‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Season 1 Review

To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a meta legal drama comedy series based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The show is produced by Kevin Feige with Jessica Gao (Robot Chicken) serving as head writer and Kat Coiro (The Mick) leading the directing team. Featuring Tatiana Maslany, Jameela Jamil, Ginger Gonzaga, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Segarra, Mark Linn-Baker, Tess Malis Kincaid, Tim Roth, Megan Thee Stallion, Benedict Wong, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jon Bass, Rhys Coiro, Griffin Matthews, Patti Harrison, Steve Coulter, Charlie Cox, Brandon Stanley, and Drew Matthews, it is the eighth of many Disney+ limited series and shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Meaning it shares continuity with the films of the franchise. The story follows Jennifer Walters, a lawyer specializing in cases involving superhumans, who becomes a superhero known as She-Hulk after getting exposed to her cousin Bruce Banner’s radiated blood.

In her office lawyer Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) practices her closing argument in front of her paralegal Nikki Ramos (Ginger Gonzaga) and colleague Dennis Bukowski (Drew Matthews). After Dennis states that he should give the closing argument Nikki kicks him out and praises Jennifer’s diction. As they leave the room Jennifer breaks the fourth wall and explains to the audience that she is a “Hulk.” Knowing the audience won’t be able to focus on the legal aspects of the show without knowing how she got her powers Jennifer sets up a flashback to the day it happened.

A few months prior Jennifer is on a road trip with her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). He explains to her why he is in human form and what’s going on with his arm. After chastising him about his overly long answer to what he’s been up to Jennifer brings up her theory about Captain America being a virgin due to his hectic life after becoming a super soldier. As she reaches her point, a Sakaaran spacecraft appears in front of the car causing her to swerve off the road and crash the vehicle. As she pulls Bruce from the wreckage, his blood contaminates her open wounds and causes her to “Hulk out.”

She-Hulk is one of the more famous side characters from Marvel Comics. The only derivative character that’s on her level of popularity is War Machine. Like Deadpool, She-Hulk is known for breaking the fourth wall. She often talks to the reader and berates the writers for giving her terrible stories. Also, unlike most other heroes, She-Hulk has a prominent day job and no secret identity. This adds to her appeal as the amount of trouble she can get into increases. The first time I became acquainted with She-Hulk was in the 1996 animated television series The Incredible Hulk. She had all the powers of the Hulk but retained her intelligence.  That series didn’t focus much on her career, but still, I found the depiction interesting. I always liked how she was the one to protect Bruce and also the one to keep the Hulk in line.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law goes for a different approach to the character. Of course, they have to fit her into the ever-expansive MCU, but her backstory and relationship with Bruce feel underdeveloped. When we meet Jennifer and Bruce it feels as if she’s always been there. Yet Bruce has never mentioned his extended family in the seven times he previously appeared in the MCU. Random family members appearing in a sitcom is normal, but to not give it more time feels a bit odd.

Tatiana Maslany is great as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk. Her look as the green bombshell is pretty much perfect save for some sketchy CGI here and there. Jennifer is witty, funny, engaging, and attractive. Yet the show goes out of its way to make it seem like men do not want her. Yes, some men are jerks, but in a world full of superheroes it’s impossible to believe nobody would date her. Pretty much every actor in this series does a great job with what they are given. Charlie Cox’s return as Matt Murdock/Daredevil elevates what is probably the strongest episode the series has to offer. His advice about how Jennifer can help people inside and outside of the law is great and fits right in with how his character has been portrayed in the past.

The writing on the series is a mixed bag. A lot of the jokes are funny, but the story feels half-baked. Toward the end, they try to rectify this with She-Hulk journeying to Marvel Studios to have the writers fix this, but ultimately they skip over the climax so there’s no sense of completion. The story we were following from week to week is just brushed aside like it was nothing. Much of this feels like an effort to make the character of She-Hulk as comically accurate as possible, but certain things that happen in the comic don’t work for a live-action medium. The series should have focused on being a legal drama with She-Hulk trying to win cases while occasionally dealing with superhero stuff.

Overall, this series is a fine addition to the MCU. The cameos are fun and the jokes are moderately funny even if they don’t always land as intended. Tatiana Maslany is great as She-Hulk and I’d love to see where they take her character in a second season. I give She-Hulk: Attorney at Law an Average 3/5. I can’t wait to see She-Hulk interact with Deadpool on screen for the first time because I’m sure it’ll be a fourth-wall-breaking bonanza!

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