She-Hulk Review: Marvel Comedy Series Starring Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo

TV reviewThere are two things to know She-Hulk: Lawyer, The first Marvel comedy series from Disney+. First, it’s very much a comedy and second, it’s very much a TV series.

Yes, hawk eye can compete at the Emmys as a comedy (and it did both have moments fwip!py and quippy), but She Hulk is, as Tatiana Maslany’s title character anticipates us telling us, a “fun lawyer show”. And while such like WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and Winter Soldier everyone felt very comfortable [groan] “X Episode Movies!”, She Hulk (which premieres this Thursday) is more episodic in nature, finally diving into the week’s legal cases after establishing Jennifer “Jen” Walter’s big, green origin story in the first half-hour episode.

Now let’s talk about CGI because you are always will talk about the CGI. I’ve shown the first four episodes (of nine), and the visual effects are pretty good at times (e.g. when Bruce Banner, played by MCU veteran Mark Ruffalo, first forces his cousin Jen to Hulk)…and sometimes can feel scenes crazy animated. (In the first episode’s Mexican exterior shots, the swaying palm trees behind the two CGI Hulks appear to have been created with Photoshop’s clone tool.)

She-Hulk herself is an image you get used to fairly quickly, after which any perceived artificiality is dismissed. (Personally, I assume that Jen’s 6ft7 alter ego can look “painted” this way because Ruffalo’s Hulk has the rocks, wrinkles, and stubble of a man of a certain age to offer realistic texture while the smooth green face of a young woman this can only look inked.)

She Hulk

Jen’s She-Hulk origin story, which unfolds in the first episode, gets a bit repetitive – another case of someone who is clueless and doesn’t want the gift of superpowers – but Maslany and Ruffalo enjoy one Marvelous fraternal banter that transcends the visual effects they are often hidden beneath. (Bruce’s meticulously prepared manual for “Being a Hulk” is a hilarious running gag, especially when Jen’s unique hulking qualities force him to angrily tear out entire sections.)

Once Jen accepts her duality, things will come a lot of nimble and She Hulk morphs into “Lawyer Show!” — as she literally announces to the camera in one of the character’s signature fourth wall breaks. The fourth wall breaks, well established in the comics, are often very clever; I won’t spoil my favorite, but at one point Jen suggests that a high-profile cameo will give the show “action armor on Twitter” for a week. The near-weekly mid-credits scenes range from just plain cute to MCU canon-making.

You Hulk WongThat Doctor Strange Films’ Wong (played by Benedict Wong) shows up early, Not to serve supreme magic, but to testify to the imprisoned Emil Blonsky aka Abomination (The incredible Hulkby Tim Roth). Along the way, Wong amusingly develops an affair with a hacker-magician, and he also develops the most unlikely connection with a woo-girl (scene thief Patty Guggenheim). However, it is a very fun showcase for the Wongs can feels harrowing compared to the lightest moments in the established MCU movies/TV series.

(I don’t remember seeing much of it The incredible Hulkbut Roth also seems to play much lighter fare, and he seems to have it too enjoy it while Blonsky works towards possible parole. Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil does not appear in any of the first four episodes.)

She HulkThe almost sitcom-like tone of suggests that no world-threatening missions will be involved, and indeed none is implied in the early episodes. So if you tune into a towering, green version of Ally McBeal, you will to be well served; If you’re looking for plenty of drama and huge additions to the MCU canon, you might have to settle for a few Easter eggs – well, except for one very curious episode 2 tease. Although that does Make it one of the most easy to watch/digest Marvel series with every half hour flying by.

you HulkMaslany, no surprise, is utterly charming as the title character, making Jen just the right amount of personally unfortunate but professionally impressive. She also really sells the talking cameras in a way that would make Fleabag proud. It’s honestly difficult to properly gauge the Emmy-winner’s performance as She-Hulk due to the “barrier” created by CGI, but I’d like to point out a first date montage/payoff as some of her very best comedic work.

That She Hulk Cast also includes Ginger Gonzaga (master) as Jens’ queer BFF Nikki, who not only acts as her paralegal but also helps her friend navigate her newfound star and the busy dating app that comes with it; Jameela Jamil (The good place) as Titania, an all-powerful super influencer whose cursory introduction is in the first episode easy the shakiest scene of the first four episodes; and Josh Segarra (Arrow), Jon Bass (miracle worker) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (girl5eva) than more of Jen’s legal colleagues.

THE RESULT OF TVLINE: She Hulk flirts with comedic power but can feel dramatically underwhelming. She-Hulk Review: Marvel Comedy Series Starring Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo

Lindsay Lowe

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