REVIEW: ‘She-Hulk’ Brings More Fun and Hilarity to the Women of Marvel
5/5 ripped suits
First, let me say that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe show that had me instantly on board in a way where I didn’t care about how it connected to the larger universe, nor did I really have any theories. I was just excited to see where the series was going and it was a fun change to how I’ve been watching the MCU shows previously. I love most all of the MCU in general, so when something really sticks out to me, it means there’s a certain special something there.
Recently, it’s been the female-led series that the franchise is focusing on because it’s new and fresh in a way that just feels like the MCU is moving into a new and exciting phase (despite how men on the internet may feel about it). And now, She-Hulk fits right in with that change in the best of ways.
Tatiana Maslany brings Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk to life in such a way that Jessica Gao’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law hooks you in in the first episode and leaves you wishing the entire series was out already and ready to stream. We meet Jennifer Walters after she’s already been transformed into the She-Hulk, and she’s telling us, to the camera, about her life, and we get to see her origin story within the first episode in a flashback to her time with her cousin, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo).
We’ve seen siblings take over the MCU, and we’ve seen families in a great many ways, but with She-Hulk, we get to see the bond that cousins can have with each other, and it’s surprisingly fun to see play out. Cousins are an important part of a family dynamic because when your siblings make you want to pull your hair out, your cousin is there to also complain about your siblings. And the reason Jen and Bruce work so well together is because they clearly have a bond, and while it is also clear these two haven’t been together in a while, the two of them are catching up and having fun in a way that only cousins really can.
Jen asks Bruce about whether or not Captain America is a virgin, and while it is a conversation that has happened in fandom, it is funny to see it happen in the show because it’s so clear she’s doing it to mess with Bruce while also wanting to know for herself.
The tonal shift of She-Hulk
One of the things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe that I love is that we’re getting more and more female characters at the forefront, and what I really love about She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is that the series doesn’t throw its female character to the wolves or force her into a traumatic situation in order for her show to resonate. I loved Ms. Marvel because it was more about a young girl figuring out this hero thing while balancing her personal life, and She-Hulk continues that on a Jen Walters/millennial scale.
We kicked off the Disney+ era of shows with WandaVision, and while yes, she’s still my favorite and it is still at the top of my list, the show was all about Wanda’s grief, and it became a trend in Marvel’s “Phase 4” to explore the trauma and upset caused by the lives the characters lead. And we started to see the shift in both Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel where these heroes were funny and not bogged down by the pain of the Avengers quite yet, and they could enjoy their time as heroes in a way that our other favorites were struggling with.
But with both Kate Bishop and Kamala Khan, they weren’t without their pain. They were connected to their family and the struggle there that gave depth to the series and brought tears to our eyes when we watched both these young heroes come into their own.
Now, with Jennifer Walters, the show shifts from a female character dealing with her personal problems while also being excited about the prospect of being a hero to a character who doesn’t want to be a hero and liked her life before. Jen takes her new journey on the chin and keeps pushing forward, but it’s also a show that just beautifully encapsulates the millennial female experience in a way that we haven’t seen in Marvel yet.
Marvel’s Ally McBeal
While we know that the writers didn’t know Ally McBeal and had other points of inspiration for this series, the show does remind me of the stakes of She-Hulk and the tone. Ally McBeal was a “fun” lawyer show in the sense that she was a woman trying to figure out her own personal life while being a lawyer, and while also going out drinking and singing with her friends while she is seeing a dancing baby. It was weird, fun, and something I watched all of with my mother as a child.
And maybe the show is in that vein because they haven’t seen that series, so it falls in line with the same vibe as Ally McBeal flawlessly. And part of that is because Jen is just a woman trying to sort her personal life out while also being a really good lawyer, as well as being a big green hero.
It’s just a fun time
Of course people are going to say something about the CGI of She-Hulk, but quite frankly, it didn’t bother me, and the show’s tone plays into it in a way that makes it work in a fine way and you’re just invested in the story Jen herself is telling us. Each new episode brings a mix of Jen as a lawyer with her also trying to balance being the She-Hulk with dating, her friendships, her family, and all the normal problems that women face and more.
It’s exciting, new, and hilarious and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is easily one of the most fun shows in the MCU.
(image: Marvel Entertainment)
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