She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – Not What I Expected, But What I Needed

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law poster. Has Jennifer Walters sitting in a bench with an add for She-Hulk's lawyer practice on it. LA in the background.

With season 1 of She-Hulk’s: Attorney at Law ending this week, I finally have a holistic outlook on the show itself.

The series is a legal procedural sitcom that follows attorney Jennifer Walters as she strives to balance all aspects of her life amid becoming a gamma empowered Hulk. Coming into this show I knew that it was going to be tonally very different from everything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For one, I knew it would be mostly focused on situational comedy as opposed to the usual MCU spectacle. I also knew that this show would showcase the titular character’s comic book tendency to break the fourth wall. As an avid comic book fan, I was greatly excited for these aspects. Everything from its promotional marketing had me very excited for a new and fresh perspective in the MCU, which has become oversaturated with high stakes action plots. However, upon watching the show week to week, I found myself often feeling a tad disappointed by each episode. I could never nail down why I felt this way. Sure, there were a few jokes that didn’t land, and the CGI and special effects were very poorly done by today’s contemporary standards. But these aspects couldn’t take away from the fact that I loved the characters and liked the show’s humour and comedy. It wasn’t really until the last episode that I realized what was happening.

Even though I knew the show would be tonally different from the rest of the MCU with its breaking of the fourth wall and sitcom format, I still had the preconceived notion that this series would contain some massive plot with implications for the overall Marvel universe. But it doesn’t, and that’s awesome. Furthermore, instead of some major plot dump like Loki’s season 1 finale, or some big action spectacle like every other MCU Disney+ show’s finale, you get a freshly unique story about the main character’s struggle. The MCU formula until this point essentially conditioned me to view this show within a certain lens, therefore week by week I felt let down by each episode. However, She-Hulk works to subvert your expectations and tells a deep and moving story about Jennifer Walters.

What’s even cooler about this show is how smart its writing is. The series is aware of the toxic environment surrounding fandom discourse and spends each episode highlighting these instances. So many dumb guys online would get irrationally angry and criticize the show for baseless reasons. They don’t like Jennifer for being egotistical and sarcastic. But they love Iron Man and Doctor Strange for these same reasons. They didn’t like that She-Hulk and Megan Thee Stallion twerked. However, when Star Lord, Iron Man, Groot, or Zemo dances its cool. The show brilliantly baits fragile men to go online and spew their toxic hate and problematic views, only for this show’s main antagonist to reflect these types of sexist and misogynistic men. The writers masterfully call out these people and expose their terrible worldview.

She Hulk: Attorney at Law told a story that was true to the character while also taking a stab at toxic fragile men who feel the need to spew their hate over the show simply because it’s about women and their struggles.

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