She-Hulk: Attorney At Law – Season 1

I’ve followed all of the MCU movies so far, but this is the only Disney+ TV show I’ve had any interest in. I just really like Hulk as a character and feel he constantly gets done dirty in the movies. So a TV show centered around a different Hulk sounded promising, especially with all of the other subtexts it has going for it. She-Hulk not only has to live in her cousin’s shadow but has to navigate life as 1) a woman hounded by incels, 2) a superhero whose identity is not a secret, and 3) a superhero living in a world that, frankly, has as much superhero fatigue as we have MCU fatigue. I also appreciate the show’s attempts to give us a more lighthearted side of the MCU. And not lighthearted in a “Thor + screaming goats” sort of way but lighthearted in that Jen/She-Hulk doesn’t have to save the world every week.

Alas, She-Hulk sometimes suffers from the same critiques I threw at Ted Lasso. If the stakes are too low, it’s hard to stay engaged. Like, there’s an episode where Jen goes to a wedding, and that’s… it. That’s the conflict. These weaker episodes also highlight just how pointless and dumb the B stories are. I really don’t care what Jen’s co-workers are up to when they aren’t interacting with Jen. The best parts of the show are when Jen still has to do her normal job (lawyering) but in a superhero-driven world. It’s fun to see her take on super clients and try to rein in their ridiculousness even as she, herself, is seen as a ridiculous “monster.” Speaking of, the episode where she loses her temper and “Hulks out” to stop a sex tape from playing highlights the kind of stakes this show can and should do.

Of course, there’s a lot that doesn’t work. The CGI is distracting, which is not good for a show where your main character frequently has to be CG. A lot of the humor falls flat, too. I understand the She-Hulk comic frequently broke the fourth wall, but the show doesn’t do it enough for it to feel natural. I think some episodes only had one quick aside to the audience and that was it. So it felt particularly silly when—major spoiler, by the way—the finale sees She-Hulk literally climb out of the Disney+ menu screen and into another thumbnail, where she berates the writers of She-Hulk. It’s funny once you get onboard with what’s happening. The self-digs at the state of the MCU are cute, after all. But we needed to be eased into this over-the-topness, much like how Jen needed to ease into her new alter ego.

Reviewer

Clark
Gamer, programmer, writer, and educator.

Published by

Clark

Gamer, programmer, writer, and educator.