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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law | tv review

Smashing the fourth wall and fragile men's egos.

 

Season summary: Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered Hulk. (IMDb)


I wasn't sure what to expect when starting to watch She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, wondering what they might change about the character to fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a pleasant surprise, they barely changed anything, instead making the MCU fit into Jen Walters' (Tatiana Maslany) world, with this being one of the most comic-accurate efforts put out by Marvel Studios so far.


While that was great for me, it's been interesting to see some people who loved the first eight episodes struggle a little with the last one, which is really accurate to the comics with Jen outright smashing the fourth wall - and the Disney+ menu - to ultimately sort things out. For me, it was utter brilliance, but I can see why some would be thrown with just how meta it all got - but that's just how She-Hulk rolls, people.


There's also been a lot of criticism for how 'poor' the VFX for Jen's transformed states as She-Hulk looks, which I don't understand and fully agree with plenty of people who work in TV I've seen online that she's easily one of the best all-CGI characters ever on a TV show, if not the best. I think the She-Hulk character looks great and you only have to see some of the comparisons being made to really get the intentions of those being critical.


Honestly, there are some people comparing her to the characters from the recent Avatar: The Way of Water trailer - a character in a real world setting on a $150 million dollar TV show that had probably 18 months or so of work (probably less considering Marvel Studios' demands of VFX companies) doesn't look as good as an all-CGI (or close to it) movie with an entirely fantastical setting that cost over $100 million more and had years and years more work on it? No shit, genius.


There have been other comparisons made - again, to movies that cost triple digit millions more and/or had years longer to work on the visuals - and you only have to see the complete lack of comparisons to other TV shows with CGI characters that take place in a real world setting. Why? Because then you'd see just how fucking good the VFX team for this show really are at their jobs and stop criticising them.


It's also been really funny to see the reaction a lot of men (well, 'men') have had to the show, saying that it's anti-men, misandrist or some other imagined slight they've conjured up. The only men She-Hulk (deservedly) attacked were toxic guys, misogynists and arseholes - if you're offended by the jokes made at the expense of these groups, that says a hell of a lot more about you than it does the show.


Just to counter the 'She-Hulk is anti-men' stance even further, it should be pointed out that Hulk (Mark Ruffalo returning), Wong (Benedict Wong also returning), Daredevil (Charlie Cox also also returning, yay!), Jen's co-worker Pug (Josh Segarra) and more are all included as far more positive depictions of masculinity, so it's especially damning of the kind of guy you are if you think this show is anti-men.


There's also the fact that She-Hulk is a flat-out comedy show and very funny with it for the most part, also proving astonishingly accurate at predicting the kind of criticism it would receive, with Jen repeatedly breaking the fourth wall to point this out. It was great reading on-line that the abuse some of the women behind this show received actually lessened somewhat as the show continued once the dickheads doing so realised they were proving the show and everyone working on it right by behaving like the morons they are.


Personally, I didn't feel attacked even once because I don't identify as any of the kind of guys the show attacked and am happy to mock and ridicule those kind of idiots myself. I love the cast and their performances; the writing is fantastic, fun, and funny; and I love that it actually feels like an episodic TV show with continuity rather than a continuous story broken down into episodes.


She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is just flat-out fun from start to finish unless you're a toxic piece of shit with the thinnest skin imaginable. I really hope this gets a second season, because the only real criticism I have for the show is that because there were so many characters involved, some were a little underserved (I really want to see Jen's friendship with Mallory, played by the excellent Renée Elise Goldsberry, explored further!) and I'd like to see them fleshed out a little more if the opportunity arises.


She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is one of Marvel Studios' best efforts from Phase 4 and arguably the best show they've put out so far on Disney+. Tatiana Maslany is as amazing as I expected in the title role, the supporting cast is brilliant, the writing is excellent, and it's just a thoroughly enjoyable experience - the fact that it pisses off all the right people is just the icing on the cake.

[9/10 - Excellent]

 

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