Wednesday, November 2, 2022

People Will Argue About This She-Hulk Review

The internet will argue over anything. How many times have I seen arguments on Facebook or Reddit about Star Wars, Fantastic Beasts, Rings of Power, or MCU movies? Don’t get me wrong, you can dislike the Star Wars sequels, Thor: Love and Thunder, or whatever you want. But when I see comments come up like “This show is trash” or “I’d never watch garbage like this” I want to scroll right past. Let’s have some articulate discussion, instead of toxic insults.

All of this came to mind repeatedly with the first season of She-Hulk, which recently concluded. Let’s be clear, She-Hulk isn’t for everyone. That’s fine. But I enjoyed it. If it isn’t for you, I respect that and I’d love to discuss what you think it lacks. In my opinion, She-Hulk’s nature as a legal comedy diverged from Marvel’s norm in a way that many fans didn’t like. And that’s okay. That’s the great thing about all the content Marvel is putting out! There’s something for everyone!

Now to get into actually talking about She-Hulk:

I mentioned before in my review of Love and Thunder that Marvel is trying out many different genres these days, horrors (like Multiverse of Madness and Werewolf at Night), romcom (like Love and Thunder), animated shorts (like I Am Groot), and teen drama (like Ms. Marvel) to name a few. She-Hulk is just the latest in their experiments. That’s great! Marvel has a long history at this point of making superhero action movies with comedic timing. That format (which was called out in the She-Hulk finale) served the MCU for a time. Now they have the ability and the money to take some risks and try new stuff. Again, this is great! Superhero action movies don’t strike everyone the same way. Now with a variety of mediums, Marvel Studios can attract a wider variety of fans. Put that in your algorithm, K.E.V.I.N.

Jen Walters has the wit, sass, and comedic timing to strike my funny bone almost every time. And her fourth-wall-breaking has given her the opportunity to say things fans have been saying for years. You know what that means? It means Marvel is listening to us! How wonderful is it to have a studio that cares about its fans!

With its tone, and with Jen’s job as a superhero lawyer, we were given the opportunity to glimpse heroes new and old. Despite what Jen said early in the season, it kind of was THAT kind of show that embraced a cameo-of-the-week gimmick. Returning we got to see Bruce/Hulk, Emil/Abomination, Wong, and the long-awaited Matt/Daredevil. After seeing Doctor Strange and Daredevil, it was refreshing to see Wong and Matt in less serious settings. And despite what some haters think, I loved seeing the chemistry between Jen with Matt; they’re a cute couple.

Now this wouldn’t be a very thorough review if I didn’t address some issues I had with the show. Let’s start with the end. What was up with that finale? I have no issue with She-Hulk smashing her way through Disney Plus and confronting K.E.V.I.N. Actually, I thought it was a creative way to progress the story. And it really did fit Jen’s character more than smashing through a superhero smackdown. However, I’ll take issue with how the story progressed after Jen visited Marvel Studios. I expected the show to “rewind” and start the lodge scene again with Jen’s changes. Instead, it just cut away and left the scenes disjointed. I felt like I'd missed a scene. I honestly wasn’t sure how to process the story with the sudden adjustments. That being said, I liked having Daredevil and Hulk back for a moment. (Also, Hulk has a kid?!?!?!)

My other complaint: the bad guys were vastly underutilized. Todd as the big bad? I get that he wanted to steal Jen’s powers, but it just seemed like a complete 180 from him being a She-Hulk superfan. And then there was Josh. Honestly, with how tricky and manipulative he ended up being, I think he would have fit better as the big bad. It would have even given Jen the chance for justice when she ended up suing Intelligencia in the finale. Finally, there was Titania. She was teased as if she were going to be the big bad, but obviously that was a red herring. That being said, I loved her rival-chemistry with Jen/She-Hulk. I just have one annoying question: what was she doing at Emil’s lodge in the finale? How did she end up in the mountains (where she should have had minimal cell coverage by the way) crashing into the lodge and then livestreaming the arrest of Todd and Intelligencia? Just more questions I have about the finale, I suppose.

Overall, I liked She-Hulk, but it’s okay if you didn’t. Invitation still stands, let’s have a discussion about the show so I can understand better why it disappointed you. And to those who just want to trash the show, She-Hulk already lawyered her way to calling you out in the finale.

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