She-Hulk, The Honest Review
For the most part, I’m ignoring everything around the show, cast and crew interviews for the most part aren’t relevant. The whole, “why isn’t Bruce called He-Hulk” nonsense just isn’t relevant to the show, but there are a few bits that are so telling when you watch this show.
I had no interest in this show- like a lot of the Marvel TV shows, but the tease of Dare Devil caught my attention. I also heard that it would kinda have the same vibes of Ally McBeal. A show that I actually like and used to watch with my mum. It was funny, written pretty well and the acting talent was perfect. So while I probably would wait until the whole series was out and wouldn’t tune in every week- unlike what I did with Moon Knight, I was likely still going to watch it.
I watched the first episode. I watched the first episode with my partner, popcorn and in a really good mood.
I am annoyed that I had to watch it again to make notes.
Watching the opening scene again I couldn’t shake how cheap the set looked. Poorly lit with dark green walls and a gloomy colour pallet. But this is overshadowed but the attitude of the ‘typical male colleague’ - I will talk about him again later, but this is not how colleagues talk to each other when there is a task at hand.
The next scene is the new origins of She-Hulk. And it is bad. In the comic books, She-Hulk is attacked as a result of a Mob hit, ends up that the only way to save her life is for Bruce Banner - The Hulk, to give an emergency blood transfusion. The ‘writing’ team and director changed this because simply put, they don’t have the writing skills to make this incredibly easy way to write an opening scene.
Now I’m not saying they should have copied verbatim, but they could have had Jennifer Walters on a break with her cousin- Bruce Banner, in Mexico. Mob turns and tries to kill her due to a high-priority case she is working on. She is fatally wounded, Bruce gives the transfusion. That would have been such an easy way to write in a strong, determined woman would we see, after everything she will not back down and will do the right thing. A character that we would want to see thrive.
Instead, we have a car ride with a plot device to make Banner human- completely ignoring all of the progression Bruce has made with Hulk because they need a random spaceship to turn out of nowhere and cause a car crash…
(Yes I am skipping over the car conversation because even though I normally like silly conversations between family and friends, it’s just plain nasty.)
So with a few drops of blood from Bruce into an open wound, Jennifer Hulks’ out. And then we cut to the next scene. Waking up in the woods, Jennifer comes across a bar, sneaks into the rest room and this is where the clear lack of writing talent comes can no longer be ignored.
Again, I was in a good mood while I watched this.
Looking like she had been beaten (minus fresh blood) she is found in the restroom and the response by the group of women that found Jennifer was to give her a make-over. I wish this was a joke.
Not a real, human attempt to comfort and help a stranger looking like they have been abused or been in an accident which would have taken just a small amount of writing prowess- or a basic understanding of how the human mind works, instead we get a bathroom make-over and even my partner called BS when the spare shoes were brought out.
After this our main character- the character that I have to say, we should like, is dressed up a lot like a night worker, at a bar and outside by herself.
Enter three men that walk outside while she is waiting, and while one of them is rocking the whole crazy eyes thing, the initial guy that speaks is very friendly.
Jennifer shuts down and walks off - fine but this doesn’t line up with a strong female character we should have got.
The men push a little more but as of yet has not been told to go away or to leave her alone. This is important! It’s important because she starts to Hulk out. Keep in mind she’s strong enough to throw a massive boulder like a pro Shot Put athlete would throw a large stone. If Bruce had gotten there just a few seconds later, She-Hulk would have killed three men who had not shown intent of harming.
This is important to keep in mind for what comes in just a few minutes.
After this, we are in Bruce’s home in Mexico and he is back to ‘Smart Hulk’ because the script no longer calls for him to look human.
This has been said before when Thor lost his eyes, but having the Hulk’s arm now fixed drags massively away from the actual sacrifice he made when he brought everyone back from ‘the blip’ and Jennifer’s attitude of, "I’m better" is a massive disservice to both characters and again, makes liking our lead a very difficult thing to do.
It was clear from this scene that the writer’s simply don’t know how to raise up a character or how to write an interesting character. Much like with my review of Captain Marvel, they make Jennifer and She-Hulk a Mary Sue. This is never an interesting character for people to watch.
Take a look at Man of Steel. The scene where Superman is in the bar stopping some royal tool bag from harassing the waitress. Now we know that Clark Kent could have flicked him through the wall- and that is where the tension comes from! Is he going to do what most of us would, or will he keep in mind how strong he is and take a less direct path? Superman is not a Mary Sue but is often portrayed that way and this is the very much need balance we have to see with him.
As we go through She-Hulks’ training, we are shown that she is practically on level with The Hulk. This is a problem.
Firstly because the MCU has systematically destroyed The Hulk. Remember in avengers when The Hulk punches out the massive flying space alien? When he is ripping through the city and not breaking a sweat, when we see him and realise that, oh god! The Hulk is a serious threat that I don’t wanna be anywhere near. Well when you destroy a character like that, any spin-off is going to be weak. And when the lead of the spin-off can already do everything that the seasoned character can do, it leaves nowhere for the character to go.
There are crucial parts to a character and a hero that we need to see. The beginning, the arising action- what makes them change, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and without this last one, nothing else matters in the story at all. She-Hulk does not have the character development. Breezing through showing herself to be more or less as strong as The Hulk, and not failing at anything of any real significance. Mary Sue-Hulk is a very boring character.
During a meditation scene, Jennifer Walters states that she is better at dealing with her anger than Bruce is because she does it every day. With Men explaining her field to her- year lets skip of that amazing show of lack of self-awareness here; but I ask you to remember when those guys asked how she was doing and - if not for Bruce, She-Hulk would have ripped them apart because that is the nature of The Hulk. And that is with completely ignoring the tragic back story of Bruce Banner.
There is a lot more that happens in these scene and aside from the character assassination of Bruce Banner and The Hulk, all it does is show just how arrogant and nasty Jenifer Walters is- again, we are meant to like the lead character.
I want to skip ahead to the end, not quite as far as the truly pathetic fight scene between She-Hulk and her arch nemesis, Titania - which was over in 9 seconds. But shortly before that with the male colleague from the start. As they are in the courtroom, and Jen is about to give her closing speech, the tool makes a snide remark of, “Don’t mess it up.” WHY!? This is NOT how colleagues speaks to each other. If Jennifer Walter were to mess it up, he would also lose the case. It would make sense if he was on the opposing side, but he’s not. This just isn’t how professionals speak to each other in the workplace.
At the end of the episode I was left with one simple question, where has the writing talent gone?
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I do not think this is going to stop me from watching it haha, but great review.
I agree the "men are jerks" theme was overdone. I am a 50 year old woman I have known many many men, worked with many men in lots of different scenarios. I have rarely come across the kind of scenarios they want to make us believe are everyday. Just because she is a female hero doesn't mean every man she deals with should be a jerk. I will probably check out one more episode but it will take a lot to suck me in.