to come.
With a fourth-wall-breaking protagonist who is a chance superhero coming to terms with her newfound powers, creator Jessica Gao, and directors Kat Coiri & Anu Valia make it very clear that nothing and no one in this universe takes themselves seriously. But at the same time, these funny people are about to make some super-valid points. The fact that the show is led by strong women on and off camera, there is an ease with which they discuss representation even in the superhero realms. A woman is now a Hulk, how will the patriarchal men accept it? Strong women must be a myth and nothing else they feel.
Through Jennifer and a few other female characters, She-Hulk manages to make some strong statements about an ecosystem that looks at women as second-class citizens no matter what position in the hierarchy they own. The show is smart in never letting it become too heavy. More than a superhero it is the woman beneath the garb of a Hulk who is finding her redemption. A beautiful scene in the first episode where Hulk teaches Jenn anger control, and she aces it because perverts have made her master that all her life is such an amazing thing. Also, the fact that how everyone only dreams of the alter ego after Jenn becomes the mighty gigantic figure is a reminder of how we are not appreciative of normalcy.
The best part is the finale which comes at the point where the fourth-wall-breaking Fleabag technique works in the favor of the show quite nicely for just once. Jenn breaks every possible wall and walks into real-time asking for the authority to change the ending of her show because it is her show. Now this will churn out extreme opinions, but to me, it was clever to end a show on an absurd note when the entire season was built on absurdity and no roadmap. And of course, there is Daredevil, his charm, and that smirk!
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Review: Star Performance:
Tatiana Maslany is convinced and completely into the head of Jennifer Walters. It almost feels like this is the life she has lived forever and it’s her comfort zone. Of course, in some parts, She-Hulk looks very pretentious and that is the CGI going bad, not the actor.
Mark Ruffalo continues to be the Hulk we have all loved and so does Tim Roth as Abomination. The latter though doesn’t get as much to do as his participation in the show was hyped. So do Daredevil Charlie Cox. I hope he gets a better hype moment before we get into the Born Again zone.
Even Jameela Jamil could have been such a crucial part and a very interesting villain if need be. But…
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Review: What Doesn’t Work:
You cannot think about a Marvel Cinematic Universe property without thinking of its effect on the future. She-Hulk is almost like Thor: Ragnarok, supremely funny and peppy at first watch but a run that is only limited to a very small span without the scope to delve into something different or bigger. Thor lost all his arrogance and fearfulness in the rush to be funny and that ruined a very good side of the character. She-Hulk begins on that very note and refuses to take herself seriously even for a scene. Not saying she needs to be angry or cry, but remember how there was always comedy but also scenes of catharsis and self-exploration in the Marvel of yore? Exactly that.
The episodes around the mid-season seemed like multiple special presentations and were not even as good as Werewolf By Night. Nothing made any sense in the larger scheme of things. The lack of a villain element to root for She-Hulk was highly missing and the void was felt in these episodes. The CGI added more to the dismay as it became quite unbelievable at points making us see through the loopholes.
What has also been affected by the ‘in the moment’ approach is the entry of multiple new characters and you aren’t hyped for them now. Matt Murdock aka Daredevil aka Charlie Cox is now dating She-Hulk aka Jennifer Walters aka Tatiana Maslany and I honestly don’t see a long lasting effect. It almost feels like a side storyline that will be forgotten. Of course, it is Hulk who gives the biggest surprise by the end, but I am not spoiling it.
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Review: Last Words:
She-Hulk is entertaining and binge-worthy at this moment, but there is hardly anything to be hooked on for a season 2 or a feature movie. Kevin Feige almost has a cameo and well that is the best pun the writer’s room has managed to create after Captain America’s s*x life of course!
For more recommendations, read or Stranger Things Season 4 Vol 2 Review.