We’re going to start out by saying “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” is a different type of beast in the MCU. The show is very much a half hour comedy, which feels like quite the departure from much of the usual angsty fare. There are some spiritual siblings in things like Taika Waititi’s versions of Thor, or even the most recent “Ms. Marvel.” However the stakes in those still feel very “world is at risk.” But for Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, cousin to Bruce Banner, things are somewhat more contained (at least for the 4 episode preview reviewers were given).
Tatiana Maslany slips into the role with ease, she brings a charm and lightness to the role. Mark Ruffalo reprises his role as Hulk. The first episode spends a considerable amount of time with the two of them. Our biggest frustration with it is that quite frankly the marketing materials surrounding the show gave away a lot of the more joyous surprises.
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The supporting cast of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” are no slouches either. Ginger Gonzaga as Nikki Ramos, Jen’s bff and paralegal is a grounding delight. In the weeks to come we’ll also see the reprisal of some familiar characters including one of our favorites (and the show’s favorites – they know what they’re doing…) Benedict Wong as Wong. If you’ve seen the promo materials you also know Tim Roth returns as Abomination, and Charlie Cox will be reprising his role as fellow lawyer / superhero, Daredevil.
In addition to the first episode having a lot of it spoiled by promotional over zealotry, there are a few things that are rockier in the beginning. They even out eventually but the comedy timing in particular sometimes feels off. As if they are trying to rush through an origin story and don’t want to give jokes time to breathe. Show creator Jessica Gao knows a good joke, and this is not her first rodeo with a green protagonist. She is the one responsible for legendary “Rick and Morty” character Pickle Rick.
Speaking of the green… while Marvel has clearly invested much over the years in the Hulk CG character, there is sometimes something about She-Hulk that reads a little off. Our current hypothesis is in order to make her sexy, they’ve over smoothed her at times. Hulk is more textured, he has body hair (which trust us actually matters when it comes to CG characters). She-Hulk however sometimes doesn’t seem right in her own skin, and particularly her clothes. This is not the first (and probably not the last) Marvel show to have effects at a level below what we’d like to see. Particularly considering how much time we spend with the Hulk version of Walters.
Ultimately the show has some of the most emotionally well rounded characters we’ve seen in the MCU. Walters AND She-Hulk have relatable problems, a network of supportive companions, and annoying detractors. The comedy doesn’t quite SMASH in the beginning, but we encourage you to stick with it, it gets there!
“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” is streaming now on Disney+.
(P.S.- Every “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” episode has a mid credits scene, some of which are probably amongst our favorites in the MCU.)