Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered Hulk.
Even if the quality of content during phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has dipped slightly from previous phases, Marvel is still able to keep its releases diverse, fresh, and new. Focused on comic book character Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), this new She-Hulk Attorney at law is women-centered, while simultaneously still shining light on past familiar characters to please a wide audience. It may not be necessary to share the screen time with other characters due to her own arc being interesting enough, but either way is a triumph for the series. It’s a comedic courtroom drama, with sprinkles of action that show so much promise for the future of the MCU, and I’m all here for it.
It’s interesting because my first round watching the show, it rubbed me the wrong way. I was beyond frustrated with the handling of nearly every character, and I thought the show didn’t take anything too seriously. Everything wasn’t a running joke, but the tone was extra light, and not to my appeasement. I was waiting for the explosions. However, after a second attempt, my expectations were in the right place, and I began to appreciate the small details that actually make the show great. The first being that Jennifer doesn’t want to be a superhero. Sure, that would be a dream come true for many people around the globe, but it’s just not the lifestyle that everyone wants to adapt to. This alone makes She-Hulk stand out differently than any other character in the MCU. Some people love their 9-5 job making a living, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Spider-man from the comics wanted to hide his identity as well, staying away from the public spotlight, and this is the same but from a completely different perspective which works.
The second great aspect of this is Tatiana Maslany herself being so great in the role. I enjoyed her performance both rounds of my viewing not having any complaints in the least bit. This woman is perfectly cast in the role, and I couldn’t think of anyone that could do better at the moment. She looks great on screen and has the perfect amount of timing and energy to bring this character to life. Being not too familiar with her character’s comic roots too deeply, I felt her origin story was still a bit rushed, but overall, it still works. And there is no time wasting for her character to start Hulking out. This is achieved within a few minutes of the first episode. So, if you’re an impatient person rest assured. Jennifer also has a great paralegal friend by the name of Nikki Ramos (Ginger Gonzaga), and they bounce off of each other quite nicely.
After seeing the first four episodes, they do come across as very short. The longest being around thirty minutes while the shortest is twenty-two minutes. They each separate themselves well as stand-alone episodes while also being serialized, but a longer runtime for each episode would’ve been appreciated to stretch out the story. Jennifer origin story could’ve used this treatment, instead of the show assuming that all audience members have a strong grasp on gamma radiation, Hulk’s blood, and all the important details surrounding those elements.
However, Jennifer is very relatable being a hard-working person that’s passionate about her job. That’s always respected and we see this as she handles her new cases with her new law division. This aspect of the story is simply brilliant. It dances a fine line with the supernatural being her hulk powers but also starts to ground and piece together the street-level heroes that are developing around the corner. I’m also a sucker for family dynamics as well in my content, so seeing her interact with her immediate family was a nice touch as well to help attach yourself to her character. This is just a normal stand-up citizen that wants to do the right thing, that was either in the right or wrong place at the right time that now makes her the beloved She-hulk.
Now of course the show isn’t perfect. During the first trailer for the series, there was a ton of criticism about the character CGI. It definitely needed work, and the latter parts of the marketing did touch on the effects, but after watching the show the CGI still needs more work. What’s confusing is the Hulk’s character’s, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), CGI was superior. It is beyond me how this happened, but She-Hulk’s CGI does stand out in not the best ways, especially during scenes during the day.
Speaking about the Hulk, I’m trying my absolute best to be patient. The Hulk that gets stronger the angrier he gets needs to show up in the MCU as soon as possible. Marvel has completely nerfed this character and there is nothing more upsetting. I’m praying that by the end of this series there is some indication or easter egg where fans around the world will finally get the Hulk we all deserve. Yes, the current version of Hulk we have now is related to a version in the comics, but it’s not the one most people want to see. We need justice for the Hulk and also Wong (Benedict Wong) as well. This is the freaking sorcerer supreme, supposedly one of the strongest characters in the universe. So it’s utterly ridiculous that he has to reach out to Jennifer for assistance during one of his minor setbacks.
The show overall is very fun and light. If you’re expecting a lot of action, you may have to be a little patient. This is full of courtroom proceedings which should be expected from the title, so if you weren’t aware now you are. There are still some questionable decisions that were made, and some moments do feel a little forced for comedy and continuity’s sake, but it isn’t enough to ruin anything. There’s still so much that they try to fit in during each episode, as in cameos, courtroom drama, her dating, and family life; which goes to my previous point that the episodes should be longer. However, I’m still eager and a little excited for what’s to come.