Jennifer Walters – an attorney specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases must navigate the complicated life of a single, 30s woman who also happens to be a green 6 foot 7 inches superpowered Hulk.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Jennifer Walter (Tatiana Maslany) who is on a road trip with her cousin Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) suddenly gets into a car crash as a Sakaaran spaceship appears in the middle of the road, which leads Jennifer to take a sudden turn to avoid a collision from the spaceship that leads her car down the hill.
Down the hill we see their car upside down, Jennifer manages to get out of the car with a few scratches but Bruce gets a cut on his head and is struggling to get out of the seat because of the seat belt because of his damaged hand after the repercussions of Avengers: Endgame. As Jennifer tries to help get her cousin out of the car, Bruce’s blood spills on a cut of Jennifer and from there she starts turning into a Hulk.
It was a show every person who follows and watches every Marvel Cinematic Universe’s project waited for. As we do not get to see much of Hulk and his stand-alone projects, everyone expected to get more from She-Hulk and other aspects that are discussed in comics as well. But the show could not deliver what everyone was expecting it to be and that even reflects in the ratings above.
Though the show starts really well where we see Jennifer and Bruce in an accident, which later leads to Bruce’s blood dropping on Jennifer’s wound. We see her getting transformed and losing her consciousness to She-Hulk in the beginning. Later when Jennifer when she is getting in trouble in front of a club, Bruce rescues her and takes her to a safe island and his personal research area which was built for him by ‘Tony Stark’ after the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Bruce studies the blood and DNA of Jennifer who turned into a Hulk, and Bruce also heals his arm which was affected after the events of the snap he performed in Avengers: Endgame to bring everyone back who was snapped away by ‘Thanos’, with the help of the research he did on her blood sample.
We see Hulk train her cousin sister, Jennifer on that island and perform some experiments on her as well to study about her She-Hulk transformation and what triggers it. Surprisingly, we see that Jennifer has far better control of her Hulk transformation and has complete control over herself even after she transforms. And the Hulk transformation of Jennifer is completely in Jennifer’s control as she is much more mentally resolved and content with herself than Bruce Banner ever was.
From there the story progresses and Jennifer Walter gets back to her work, being a professional lawyer/prosecutor. Though she loses her job at her earlier firm after they discover that she is a Hulk but is later hired by “GLK&H” to be their representative lawyer as “She-Hulk”, a name which was given to her by the media.
We see cameos of Wong (Benedict Wong) and Emil Blonsky/Abomination (Tim Roth) in the show, though their presence makes the show a bit exciting but the entire show lacks in its writing. The show hardly excites the viewer and makes the audience want more of the show. Although the actress Tatiana Maslany does everything she could, I have watched her in more show and she is really good with whatever role she gets, but Marvel Studios needs to get better writers to make people more attached to their female protagonists, whether it was Captain Marvel, Miss Marvel or She-hulk, the stories lack to show people the rise of a hero. Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger shows us how one overcomes their limitations and rise above every problem they face.
After that we see her defend some people but throughout the show, we see Jennifer struggle that she is Jennifer first before She-Hulk and that is dragged throughout the show until episode 8 where Daredevil / Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) suggests her to use both her personalities, Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk for helping people and whichever helps them at that time. Later in the episode, we get a mysterious cliffhanger ending where we see Jennifer all raged up and asked to surrender and we also get to see Todd being the Hulk king which eventually got changed as She-Hulk breaks the fourth wall and negotiates with with ‘K-E-V-I-N’ to give her a different show finale.
5 things I liked about She-Hulk:
The show was not all that bad, there are a few good things about the show.
- Casting Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walter / She-Hulk was a really good deal. I have watched her in shows like Perry Mason, and with good show writers and showrunners, Tatiana is someone who can pull off any task and objective that she is given as an actress.
- Though we do not get to see many action sequences but considering whatever we got was really good.
- The references the show brings in for X-Men and Mutants were really good. It proves that mutants do exist somewhere or other in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the last episode, we even see Jennifer asking when will we get to see the X-Men movie.
- We get Daredevil cameo for two episodes, 7th and 8th. Everyone waited for Matt Murdock to appear in the MCU after his cameo in Spiderman: No Way Home, representing as a lawyer for Peter Parker. We see a much more acrobatic and comic-accurate Daredevil, I personally preferred the Daredevil version Netflix presented to us who was more realistic and dark. But let’s see what more the Marvel Studios bring for us later in his solo series, Daredevil: Born Again.
- Jennifer goes in the fourth person and switches from the actual show to going through Disney Plus to travel and talk with the head of Marvel Studios and get her show plot line changed by negotiating with ‘K-E-V-I-N’. Though the ending of the show was building up to changes and we don’t get to see any good climax. But overall, the fourth wall break scene was hilarious and really entertaining, I would have preferred She-Hulk confronting ‘Kevin Feige’ instead of a robot.
- And at last, we get to see Jennifer’s family having a family lunch out in their backyard, where we see that Jennifer has also invited Matt Murdock for a stayover for a week. And in a few minutes, we see Bruce Banner/Hulk introduce his son, Skaar, which sets up a possible movie of Hulk as “World War Hulk”.
5 things I liked about She-Hulk:
It is a show which was not made well enough by the writers themselves, there were some complaints I have from them. It felt like the writers wasted an opportunity and resources they had which could have been used to give us a much better story for She-Hulk Marvel could have hired better writers. Here are some of my picks about the things that I did not like about She-Hulk.
- The best story till now for a female superhero has been for Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff. Her struggles felt real and the writers of Natasha in MCU never tried to make her stand out as she is a ‘woman’. Scarlett Johansson’s acting and effort for that particular character stood out in the front lines itself. I guess that is why everyone felt sad and still has a connection with Black Widow and her legacy in the MCU. Writers of female superheroes need to understand this and learn from it that at the end of the day, a woman is also a human being and they need to portray them as someone with whom the general audience can relate.
- The CGI and VFX were really poor for the main protagonist of the show, i.e., She-Hulk. She-Hulk’s face many times felt cartoonish and was really offputting. We hardly ever get to see her transformation and it was a massacre by Marvel for not putting enough effort and budget when they were aware that people were not happy with the VFX in the trailer launch itself.
- There have been complaints and articles about Marvel forcing and overworking their employees for better VFX, but I feel like Marvel should have taken some time to get the show better instead of filling up the calendar with their content.
- Most of the episodes felt too long to watch and boring even though the average time of an episode in the entire series was of 34 minutes. Though the writers tried to force jokes and puns every now and then but it didn’t make the story arc interesting.
- The entire show felt like a filler Marvel had created to cover up the space between Miss Marvel and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The show felt like we were being dragged to watch as Marvel kept teasing us every week with Daredevil’s appearance on their social media handles. This show could have been way lot better if they had stuck to 6 episodes a season rather than 9. The writers and Marvel Studios barely had a plot to narrate to their audience which would have eventually led to something but I guess this has been the story of the entire Phase 4 in the MCU.
Future of She-Hulk in MCU:
At the end of the series finale, we see that Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk is back as a lawyer and is carrying on with her practice, though we don’t get to see what is coming up for her later.
Although, we get to see Bruce introduce his son, Skaar to his family so I hope in the future we get to see the standalone movie for him as “World War Hulk”. So we can expect a Jennifer Walters cameo in that movie but not more than that as the movie will majorly take place in Sakaar, the planet for trash created by the Grandmaster.
Recently in the D23 Expo 2022, Marvel Studios also announce Captain America: New World Order, where Kevin Feige did announce that Tim Blake Nelson will be reprising his role as ‘The Leader’, whom we last saw in ‘The Incredible Hulk’ getting his head size transform. So I wonder if we will see She-Hulk in Captain America as well.