I knew from the get-go that She-Hulk would not be received well. A Hulk attorney at law is an absurd concept no matter how you slice it, and a fully CGI main character was going to have some critics in fits. The presence of the beloved character Abomination seemed to also indicate that his character would be misused considering the jokey tone of the show. The whole thing seemed a recipe for disaster. Yet, after watching the show I can safely say I enjoyed it. It’s certainly not deserving of awards, but it succeeds at what it sets out to do: be an entertaining, campy comedy series that doesn’t take itself so damn seriously.
The awkwardness of having to live a life as a Hulk is capitalized from every angle. We’re so used to superheroes punching aliens and other fantasy slogs, that to have some normalcy of life involved is refreshing. The chaos of the show mainly involves being a giant green lady in a world full of non-Hulks, and it works. There’s a not-so-hidden statement about inclusivity by nature, but the show doesn’t go deep. This is a popcorn crunching, turn your brain off kind of show.
One huge draw for me was that I enjoyed the main characters. She-Hulk herself was adorkably awkward and relatable, and her chatty friend was fun. Other characters stood out to me such as the special suit maker, and Abomination. Guest appearances didn’t distract from the narrative, and it was entertaining to watch them be integrated in She-Hulk’s day-to-day madness. Situations in her life continued to be absurdly chaotic, and it’s funny, sometimes even hilarious. The characters were larger than life in this show, complete stereotypes and it worked – the campy zaniness was spot on. Abomination staying human and becoming the human embodiment of zen – sharing peace-giving knowledge in his meditative camp – is hilariously absurd in the way Iron Man 3’s Mandarin was a fake. The tongue-in-cheek tone of the show was welcome.
A couple ideas/moments didn’t work so well. The breaking the fourth wall was a silly quirk that often times felt unnecessary, and it disrupted the flow. The finale was possibly the worst moment, they went for a more shocking fourth wall break and ended up breaking the episode. The finale showed some self-awareness, but the Marvel headquarters gag was overdone to the point of seeming like self-worship. Also, between two potential endings presented, they picked a safe, happy ending with little indication of the future of the potential franchise.
The special moment of the show for me was how naturally it flowed. Each episode felt like a day in the life rather than a separate episode. This worked swimmingly because I cared about the characters, I wanted to know what happens next in She-Hulk’s ridiculous, and bizarrely unlucky life. Seeing Abomination unsettlingly normal caused intrigue as well, I wondered if he was truly a decent guy or just playing the part. The storytelling had me glued even when episodes felt a little slow. All in all, it was a good show with relatable characters, good acting, good CGI, and good laughs. Not bad for a show I expected nothing from.