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She-Hulk Is A Smashing Sensational Self-Aware Series
She-Hulk Attorney At Law continues the burning hot streak which started with Moon Knight earlier this year, introducing yet another brand new hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) albeit one who is also a legacy hero like Ms. Marvel or Kate Bishop from Hawkeye. Disney+ Hotstar gave us the privilege of watching the first four episodes of Ms. Marvel, but it was enough to give us an incredible glimpse of what to expect.
To start off, She-Hulk has the added advantage of actually featuring actors and characters from the MCU movies, including Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner AKA the Hulk, Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky AKA the Abomination, Benedict Wong’s Wong and more. That factor alone makes She-Hulk Attorney At Law more similar to the earlier shows like WandaVision and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and less like the smaller-scale Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel. The best thing about She-Hulk featuring these characters is that they aren’t just one-off cameos where they only appear for a few seconds, like Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel did in Ms. Marvel, but they’re actually meaty supporting roles.
As a comic book fan, that’s what makes She-Hulk Attorney At Law one of the best MCU Disney+ series to date. It feels like the comics brought to life. The way that She-Hulk interacts with these characters feels like reading issues of an ongoing comic book run, where each issue features a different major supporting character. Due to that, She-Hulk does feel a bit more episodic in nature and less serialized compared to other MCU Disney+ series, but in this case, that’s a good thing. She-Hulk strikes a balance between courtroom/legal drama, comedy and action.
Speaking of comedy, She-Hulk has some of the best comedy in any Disney+ show yet. Why? Because She-Hulk Attorney At Law is a meta series that breaks the fourth wall, with Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters AKA She-Hulk occasionally stopping to look towards the screen and speak to viewers. Now, before you say that She-Hulk is ripping off Deadpool, it’s actually the other way around. Writer John Byrne did it first with She-Hulk on his run which began in 1989, several years before Deadpool would make his comic book debut in 1991. Plus, the meta jokes in She-Hulk are different from Deadpool’s. Deadpool tends to be snarkier and feel more like wisecracking quips, while She-Hulk’s are more cheeky, sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek. She-Hulk’s comedy feels more mature and catered towards adults or older viewers, as there are instances of characters flipping the bird (it’s censored in the trailers but not in the series itself), near F-bombs and even a discussion about whether a certain character is a virgin. This is definitely not the teen drama comedy we saw in Ms. Marvel recently.
Tatiana Maslany is perfectly cast as Jennifer Walters AKA She-Hulk. She has sensational chemistry with almost everyone else, especially Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner AKA the Hulk. She brings a charming cheekiness to the role, and she can break the fourth wall with the best of them (cough Deadpool cough). She’s instantly likeable and will definitely hold her own against anyone from the MCU. Her strong and independent personality, as well as brand of feminism, makes me believe that not even Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark would have been able to out-snark her. Definitely another fan-favourite in the works right here.
Each episode in She-Hulk is only around 30+ minutes or less in duration, which is similar to WandaVision in that they both feature nine episodes in their first seasons. While that sounds sitcom-like in length, it actually makes She-Hulk even better, as each episode is tightly-paced and has no filler. Also, while some shows like Hawkeye and Loki saved their surprises for nearer the end of their first seasons, She-Hulk hits you hard with all that stuff from the very first episode, and it doesn’t let up. None of the four episodes we watched felt boring; something exciting always happens.
Plus, sitcom-length episodes don’t mean that they have to look like sitcoms. The production value in She-Hulk is extremely high, and don’t worry, the visuals effects for the finished product looks great, especially She-Hulk herself. Those early trailers did her a disservice.All that being said, She-Hulk feels the most MCU-like, in that viewers will appreciate a lot of its easter eggs and jokes better if they’re familiar with their MCU lore. In addition, this goes for the meta jokes and breaking-the-fourth-wall elements as well. She-Hulk is the complete opposite of something like Moon Knight, as it’s heavily tied to the MCU with its references. I’m not saying that there’s a gatekeeping barrier to She-Hulk but it’s an even better show if you know your stuff.
She-Hulk might well be one of the best MCU Disney+ series after it finishes its initial nine episodes. I’m definitely excited to see more of what is turning out to be my favourite MCU series to date (for reference, my previous fave was either The Falcon And The Winter Soldier or WandaVision). Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters is going to be the next MCU icon.
In the meantime, check out my interview with She-Hulk head writer and showrunner Jessica Gao in the video below, or head on over here to read the written article.
We received an early screener of She-Hulk Attorney At Law courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia. The first episode of Ms. Marvel is slated to premiere on 18 August 2022 on Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia.