From what I’ve been reading online, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is probably getting the most divided reviews I’ve seen out of any released Marvel Studio’s show so far. With fans split between either loving or hating the show’s creative decisions, I’m honestly not surprised given how vastly different the approach was. Styled as a superhero legal sitcom, She-Hulk fearlessly smashed the boundaries with its fourth-wall breaking and unique sense of self-awareness. While it was brave in its attempt at creating something new, I’m just going to go ahead and say that it didn’t work for me. No, I wasn’t a fan of the show. While it was different and unorthodox, the only word that really comes to mind for me when describing this show is inconsistent.
I want to first start off by saying I’m aware that there are a lot of people who really enjoyed She-Hulk and placed it on the higher end of their Marvel series ranking list. So if you liked it, I’m happy for you! Unfortunately for me, I just couldn’t get on board with the directionless plot and unsatisfying writing decisions for this show. Full disclosure – I’ve never read the She-Hulk comics so I can’t comment on how well it was translated into the show, so anything I say in my review here is based on my first time experience with this character. I personally didn’t like the genre or style the showrunners went with because for a show introducing an entirely new superhero to the world, the comedy sitcom angle didn’t seem right. I’ve always felt a straight up Marvel sitcom would be funnier and more appropriate for superheroes that we’re already familiar with and have grown to love.
So if it’s going to be a comedy, I want to at least be able to laugh at the jokes and genuinely find the show entertaining. I can truthfully say I went in without any reservations and with an open mind. But for being a comedy show, She-Hulk was shockingly not funny. I don’t recall laughing out loud much at all (if at all), and you know something’s wrong if you have to search for the smallest bits of humour to get a laugh. That’s not to say I didn’t like the upbeat and lighthearted tone of the show though, because I did. There’s nothing wrong with having a less serious Marvel show (especially if it works for a character like She-Hulk), but what I didn’t appreciate was the execution of it. There was definitely potential here but it was unable to deliver. Marvel’s known for having cheesy humour that’s often a hit or miss, so when you jam it all into one sitcom, there’s a good chance it’s not all going to work. What it really boils down to is whether the writing was good enough to carry its ideas and honestly, it just wasn’t. I could do with a new set of writers for the next season.
And that leads me to my main concern with this show: my biggest gripe with She-Hulk is that when I finished the show yesterday, it felt like nothing really happened at all. The whole story overall felt aimless and each episode was inconsistent in its storytelling. I didn’t like that in the end, none of the events that occurred really served a purpose. The finale essentially erased everything that happened and was personally a little too meta for my liking. While it seems the out of the box, mind-boggling finale appealed to some crowds, I personally wanted something that would tie the knots and leave me feeling like I needed a season two. To my dismay, I didn’t like what the writers came up with and I’m feeling pretty underwhelmed by both the individual episodes and the show as a whole.
While She-Hulk was inconsistent as a series, what was consistent was the lackluster and messy writing. In my opinion, they didn’t do the characters justice and I was disappointed to see that because I genuinely liked the actors who were cast in the roles. At the end of the day, it was as if the writers just threw in a bunch of different characters without giving them much motivation or purpose in being there. Like what about Titania? What was the point of even having her in this show? Advertised as the “main antagonist” in She-Hulk, she was more or less thrown aside as the story progressed. With such a flashy entrance in the first episode, I was expecting her to be a bigger threat for She-Hulk or I was at least hoping to get to know more about the character and what her abilities are. But now I’m just left wondering if we’re ever going to see her again. I’m feeling rather undecided about my thoughts on Jameela Jamil’s performance as Titania, but that’s probably because she was given so little to work with.
I have nothing against the actors though and for what they were given to work with, I quite enjoyed their performances. Starring in the titular role, I thought Tatiana Maslany did really well as She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters and she provided a snarky, sarcastic humour that was fun and likable. She certainly has the charisma to be a lead in a television series. One of the more positive things that I enjoyed from this show was getting to see Jennifer Walter’s double life as a lawyer and hero, and seeing how becoming a Hulk affected her personal life. My favourite though was probably her assistant, Nikki (played by Ginger Gonzaga). She had a relatively small role, but she had this hilarious and enthusiastic energy that made her a respectably entertaining “sidekick”. She-Hulk overall had quite a large cast (because of all the cameos) and some notable appearances include Mark Ruffalo returning as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Tim Roth returning as Emil Blonsky/The Abomination, Benedict Wong returning as Wong, and Charlie Cox returning (finally!) as Daredevil. But even with all these big names showing up throughout the series, it still wasn’t enough to flip my opinion around.
With She-Hulk being a completely fictional large green superhero, I think you know what I’m about to talk about next – the CGI. Look, I’m a pretty forgiving person when it comes to bad CGI, and while I was pretty understanding of the visual effects early on in the show, I have to admit, as we ventured further into She-Hulk, I found the poor CGI to be more and more distracting. There’s an ongoing meme online about how the She-Hulk scenes look like they came out of a video game cutscene, and honestly, I see it. There’s an evident choppiness in her movements that looks unsettling and at times, the visuals almost seem like an incomplete edit. While I understand television shows have a smaller budget and that visual effects are incredibly difficult to do, if you’re going to have a giant green Hulk as the star of your show, it’s a little hard to ignore if the CGI doesn’t look too great. I’m not even going to mention the look of Skaar in the finale…
While I do feel I was a little brutal in my honest opinion of this show, I do stand behind my thoughts. She-Hulk just didn’t work well for me and overall, I didn’t enjoy it. I certainly appreciate Marvel experimenting and coming up with something that’s never been done before, so while I can commend them for their efforts, it was a swing and a miss for me. While I did enjoy some aspects of the show like it’s open look into the daily life of a superhero and the complications they might face, the poor execution from the writers made it unable to become anything more than just an unsatisfying sitcom. I’m sad to say, but She-Hulk was not the show for me so I’m going to give it a 4.5/10. As my least favourite Marvel series up to date, I had to give it a score reflecting that. While I’ll still tune in to season two because I’m a Marvel fan who will always head in with an open mind, I’m hoping they’ll be able to create something that feels more cohesive and significant to the Marvel universe (and hopefully more fleshed out characters!).
I think I mentioned before I was quite bewildered when the first couple episodes rolled out because I didn’t know what to make of it. I didn’t care for it, didn’t see the point of it, and wasn’t sure I wanted to stick with it. But once I set aside the frustration Marvel’s Phase 4 has created in me with providing lots of characters but no tangible direction towards the future, and realized this series was strictly being played for laughs, I enjoyed it as a bouncing-off-the-walls comedy. It was also nice to see Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, as I had never seen his series. Looking forward to seeing She-Hulk, Daredevil, and even the Abomination going forward. All that being said, I absolutely get your take on this series. It is still at or near the bottom of my rankings for their streaming series to-date.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I definitely really liked all the cameos and I’ve been waiting for Charlie Cox to return as Daredevil so that was really cool to see 😊 I really did try to just enjoy the series for what it is, but I just struggled to understand it and couldn’t get past how directionless it felt ☹️ Very unfortunate but I guess we can’t always like everything!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Even though I did enjoy the show for the most part, I do get your gripes. For me, it was just turning my brain off for 30 minutes and getting a break from other serious shows like Andor. But I totally agree with how it felt discombobulated. I was expecting more out of the case of the week they kept talking about and thought there would be more lawyer stuff. It’s like it was there but it wasn’t if that makes sense.
One thing I didn’t enjoy that much is how some characters never showed up again. I get some were just used for that specific episode, but others felt like they were supposed to be bigger but nothing happened with them like the support group Jen went to, or like you said, Titania.
I really has been the most decisive Marvel show and even though I said I enjoyed it, I’m kind of glad it’s over so we can just move on.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for commenting! 😊 Yeah, it just felt like they never really honed in in anything. To me, their biggest fault really was how aimless the show felt.
It’s been interesting to read about, but for a lot of people, it seems like they had to come to terms with the silliness and pointlessness of the show before enjoying it. I guess for me I just struggled to get past that ☹️
LikeLiked by 1 person
Just wanted to say that I held off reading your post until I finished mine. Only to find we shared a lot of thoughts 🤦♀️🤣🤷♀️ I think you probably expressed them better….
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Jen! I read your She-Hulk review while I was out yesterday but I really enjoyed it! We did share a lot of similar views so I guess great minds think alike? 😉
LikeLiked by 1 person