She-Hulk: Attorney At Law was one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney Plus shows that I was really, really looking forward to. We’ve all wanted something a bit different from the MCU, and if you’ve read any of the She-Hulk comics, then you would have known that we were in for something very different from the usual MCU fair.
In my mind, She-Hulk – aka Jennifer Walters – is one of the most interesting and fun Marvel Comics characters. She’s one of the strongest heroes in Marvel’s canon, but also one of the cleverest, wittiest, and one of the characters that actually does quite a bit of good in the Marvel universe outside of punching bad guys really hard. She’s an attorney (‘lawyer’ in British English), and she’s always trying to help people who are less fortunate than herself. Oh, and she’s constantly breaking the fourth wall in the comics, which is also rather unusual. The only other character that I’m aware of who does that in the Marvel Comics is Deadpool.
I think that Marvel Studios and actress Tatiana Maslany nailed all of these aspects of the character. Her take on She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters is perfect! Her performance is one of the main reasons why I kept on tuning in every week to watch the new episode of She-Hulk Season 1 on Disney Plus. However, quite a bit of stuff really got in the way of my overall enjoyment of the series. I’ll go over all of that in a second, but, for now, I would like to stay with the positives.
She-Hulk surrounds herself with great supporting characters
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She-Hulk was always going to be a hard character to get right in live-action. Put aside some rather poor CGI shots (we need to remember that this is a TV show with a much smaller budget than a fully-blown MCU movie), I actually thought the show overall looked pretty darn good. Yes, there were some moments when She-Hulk looked rather ropey, especially in the season’s finale. However, I liked the character design, and I think they did as good a job as they could in making the big green monster look as good as they possibly could.
Then there were Jennifer’s ‘sidekick’ characters. I kind of loved all of them. Ginger Gonzaga as Nikki Ramos, Josh Segarra as Augustus “Pug” Pugliese, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Mallory Book. I liked all of these characters, and they worked well together. This series really worked, for me at least, in the ‘case of the week’ aspect of the show. I liked seeing how Jennifer and her co-workers managed to win the cases they were working on in each episode. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for shows such as Law & Order and The Good Wife. I like that sort of stuff, and I was happy to see the MCU dip its toe into this sort of TV legal drama.
Cameos galore in season 1
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I also loved some of the show’s cameos. Benedict Wong turns up on multiple occasions as Wong, and I especially liked seeing Tim Roth back as Emil Blonsky (aka, Abomination). There is one cameo in particular that I really loved, and this is where I’m going to enter some serious spoiler territory. But, I’m going to have to say that the main reason why I think this show is worth all MCU fans’ time is that it brings Charlie Cox’s Daredevil back into the fold, and he is brilliant.
This isn’t the brooding version of the character we saw in the Netflix Marvel shows. This is a more upbeat and fun version of the character, and I am all for that. He also works really well with Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters, and I hope we can see more of the two of them together in the future. They make a seriously cute couple! I also liked Bruce Banner and Jennifer’s relationship at the start of She-Hulk Season 1. They are cousins and have a really adorable relationship that you immediately believe in.
Why waste Titania?
OK, now onto the stuff I didn’t care all that much for, and there’s quite a bit, so bear with me. To be quite frank with you, I thought the series’ story arc was a bit of a mess. There were characters that were introduced, and their stories went nowhere. I’m thinking primarily of Jameela Jamil as Titania. Perfect casting, and Jamil is brilliant in the very few scenes she turns up in. Given that Titania is one of She-Hulk’s primary antagonists, I think they really did the character a disservice by making her a lot less menacing than she should have been.
She’s also forgotten about very quickly. I really hope that the show’s creator, Jessica Gao, comes up with a much better story arc for Titania in any future episodes this series might get. She’s a great character, and Jamil is a terrific actor. They both deserve a lot more time in the MCU and much more care.
She-Hulk’s finale really lost me
Now onto the aspect of the first season that I really didn’t like: the finale. I’ve noticed that there’s been a lot of discussion about the show’s finale online, and I completely understand why. It’s really, really odd. Whilst watching it, I couldn’t help but think that the show’s creator and writers were thinking that they were much cleverer than they really were. They wanted to smash open the fourth wall basically, and they ended up creating a scene which, for me at least, just left me cringing the whole time. I won’t go into the specifics of this scene, because I do think you should all watch it for yourselves and come up with your own opinion on it. However, I felt like it was just too much and really messed up the tone of the whole first season.
I understand that She-Hulk is a character that breaks the fourth wall, and they had been doing that periodically throughout each episode of the show. However, I just feel like they took it too far, and they hadn’t really done enough for the finale to warrant such a huge shift in tone. I was watching this series with my wife, who, granted, isn’t a huge MCU fan. However, she watched all of the episodes with me and was completely thrown by what was happening in the finale. I think Marvel Studios and their writers also need to think about those sorts of viewers. The more casual Marvel viewers, because I feel like this was just too much for them to take.
I also think that the show’s writers got so excited about obliterating the fourth wall in the show’s finale, that they forgot to finish the story they had been setting up. What happened with the whole blood subplot? We didn’t actually see a conclusion to the scene in the barn at the end. I won’t get into the scene in too much detail here, because, you know, spoilers. But, I will say that they just decided not to give the show a proper ending or an explanation as to what was going on. They, quite literally, forgot to tell the story.
So, unfortunately, I feel like She-Hulk: Attorney At Law’s creator and writers were being really ambitious with this show’s finale and the show in general, but they didn’t quite stick the landing, which is a shame because I do think that there’s a lot of good stuff in the show’s first season. Now, will they get to make more seasons of She-Hulk after this? I have a feeling that they will, but they need to be a bit more careful in the future not to forget that the fourth wall is there for a reason, and sometimes, completely smashing it to bits isn’t the way forward.
What do you make of this review? Did you enjoy the first season of She-Hulk on Disney Plus? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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- Tatiana Maslany's performance
- Fun supporting characters
- Good legal drama
- Great cameos
- Poor CGI
- Unsatisfactory finale
- Poor story development
- Did Titania dirty!