She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Episode 1 Review: Hit And Miss?

Too early to judge the whole show on the basis of the first episode or even the feedback from the first four episodes that were shown to some critics. 

But we dive into how the first episode probably going to tell a lot about the whole show and what promise it holds for the audience. 

The pilot episode thematically deals with the dilemma and inner conflict of our accidentally super-powered protagonist Jennifer Walters on the reluctance to acceptance towards this new identity. 

With tons of easter eggs feeding Marvel fandom and some filler information about Bruce Banner aka Smart Hulk, the first episode also sets the tone for the series.

You get introduced to how comedy and drama played in this series through the pilot along with the She-Hulk trademarks in comics – her breaking the fourth wall.

The overall reviews coming through are pretty polarizing but it is indeed a freshly-brewed sitcom-ish entertaining variety of comic book ‘She-Hulk’.  

What Happens In This Episode

Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk played by Tatiana Maslany introduced as an attorney preparing for the case with her friend and paralegal Nikki Ramos played by Ginger Gonzaga. 

Just the time we think she is still yet to get she-hulk powers, it gets referenced by Nikki in the conversation. 

Then, Jennifer talks directly to the camera recalling the incident that turned her into six foot seven-inch tall green-hued she-hulk just a few months ago. 

Then, the story goes back to her origin, where basically she and her cousin Bruce Banner played by Mark Ruffalo, got into an accident. 

She got cut on her arm exposing her blood to Bruce’s blood and get infected and immediately transformed into She-hulk. 

The whole episode focuses on her getting trained by Bruce on how to control her powers and transform at will. 

But apparently, Jennifer was quickly able to control her powers with having no alter ego rampaging around the town, unlike Hulk. She managed to transform and keep her consciousness as well. 

The overall conflict of the episode was her accepting this side of her personality or herself as a superhero and the same arguments against her brother. 

She doesn’t want to be a superhero and fulfill her ambition to be a law professional. 

However, she had to step up as She-Hulk to save the day in the courtroom when super-powered being Tatiana played by Jameela Jamil burst into the courtroom raging out. 

This incident reveals Jennifer as a She-Hulk to the public, making her live double life, and hence her challenge begins. 

The Good 

Relatable Sibling Dynamics 

Image Source: ICN

What Marvel got right with their series is they base their heroic universes on some kind of already established dynamics, and it works for the most time. 

You get to see a fresh breath of air in terms of this new sibling dynamic between Hulk, aka Bruce Banner, and She-Hulk aka Jennifer Walters. 

This overall idea of Bruce being a big brother who already went through the journey of being hulk try to help his cousin in the same but apparently, he overdoes. 

Quite a relatable brother-sister dynamic that pulls you in and makes you invested in this sweet-sour relationship even if the stakes are beyond our worlds. 

Tatiana Maslany’s Performance 

Image Source: Inverse

If you’re already a fan of Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black, you certainly will feel a likeability to her character in the very first episode. 

Since there are problems with the character development of her character Jennifer Walters, there is only so much Tatiana Masalany can do. 

However, there is still yet to see a lot on how her character grows. But overall, it was a delight to see Tatiana Maslany, who owns a character effortlessly. 

Smart Hulk vs. She-Hulk 

Something that Hulk fans were anticipating seeing is a display of strength between Smart Hulk and She-hulk, and that’s what we get in the very first episode. 

It doesn’t clearly tell you who will win if there is a fight between Smart Hulk and She-hulk, but you get the idea. 

So when the conflict arises in-between these green-hue siblings, it boiled down to hand-to-hand combat. 

Image Source: Digital Spy

On an emotional level, it is still a sibling banter that resolves effortlessly, but you still get to see how it will play out if they both fight. 

Indeed, points are given on both sides until the bar is destroyed in their fight. Fortunately, they are in a secluded island and not amidst of city otherwise, the damage could be catastrophic. 

However, it could be more fun to watch them pitting against on a more severe note where the stakes are higher. 

Anyways, this was a marvel fan treat right there in the first episode. 

Filling Gaps In Hulk Avengers’s Story

The first episode of the She-Hulk: Attorney At Law fills the significant gaps in Bruce Banner’s life on what happened after the events of Avengers: Endgame

And it was great to catch up with what’s going on with Bruce Banner aka Hulk, as we are not getting a Hulk solo movie anytime soon. 

At first, he was introduced as Bruce Banner rather than Smart Hulk, driving the car with his cousin sister Jennifer Walters. 

He reveals wearing this special device that allows him to control himself from transforming into Smart hulk. 

Image Source: Smash Mexico

After the accident where his gamma-radiated blood comes in contact with her blood and infected her into she-hulk, Banner brings her to a secret lab situated on the Mexican coast. 

He explains to Jennifer how he and Tony Stark built this lab together where in those five years of a blip, he worked on fusing his hulk self into his human self. 

The best part is where Jenny’s newly gamma-radiation-infected blood, which has its own unique nature, is used to heal the Banner’s broken arm, which got bad in Endgame wearing and utilizing the infinity stone gauntlet. 

It was a brilliant way to repair his hands using the She-hulk narrative. 

The Bad 

Aimless Humor And Weak Comedy 

This especially comes from the critics reviewing the series on the basis of the first four episodes, where you see some of that in the very first episode. 

The humor in the first episode is entirely void and aimless. It does maintain consistency or a basis without losing its element. 

So, it seems like an occasional sense of humor thrown here and there in the show, but half-written characters make it worse.

It is not as consistent in its flavor as Moon Knight or the recent release Ms. Marvel. Instead, it becomes too much goofy and on-the nose for its own good. 

There is something to give this experiment for trying mixing the sit-com tropes and style into a superhero show, but unfortunately, it falls flat and doesn’t land very well, at least not all the time. 

Bad CGI on She-Hulk 

Image Source: GFR

The most discussed thing when the trailer was released was about how bad and weird the She-Hulk character looks on its CGI part, especially in some particular instances.

However, it is safe to say that it doesn’t bother you much when you just get into the story. 

Still, in some particular scenes or mid-closeups, it looks tacky and undeveloped and pulls you away from the emotional connection as well. 

The best way to put it is – it is not as good as what you see in Marvel movies. 

Under-developed Character 

What really appreciative of the She-Hulk makers is casting the chameleon-like Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany. 

She effortlessly embodies this conflicted and driven attorney trying to balance her professional life, newly-discovered superpowers, and the whole marvel mythology going on. 

But what really doesn’t work is giving her this under-developed character which means not giving her the required material to flex her acting muscles. 

There is no overall driving factor for the character to go on. Again, this might come from the fact that they tried to goof up this drama with sit-com elements making it overtly loose in the plot. 

Cringe And Virtue-Signaling 

Marvel seems to be sitting on the ‘woke’ bandwagon for the last few years; especially they are going all out with their Disney+ shows. 

They are certainly trying to cater to the marginal bunch of society through their shows which is actually good as we get to see different cultures and much more socially-aware narratives. 

The same they are doing with feminism, but apparently, like many others, they are pushing this too much to the extent now that it has become more like virtue signaling. 

And even more, it becomes pretty cringey! Remember those sequences from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame where all the women superheroes get together in a very apparent and forceful way to just show their ‘feminism’ agenda. 

It was so on-the-nose that it made its audience cringe. It’s not people do not want to see female superheroes fight, but it was too much lazy writing and cheesy. 

Image Source: Reddit

Well, that continues with She-Hulk: Attorney at law too. As the show is about a woman superhero with creators and crew mostly to be women ( which is great, it’s good that women tell women stories), but there is just too much ‘ Men! Ew! tch! ‘ moments. 

The messaging of the series is certainly not very subtle and just goes through the episode very bluntly. 

It becomes pretty cringey when Jennifer tries to tell Bruce how she has to control her anger in this world where she gets cat-called or mansplained her job and so and so. 

It was way too direct, lazy, and cliche way to reflect a message if even that was required in the first place.  

The fact that show is about the woman protagonist and created by a women crew mostly itself should be enough messaging to go around on the actual messaging of feminism. 

The Ugly 

There is nothing too bothersome about the show which falls into this category. It’s just hit and miss with this overall stylistic experiment they went with. 

Marvel’s Disney+ shows are created with this new appeal, style, or theme presenting the marvel mythologies, characters, and tonalities but don’t have future incarnation on the big screen. 

This is a double-edged sword; at one time, it works like a charm with shows like Ms.Marvel, but it can be all over the place just like this show. 

However, over the episodes, or late part of the show, it does start shifting gears and appealing more to the universal language and style of MCU, along with the dilution of the selective style or unique branding it gave the show its origin. 

And there is mostly what doesn’t translate well, and if you simply pull out marvel cameos and other-world characters, the show doesn’t stand on its own. 

Why To Watch? 

Even though She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is pretty far from the best show Marvel created on the Disney+ as it seems from the start, but it is entertaining and exciting to watch. 

There is a lot of promise for dedicated marvel fans or any other audience to look forward to. 

In fact, a lot of Marvel fans are going to watch this show just alone for the Daredevil cameo. 

Image Source: CBR

You can also watch this show for the performance of Tatiana Meslany, who is clearly acing this character with whatever material she has given. 

There are a few more critical points that are out now based on critics who have seen other few more episodes. 

But we are moreover judging from the first episode and some feedback across the resources that support our arguments for the pilot episode. 

So that means it is yet to see the whole show, and there is more promise than disappointment at the plate; as we said at the opening, it is too early to judge the whole, and there is still time to counter some of the critiques we mentioned in our ‘The Bad’ section. 

Especially for marvel fans like us, it is totally worth it to watch this and further episodes and judge for yourself. 

Overall, the series is fun to watch, and there is so much to come. Not to forget it connects to the marvel canon, so that’s enough reason to watch it as well. 

Featured Image Source: NerdSite

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