Maybe one of the Marvel shows I was the most ambivalent about, Marvel’s She-Hulk, premiered August 18th and concluded October 13th. Like with everything else on this planet, I’m late to the party on a review, but I have thoughts that need to be shared. The show had some innovative Highs and certainly several lagging Lows. While it features several typical Marvel moves such as the fourth wall break and character cameos, the execution never quite made this as top tier as it could have been.
If you have seen the show, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments with me after the review so we can fully geek out together. If you haven’t, and you’re still asking yourself, “Is this worth my very precious time?” hopefully my review will answer that and more.
As the title says, there WILL BE SPOILERS. None too intense, I’m fairly vague, but this is a season review. If you want to head into this show knowing about nothing about anything, I suggest you cover your eyes and run screaming now.
Episode One: A Normal Amount of Rage
my rating: 3.5/5
For a premiere episode, not a lot happens. I started the show in its third week, so I was able to binge three episodes at once. If I didn’t have that option, the show’s existence could have slipped my mind entirely. Even as I sit here now, I need a Wiki summary to remember what happens with Jen beyond throwing some rocks around with Bruce. I get it, these are meant to be short, enticing clip-style episodes. But I need more than a cliffhanger ending and a cameo to keep me coming back every week. And yes, it was the appearance of the brilliant Jameela Jamil at the end that had me click on episode two.
A highlight for this episode did include Jen’s promise that this was not a superhero show but “a lawyer show.” I love lawyer shows! and it would be a fun spin on the typical superhero drama. I already pictured her as She-Hulk, taking on a case in each episode, supporting other heroes. If only that was what I got.
Episode Two: Superhuman Law
my rating: 3/5
“but my cousin bruce wouldn’t want” “but emil blondky is bad!” “but but but” I’m sorry, this episode had way too many objections, even for a law-based show. So far, Jen has been hard to relate to or simply enjoy as a character because her opinions are so strong and lack tangible reasoning. (Or maybe reasoning I can accept.) Who CARES if your cousin Bruce would want you to represent Emil? It’s good and well to think about the wants of others, but as she says herself, “[…] remember who’s show this actually is!” I wanted a strong, badass female on my screen, not someone who is held back for the majority of the episode by what an off-screen, secondary male character would want.
This episode ended up feeling like a huge filled that may have been necessary to push Jen into her first case as a superhero lawyer, but it could have been condensed if she was just a bit more decisive. Thank you Nikki for at least infusing some life into the episode.
Episode Three: The People Vs. Emil Blondsky
my rating: 4.0
Is it bad that right off the bad I removed half a star because of the hype surrounding Megan Thee Stallion’s cameo that ended up being about five seconds long in a plotline that felt shoehorned in? That aside, this was a much stronger episode for me. It was around this point that I said okay, yes, I can binge this show. I can commit. Jen is strong in court, the wit is on point, and Emil Blondsky makes a great return as Abomination. Who I didn’t initially remember from the movie. So I actually had nothing to compare to. But I enjoyed!
Episode Four: Is This Not Real Magic?
my rating: 4.0
Probably not a good thing that I found the star of this episode was Wong. and then the other star was still not Jen it was Madisynn. I continue to be underwhelmed by Jen. Ugh, I hate, hate, hate that. I want to love all my female leads. But Jen keeps coming up short. In this episode, of her own show, she plays more of a sidekick when Wong needs someone to help him stop a dangerous magician. Explain to me (if you’ve seen the episode) where Jen plays a vital role. If she was removed, this episode could have still been resolved.
In the first episode of She-Hulk, we witness how much stronger she is than Bruce Banner’s Hulk. How she has an amazing control over her transformations. How come now all we see if a girl who refuses to accept her hulk identity and a lot of failed snark?
Episode Five: Mean, Green, and Poured Straight into These Jeans
my rating: 3.0
What do you do when your heroine is just … embarrassing? I don’t even know if this is supposed to be part of an eventual build into hero-dom or the director is unaware how painful it is to watch Jen on screen or someone in the writer’s room really hates She-Hulk. From the title of the episode that Jen uses as a dating profile hook, to seeing her fail to even use her own superhero name, to being rejected by pretty much everyone … it just hurts. Jen literally needs to exploit her own personal life to help herself out of an even worse situation which could be said to build her character, but the brevity in which it’s presented takes away any real impact beyond the cringe.
Episode Six: Just Jen
my rating: 2.5
Please tell me everyone saw through this entire episode. The villain(s) were obvious, the plot was boring, and the dress wasn’t even that nice. I don’t want to talk about it anymore than that.
Episode Seven: The Retreat
my rating: 3.0
I don’t think it helped me that while I was watching this episode, I was also waiting for a text from a boyfriend. (if you know, you know.) Unlike Just Jen, the concept for this episode was a lot stronger but still a little “we didn’t quite know what to do so we threw a couple ideas into a hat for a backdrop and went with whatever we pulled out.” At least this time around the characters were more interesting. If a bit far-fetched to be realistic (even for marvel). It was nice to finally see Jen come a little into her own and the ending hinted at some actual consequences for She-Hulk which yes, I’m curious to see unfold in two more episodes.
Episode Eight: Ribbit and Rip It
my rating: 3.0
Once again, Jen is hopelessly outclassed by a Marvel great. I’m sorry, you can hate me for saying it! but She-Hulk, as it stands, has nothing on Daredevil and it became comical to watch her try and match wits with Matt Murdoch in this penultimate episode. Nothing in this show has proven that She-Hulk is a formidable ally. She’s clumsy with her strength and has no battle plans or tactics. As Jen, she’s haphazard and leans on her friends for solutions (which is GOOD but doesn’t show her own abilities) but not friendship. (Does that make any sense?) Watching her argue with Daredevil that she can execute a break-in wasn’t humorous to me, just awkward. He’s got three season behind him, girl!
This episode was also jam packed with action, but once again, everything seems to fall flat because it’s so rushed. Jen even breaks the fourth wall to comment on how much is happening. Please, if the writers are so aware that we have a lot going on, doesn’t that mean they can do something about it? In the end, the cliffhanger only made me nervous that the crew behind She-Hulk wouldn’t be able to deliver.
Episode Nine: Whose Show is This?
my rating: 2.0
I had high expectations going into the finale. Remember when I mentioned in episode seven that there was a hint at some real consequences for She-Hulk? These were bound to culminate. Plus episode eight laid some serious ground to cover. But instead we spend a lot of time with Jen arguing about how her story is going. Which is an interesting concept but … I actually enjoyed the initial storyline better. Finally we got some consequences, some direct blows for she-hulk. Too much of the story seemed to happen off screen, or between Jen’s friends. The battle scenes were short lived and the intimidating villain in the background was literally just that–in the background. What was I watching this show for if not at least a big confrontation at the end? I’m sorry Jen but I will have to disagree with you, this show is for the viewers and this one was not satisfied.
She-Hulk made promises it couldn’t keep. That’s the tall and short of it. There was too much happening and it all seemed to happen around Jen, not with her. Even though a huge premise of the show seemed to be “it’s my show!” (coming from the mouth of Jen herself) none of that could be proven. And it was frustrating. Jen and She-Hulk alike never had a chance to stand out amongst all the cameos and brief plotlines. If there is a season two, it will fall at the bottom of my Marvel watch list. Well, maybe one step above Marvel’s Moon Knight, which I have yet to even finish the trailer.
✨ Did you enjoy She-Hulk? Or was it a miss for you as well?
✨ Did you wish there was a confrontation with Josh at the end? What a loser, amirite?
✨ Whose ending was better: the writers’, or Jen’s?
✨ Have you watched She-Hulk, will you watch She-Hulk, are you in the middle of watching She-Hulk?
Let me know!