Review of She-Hulk: Marvel’s newest superhero programme successfully combines the action genre with a light feminist dramedy. Tatiana Maslany is the star performer. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the newest Marvel superhero programme, received negative reviews across the board before it even debuted on Disney+ Hotstar. Many people appear to be unimpressed with the CGI, the tone, or just the fact that the superhero is a woman. Ironically, She-Hulk, the finest MCU programme this year, deals with the same sexist prejudices head-on while making hilarious fun of them.
She-Hulk isn’t even primarily a superhero programme. It’s a programme about a heroine who, as a result of recent changes in her life, is struggling with real-world problems. This time, it’s attorney Jennifer Walters, whose identity has been made public and who now has to live a life of fame while realising that her talents are both a blessing and a burden. It’s not a brand-new idea. Heck, it’s a lot like Marvel’s earlier television programme Ms Marvel, which likewise focused on a hesitant female superhero learning to accept her superpowers. But She-Hulk stands out in a positive manner for how it handles it.
The idea of breaching the fourth wall, which we have grown to appreciate in programmes like Fleabag and, of course, the Deadpool movies, is introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe by She-Hulk. Last week, the show’s director Kat Coiro wasted no time in reminding me that She-Hulk had been ‘far before’ Deadpool did it in the comics. And that provides for some of the most entertaining moments when Jen does it on the programme.
In a cosmos consisting of parallel worlds, time travel, and god-killing warriors, the programme demonstrates how Marvel’s online series are becoming more relevant and realistic. These programmes focus on topics that affect actual people. If Loki dealt with philosophical questions, WandaVision looked at bereavement, and Ms Marvel told a tale of coming-of-age. She-Hulk advances the conversation by bringing up topics like workplace sexism and the dating app cesspool. The story is told from the viewpoint of a lady in her 30s who is attempting to manage her job and personal life while fending off monsters from another world. It’s very possible that Jen Walters is Fleabag on steroids.
However, it doesn’t follow that the programme isn’t fundamentally Marvel. There are several appearances thrown in to tie the programme to the greater Marvelverse, most notably those by Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Tim Roth, Benedict Wong, and Charlie Cox. Since they prevent us from being emotionally immersed in Jennifer’s tale, the appearances do initially appear to be diversions. But Tatiana Masalany’s genius prevents us from ever being disengaged. She is the lifeblood of the production. The other performers are excellent in their roles, but Mark Ruffalo already appears worn out. He doesn’t fit in with the MCU’s new tone, and his Hulk comes out as a weaker version of the original.
The CGI is bad? Naturally, it is. Most recent Marvel products, even high-budget movies like Doctor Strange and Spider-Man, have noticeable poor CGI. That has less to do with the programme itself and more to do with Marvel Studios treating their VFX sections like sweatshops.
Critics have criticised the show’s tone and Marvel for downplaying the seriousness of the stakes in the MCU with these lighter episodes. Though I can understand how some Marvel fans could feel that way, not every Marvel episode is like that. Every She-Hulk has a WandaVision counterpart. I think Marvel Studios is trying to include material in every genre and corner in order to make sure that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has something for everyone. And as long as She-Hulk has high-quality material, which it does, that’s acceptable. Do not watch the show because it is feminist or because it is unorthodox; rather, watch it because it is extremely fantastic and merits at least one viewing before you determine that you do not enjoy it. Series: She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Creator: Jessica Gao Cast: Benedict Wong, Tim Roth, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jon Bass, Tatiana Maslany, Ginger Gonzaga, Jameela Jamil, and Josh Segarra.