The MCU gains a new superhero (and another kick-ass lawyer) in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. The series follows Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), a successful lawyer who struggles to balance her very public double life as both Jen and the big green She-Hulk.
Right off the bat, the focus of this series is entirely to draw new audiences in to the MCU. There’s no question about it. Not everyone who loves Thor: Ragnarok or Captain America: Civil War will get a big kick out of this series, but that’s not the point. The point is to reach a new audience and get them invested in the MCU through the character of She-Hulk. That’s not to say there isn’t anything for other MCU fans in here. There’s great moments throughout that cater to those who have seen every MCU project, but those audiences are not the focus. Personally, I got a good kick out of She-Hulk. It doesn’t land every blow, and there’s some episodes that are much better than others, but I enjoyed the (mostly) different approach it takes.
She-Hulk is at its best when it incorporates a balance of its ‘legal drama/comedy’ angle and the ‘superhero’ side of things. Unfortunately that balance is present for about half of the season. The series kicks off really strong with its first few episodes – consistently nailing the tone by bringing both fun legal drama narratives and great comedy. It had me on board immediately, despite not being particularly excited by the show’s arrival. However, towards the middle of the season it becomes a bit of a mess. The balance I spoke of earlier is gone, and there’s a few episodes in a row that feel like unnecessary detours – otherwise known as filler. The legal drama angle doesn’t really play much of a role and the comedy gets to a point of being too silly. The character of She-Hulk is still entertaining through these episodes and there’s some jokes that work, but the overall narrative and tone had me checked out. Thankfully, the final two episodes come out swinging and result in the two best episodes of the season. It’s unfortunate that the meat of the season was mediocre, but it’s all bookended by five great episodes.
Breaking the fourth wall in the superhero world is something we’ve only really seen significantly with Deadpool, so it’s nice to see another character (this time in the MCU) have fun with this meta format. There’s minor fourth wall breaks in pretty much every episode – enough to be a recurring element but not so much that it gets exhausting. Pretty much every ‘break’ works, it breathes fresh air into the respective episode and almost always garners a positive reaction. There’s one specific fourth-wall break that is so spectacular it resulted in my favourite episode of the series, even better than a certain action-heavy episode. Speaking of the action, there could have been a bit more. I feel like there were opportunities to have a few more solid action scenes, but they’re passed on in favour of some comedy. Which I understand considering this is definitely more of a comedy, but there’s moments where the story looks to be calling for it, yet it doesn’t really happen.
Tatiana Maslany is a charismatic star and a great addition to the MCU. Like the series or not, Tatiana nails every comedic and serious moment as She-Hulk. She’s instantly likeable and infectiously funny, getting the audience on board with her character from the first episode. Not only is she great on her own, she plays well against her co-stars. It’s hard to pinpoint which of the supportive cast stand out, but by far the most impactful would be Ginger Gonzaga’s Nikki Ramos. She really fits into the loose, fun vibe of the series and contributes to some really funny moments. Other strong characters and performances I’ll leave for you to uncover, despite the fact that they’ve been all over the promotional material.
In the end, She-Hulk is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But that’s the point. I personally got a good kick out of most of the season. Some arcs run dry and there’s some aimless meandering through the middle of the season, but I had fun with both the opening and closing chunks of episodes. Tatiana Maslany makes every moment worth it, bringing the fun and laughs even when the story isn’t really hitting. There’s definitely room for She-Hulk to improve as a series. But as far as the character goes, I can’t wait to see her in more projects going forward.