She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is Full of Joy, Jokes, and Just Good Storytelling.
The new Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is being heavily scrutinized for its miracle VFX work and comedy, but the story is great, too.
The reviews are out for the first four episodes of the new Disney+ Series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and as is to be expected they are mostly middling. The reviews from the premiere event, however, were more glowing. This is also expected, since people who attend premiere events are most likely already a little in the bag for the project, while too many of us who make nickels talking about TV shows equate being “discerning” with treating everything that “the masses” enjoy as “trash.” In reality, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is one of the most ambitious, daring, and risky projects to ever come out of Marvel Studios, and they made two multibillion-dollar feature films featuring something like 30 individual characters. While much of the hate this series gets before its release stems from typical fandom misogyny, there are others who just hate the idea of pushing the technological envelope and trying to tell an important but joyous story.
The most delightful thing about the new show isn’t that it’s a fourth-wall-breaking comedy nor that it features the kind of comic book silliness that most “serious” adaptations lack. What most excites me as a viewer is how this show will interrogate what it is like to live in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It introduces new and brings back old characters that Marvel Studios may not have known quite what to do with in their other fare. Tim Roth is back as Emil Blonsky, A.K.A. the Abomination, after nearly 15 years! Because The Incredible Hulk didn’t age well, but Blonsky was its most interesting character. He is unquestionably the villain, yet he’s not “evil.” From his perspective, Bruce Banner has a power that an old soldier would make great use of. Not only that, but he’s also doing the ‘good work’ of serving the United States military (though he’s “on loan” from British special forces). Blonsky was a man who followed orders and endured reckless sci-fi experiments to help him go toe-to-toe with, from his perspective, a terrific rage monster. His scenes will be played for laughs, sure, but in She-Hulk…