Marvel's She-Hulk: Attorney at Law - was it really a flop?

After early backlash, was 'She-Hulk: Attorney at Law' as big a flop as diehard fans originally thought?

Charlotte Lee
31st October 2022
Image: IMDB
Marvel closed phase 4 with the nine part series "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" - a legal comedy that follows Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), a talented lawyer and cousin of Avenger Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk. We see her navigate her new life as a green, 6”7 Hulk, whilst also trying to maintain a demanding job and a somewhat unsuccessful dating life. 

When the trailer premiered back in May, viewers had already branded it a flop due to the CGI being “shoddy” and “distracting”. Yet when the first episode aired, I found that the special effects weren’t nearly as bad as previously expected (though it still could have been more consistent). 

In contrast to the show's visuals, the casting was right on the nose as Maslany perfectly embodied the character of Jennifer Walters and brought the beloved charm and wit of She-Hulk from the comics to the small screen. Moreover, I also believe that a large element of why I see this show as a hit was showrunner Jessica Gao’s success at writing in Walters' fourth wall breaks to interact with the audience and the writers. Breaking the meta verse is such a crucial part of the She-Hulk character and once again Tatiana Maslany does it exceptionally and with such comedic brilliance. 

It is a fun and charismatic show

Despite the CGI not being nearly as bad as we all thought, there is still a strong divide between critics and fans over whether the show is a successful project. One of the main cited reasons for it not being a triumph is the show's focus on She-Hulk's  personal struggles, rather than a stereotypical plot line where a physical enemy has to be defeated. Instead they show Jennifer Walker’s ‘nemesis’ to be the patriarchal society we live in and throughout the series reflects on issues facing women everyday -such as revenge porn and the fear of walking home alone in the dark. In particular, one of the highlights of the show was the use of real sexist comments made on Instagram when they first announced the show with some comments reading "why’s everything gotta be female now". 

Image: @IMDB

Now it wouldn’t be right to not discuss the much anticipated cameos of the series, such as Wong and The Abomination and of course Megan Thee Stallion. But it was Charlie Cox’s return as Matt Murdock/ Daredevil that took centre stage due to the intense yet humorous chemistry between him and Jen . If the show is renewed for series 2 I’m interested to see how they are going to develop that relationship without turning She-Hulk into ‘just the love interest’. 

They show Jennifer Walker’s ‘nemesis’ to be the patriarchal society we live in

In sum, I didn’t see “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” as flop - it is a fun and charismatic show that successfully breathed life into a character that has never been on the screen before! Therefore as phase four comes to an end, I am excited to see where they take the character of Jen Walters AKA She-Hulk. Stream the full series now on Disney+.

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