As a fan of Marvel’s cinematic universe and TV shows, I couldn’t wait to dive into the latest addition to the MCU, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. After binging through the first season, I have mixed emotions and thoughts on how this courtroom-inspired comedy show fared.
A promising start
When She-Hulk was announced as a courtroom comedy show, I was excited and sceptical. I was curious to see how Marvel would handle this unique blend of superhero and legal drama. Would it be similar to Daredevil? As the season unfolded, I found myself more confused than intrigued.
She-Hulk follows the story of Jennifer Walters (played by Tatiana Maslany), cousin to Bruce Banner/Hulk (portrayed by Mark Ruffalo). After a blood transfusion from her cousin, Jennifer gains the ability to transform into She-Hulk. Unlike Bruce, she has complete control over her transformations and retains her personality and intelligence in her Hulk form.
The show starts strong, with Jennifer returning to her job as a lawyer in Los Angeles. Her life takes a turn when her secret identity is revealed, turning her into a celebrity superhero overnight. This sets the stage for an interesting exploration of her challenges as she tries to balance her professional and personal life with her newfound fame and responsibilities.
As a fan of the Hulk and the various iterations of the character, I had high hopes for the visual effects in She-Hulk. Unfortunately, the show’s visuals were inconsistent and often disappointing.
The series begins with impressive visuals, particularly in the scenes featuring Bruce Banner/Hulk. The level of detail in the skin texture and overall design of the characters is commendable. However, as the show progresses, the quality of the VFX takes a noticeable dip. She-Hulk’s appearance becomes less detailed, and her green hue changes, which is particularly jarring in scenes involving other Hulk-related characters.
Additionally, the sense of weight and physicality of She-Hulk’s movements needs to be improved. She appears to float through scenes, failing to convey the power and presence one would expect from such a character.
A jumbled narrative
She-Hulk’s plot is a mix of comedy, action, social commentary, and romance. While it is commendable that the show attempts to tackle multiple genres, the result is a confusing and unfocused narrative.
The show draws inspiration from 90s courtroom comedy series like Ally McBeal, but it also relies heavily on cameos and MCU references to stay relevant. Characters like Wong, Abomination, and Daredevil appear, but their inclusion feels more like an attempt to connect the show to the larger MCU rather than serve the story.
As a comedy series, She-Hulk falls short of delivering consistent laughs. Many of the jokes are superficial, and the humour often feels forced.
While the show attempts to address social issues like the modern woman’s experience, it fails to explore these themes in any meaningful depth. Instead, they are relegated to brief speeches and off-handed comments, leaving much to be desired.
Sparse and inconsistent action
She-Hulk’s action sequences are surprisingly sparse for a show centred around a superhero. When they do occur, the quality varies drastically.
Some of the high points include Jennifer’s fights with Hulk and Daredevil, which are exciting and well-executed. However, other fights, such as her battle with Titania, are poorly executed and visually underwhelming.
A mixed bag of supporting characters:
The supporting cast of She-Hulk is a mix of well-known Marvel characters and new faces. While some, like Matt Murdock/Daredevil, are welcome additions, others feel shoehorned into the story. The character of Titania, played by Jameela Jamil, is a particularly underwhelming antagonist. Her motivations could be better developed.
An Average and Unfocused Experience
She-Hulk’s season finale is a letdown, with a confusing meta-joke that fails to land as intended. Instead of providing a satisfying conclusion, the finale feels like a cheap way to avoid addressing the show’s narrative shortcomings.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the show is the lack of depth and development given to Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk. With a character as rich and complex as She-Hulk, the show had the opportunity to delve into her struggles, emotions, and relationships. Unfortunately, the focus on comedy and MCU tie-ins left little room for character growth.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season One is a disappointing and underwhelming addition to the MCU. Its inconsistent visuals and underdeveloped characters make it a difficult show to recommend.
While there are a few bright spots, such as the performances of Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo, the overall experience falls short of expectations. Hopefully, future seasons can improve on these shortcomings and deliver a more focused and engaging story.
If you’re still interested in giving it a watch, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season One is available now exclusively on Disney+.