The She-Hulk: Attorney at law’s first episode is out on Disney+. Let’s quickly dive into the good and the bad of the show. If you haven’t watched it already, you should go watch it right now. I definitely think the show’s worth your time especially if you’re looking to have a few laughs and see some hulking out!
She-Hulk is not about a superhero saving the world from multiversal threats. It’s a show about a superhero tackling real-life issues and navigating life despite being outed as a superhero. It deals with ideas of sexism in the workplace and the atrocious state of dating apps. The show puts forward a relatable woman in her 30s who is dealing with life in her own unique way.
Right from Hulk’s Gladiator helmet in Ragnarok to Tony Stark’s Iron legion helmet in Age of Ultron, Marvel makes its presence felt right away. They used the first episode to tie up several loose threads as well. Shang Chi’s post-credits was explained by introducing the device that allows Hulk to stay in his human form. The episode also remembers and commemorates Iron Man by exploring Tony and Bruce’s friendship. Even the Led Zeppelin shirt worn by Jen belonged to Tony. We finally got to see the gamma lab that was mentioned in Endgame. There are also references to The Avengers movie, Hulk’s time in Sakaar and Natasha’s lullaby. As a matter of fact, there is even a QR code in the bar that Jen stumbles upon. This will take you to a free digital copy of The Savage She-Hulk issue#1 (1980).
Tatiana Maslany is absolutely brilliant as Jen Walters throughout the episode. She’s the heart of the show. Her acting felt relatable, natural and funny. She seemed invested in the character and shined in the role. Above all, she commanded the screen and added her own dorkiness to the character. People all over the internet have been praising her and gushing over her performance. So I guess I’m not the only one. Right from the beginning to the end, you cannot help but root for her.
The show in itself is silly, weird and unabashedly original. It knows not to take itself too seriously and even pokes fun at Marvel. The show won over hearts with its hilariously chaotic interactions. While there have been criticisms aimed at the tone of the show, I respectfully disagree. If you’re looking for something more serious, there’s a lot Marvel has to offer in that department. However, She-Hulk is meant to be a breezy, light-hearted yet fun sitcom-like show, grappling with problems of daily life.
The dynamic between She-Hulk and Smart Hulk is engaging and wildly entertaining. From Hulk’s frequent childish pettiness to Jen’s light-hearted jokes, they made the perfect duo. Their banter truly set apart the first episode. It gave us many memorable and meme-worthy moments. Bruce screaming “My bar!!” as Jen accidentally destroyed it during their fight was one of my favourite scenes. And of course, there’s Bruce waking up Jen using an air horn. Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo worked extremely well together and effortlessly bounced off of each other.
The post-credits scene should be enough to make you watch She-Hulk straight away. During the run time of the episode, Bruce and Jen go on a road trip. Consequently, Jen theorizes Steve Rogers aka Captain America to be a virgin. As we have seen, during the post-credits as Jen and Bruce are drinking together, Hulk finally reveals the truth. Steve Rogers lost his virginity to a girl during the USO tour of 1943. This scene will definitely go down in history as one of the best post-credits scenes ever.
When introducing his red binder of Hulk knowledge that he has amassed over the years, Smart Hulk makes a slip-up. Hulk claims that he’s been this way for 15 years give or take. Now the MCU’s hulk was introduced in 2005 which would ideally set She-Hulk in the present day. However, the MCU had jumped forward 5 years into the future during Avengers: Endgame. Disney + has put She Hulk’s events before Ms. Marvel. Thus technically She-Hulk should be happening in 2025. This would make it a total of 20 years since the creation of Hulk in the MCU and not 15. Bottom line is that the timeline is a bit of a mess right now and Marvel needs to figure it out soon.
We’re definitely not the first to criticize the questionable CGI of She-Hulk. It has been such a common critique that director Kat Coiro has even come out with a statement. She Hulk’s skin looks unnaturally smooth and her 80s-styled hair bounces as a whole instead of moving normally with the wind. Whereas Hulk’s ruggedness and imperfections in CGI make him look and feel more real. This often distracts from Maslany’s performance. However, this isn’t something new in the Marvel Universe. The MCU in general needs to improve its VFX. The show can definitely improve its CGI but that isn’t enough of a reason for anyone to not watch the show.
The big green guy who smashed puny gods and took on alien space ships single-handedly, should not have any trouble stopping a jeep. The first episode definitely diminished a lot of his powers and underestimated him. After all, this is the same guy who was strong enough to wield the infinity gauntlet during Endgame and still survive. While I understand establishing She-Hulk is the focus of the show, they definitely did not do justice to the Hulk, someone who can literally destroy planets.
The origin story and training arc felt rushed. This is the first time a superhero has had just a 5 minute origin story. I do hope that they keep going back to it and answer several important questions about their genetic abnormalities and whether or not they’re mutants.
There you have it! As a Marvel fan myself I think the show’s off to a pretty good start and there is nothing that could stop me from watching the upcoming episodes.