There’s not a lot to say about Disney+’s new She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and that’s not a slam. In fact, the highest compliment I could offer about this new series is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s funny, it’s fresh, and it steeps itself in Marvel lore in a very sly, unobtrusive way.
Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) stars as Jennifer Walters, cousin to Dr. Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who through a quickly explained series of circumstances becomes a Hulk herself. Funny thing, not only does she not want to be a Hulk, but she also has zero interest in taking on the expected mantle of superhero. She’s a hard-working attorney who, despite her newfound green skin and superhuman strength, just wants to continue living her normal life.
But that’s not in the cards for our She-Hulk.
Fortunately for the audience, She-Hulk’s retaining of her Walters persona, intelligence, and emotional fortitude sets her apart from our experiences with Dr. Banner. We’re not regurgitating an internal struggle with The Beast Inside here. Instead, we’re given a comic look at a real-world scenario (as silly as it sounds) of a person made superhero. And that opens up the Disney+ series to a host of relatable, funny, and thoroughly entertaining sequences rather than wallowing in superhero heft or struggling with the mantle of responsibility. Gone are the “With great power comes great responsibilities” moments. They’re replaced with exactly how does a 6’7” green-skinned woman date performed in such a way as to remain open to men and women alike.
There are interesting cameos, and the ensemble is full of very talented actors who carry on with the material as lightly as it deserves. The only real drawback I have with the series is the CG directly related to She-Hulk herself. Frankly, she looks cartoonish, particularly when posed next to the relatively realistic Hulk. In some frames, she appears to have been cut out of a cartoon show and pasted into a live action series. I know there’s been a lot of discourse about Marvel CG and the tortured VFXS houses that support them. I know nothing about that, so all I can go on is the finished product. It’s frustratingly not good when the remainder of the series is totally serviceable.
My best advice is to just ignore it as much as possible and focus on the strong script, nimble direction, and great performances in this very funny comedy. Don’t take it more seriously than it takes itself. And that’s not to say that a female-led series shouldn’t be taken seriously. Actually, it does have a lot to say about women in the workplace. It’s just that She-Hulk seems to be one of the only Disney+ Marvel series that remembers the allure of the original films wasn’t necessarily that they always wallowed in Marvel mythology.
They knew how to have fun. So does She-Hulk, and she’s bringing us along for a good green time.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premieres on Disney+ tomorrow (Thursday, August 18).