In honour of She-Hulk (2022) releasing this Thursday, I thought I’d finally get around to completing my Ms. Marvel review. The reason I’ve been taking so long is I’ve been struggling with finalizing my thoughts and opinions on the show. Ms. Marvel is Marvel Studio’s most recent TV series (of course until this Thursday!) which stars Iman Vellani in her debut as the titular character. The show is a fun, vibrant, “takes-me-back-to-my-high-school-days” kind of series that also places an emphasis on religion and culture. To be completely honest, I wasn’t excited for this show prior to its release because I was worried it’d give off too much of a teenage preppy vibe. While this show wasn’t one of my favourite of the Marvel shows so far, it certainly wasn’t bad either – I think it just wasn’t for me and I’ll tell you why.

Kamala dressed in her Captain Marvel costume

Admittedly, it took me a couple tries before I found myself wanting to finish the show; in fact, I ended up waiting until the entire series was complete before giving it a second try. The first two episodes felt too slow and uneventful which made it difficult for me to show interest in the characters. The show definitely picked up halfway through the series though and I found myself being more entertained.

This series immediately gave me similar vibes to Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) but felt much more light-hearted and at times, verged on almost being too cheesy. I would argue that Ms. Marvel was targeted more towards teens and young adults based on how relatable the younger demographic may have found the characters. As I mentioned earlier, I was initially concerned that the show would feel too preppy and I found that at times, it certainly was. But I will say that it wasn’t as bothersome as I thought it would be, and this fun, upbeat tone definitely led to some positives for the show. For example, I absolutely loved how vibrant and bright the colour palette was. It matched the tone well and felt like something straight out of a comic book (I definitely appreciated those cute animations they used).

Kamala and Bruno together and the Avengers-con

What I enjoyed the most about this series though was its depiction of the Pakistani culture and Muslim religion. It never felt like any of it was being forced on the audience, and it was interesting getting to experience a completely different background from my own. I appreciated the way it was incorporated into Kamala’s everyday life and that they didn’t make each cultural event some sort of weird phenomenon – it was just shown as important celebrations that are regularly celebrated by huge groups of people. I’m really glad that Marvel portrayed Kamala’s personal life so well and I hope audiences enjoyed witnessing this difference in culture as much as I did.

I also just wanted to quickly add how much I loved that Kamala’s family (especially her parents) were supportive of her newfound powers. Given that this is basically a coming of age story, it was really great seeing the parents actually being understanding and encouraging the child (that’s somehow really rare!). Her parents were definitely a plus for me in the show because they felt like accurate representations of real parents. Kind of goofy, obviously strict, but their intentions were always pure.

Kamala using her powers

At this point into the review, you might be wondering why I said I was struggling to review this show if all I’ve said so far are mostly positives. But okay, it’s time to get into what didn’t work for me with this series. I’m just going to come out and say it but I didn’t like how Kamala came to have her powers. Having her discover her powers by finding a bangle in the attic felt, I guess, underwhelming? I think underwhelming is kind of how I felt about the entire series. The highs never felt really high, but there weren’t really any lows either. I didn’t feel that Kamala’s story was particularly compelling or exciting, but given that she’s a high school student, it’s possible to assume this was on purpose. I can see that Marvel didn’t want to make anything too extreme since it is Ms. Marvel’s introduction to the MCU, but perhaps I was just wanting something more.

While I felt Iman did an overall good job portraying the character, because it is her first acting role, I felt that her performance was a little mediocre at times. She wasn’t able to fully draw out the right emotions during intense or emotional moments, so that lost some points for me. I felt that as well for Kamran (played by Rish Shah) who also played a pivotal role in the series. I just wish the younger actors could’ve done a bit more because there were certainly some powerful, heart-wrenching scenes that would’ve benefited from a stronger performance. I will say that I did really love Bruno’s character though, and I felt that his witty remarks and somewhat awkward disposition was endearing. I’m team Bruno!

Kamala showing her powers to Bruno

Considering everything that I’ve said, I will conclude by saying that the show itself was well done overall, but just wasn’t the right fit for me. While I appreciated the creativity and thought behind the execution, I can’t say I enjoyed it more than say, Moon Knight (2022). With Ms. Marvel already set to star in the next Captain Marvel film, The Marvels (2023), I’m still excited to see how this character will grow and how she will interact with the other heroes. After much thought, I’d like to give Ms. Marvel a solid and safe rating of 6.5/10. This first season didn’t quite hit the spot for me, but it definitely sets up the character for future adventures. With some more focus on balancing the right tones, I’m sure Ms. Marvel will have a promising next season.