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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Ep 2 and 3

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2022

‘…if a streamer is going to be so pointedly parsimonious with new product as this, it’s hardly a surprise that paying customers are going to be green with anger…’

After reviewing the first episode of this new Marvel comedy show on the Disney+ channel, I was encouraged to continue my own trenchant analysis of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law by watching episodes 2 and 3. Episode 2 turned out to be of interest for an unexpected reason; it wasn’t just a dollar short, it was so short it was barely worth reviewing, so I had to wait to add in the action from the 30 minute episode 3 to have anything to say.

Yup, episode 2 of She-Hulk clocked in with barely twenty minutes of action once you’ve removed the opening and closing credits, idents and other ephemera. That’s shorter than an old without-the-ads tv sitcom with the ads removed. Sure, it’s the modern way to have the length of an episode defined by the content of the programme, and that’s probably for the best; no longer do things have to be slotted into specific time-slots. But twenty minutes doesn’t work at all for a weekly series, it’s like reading a book by flashes of lightning. And while in the tv writing industry, it’s generally accepted that episode two is the one that’s really got to hook your audience is, there’s not much sign of that. Jessica Walters (Tatiana Maslany) loses her job, then gets a new one with a new client; The Abomination, played by Tim Roth. Walters goes for a meeting with Emil Blonsky aka The Abomination in some kind of secure facility, then gets some advice about taking on this case from her brother Bruce (Mark Ruffalo)

And that’s it, roll credits, remember not to leave your handbag from the floor on the way out, that’s all we got, just keep your subscription money coming in please. Given that episode one was all tedious backstory, there’s still no signs at all what this show is actually going to be like, what’s the story about, what’s the point? And lack of engagement means nit-picking; Walters complains that he new bosses only want a ‘she-hulk’ on the payroll for show, but what does that mean? A ‘she-hulk’ isn’t a thing that has to be hired as a tokenistic thing in this universe, is it?

Meanwhile, a trip to the Abomination’s high-security compound brings out, sigh, references to The Silence of the Lambs; how of the moment for 2022! Whether the characters in the Marvel Universe should use such pop-culture references or not, it’s lazy beyond belief to sell a scene by referring to a movie that came out 30 years ago. In episode three (the People Vs Emil Blonsky), there’s a tedious new sub-plot about one of She-Hulk’s colleagues dating pop-star Megan Thee Stallion, who turns out to be a ‘shape-shifting light-elf from New Asgard’, while She-Hulk holds a successful parole meeting for the Abomination with the help of Dr Strange’s sidekick Wong (Benedict Wong). The personable Maslany still promises that she might come good is the drama ever shows up, but if a streamer is going to be so pointedly parsimonious with new product as this, it’s hardly a surprise that paying customers are going to be green with anger.

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    • Maybe it’ll all spring to life, but right now, it’s as if I’m telling you a joke one word per day.

  1. Yikes, do I have to watched this dreck so that i can keep up to speed with the latest cinema releases from the MCU. I was already struggling with the lpots points that I’d already missed out on when watching Dr Strange because I hadn’t seen fit to check out Wandawoman. This sounds like B-Hulk material. Hopefully, you’re going to cast a beady eye on the latest Tolkien shenanigans.

    • Hopefully I’m not, I absolutely hate LOTR and never finished the original trilogy. But I share your resistance to having to cram for movie like they’re exams…they really need to be self-contained movies otherwise they are tv show in all but medium.

  2. I have yet to see episode 3 so I’ll circle back to read this after I do. After the first two episodes, I’m still not sure what I think of this series. I posted awhile back Marvel is on very “thin ice” with me. Multiverse of Madness and Love and Thunder were two movies I felt we did not need at all. There are also all of these series being made with not even a thought of connecting any Phase 4 dots, leading to Phase 5 relationships, etc. I’m trying to keep an open mind on She-Hulk…so far.

    • Circle back by all means. But thin ice it is, very little seems to be happening from episode to episode, there was so little in ep 2 that I had to wait for WP 3 to comment! I’ve lost track of what phase we’re on…

        • It has been explained to me that there’s a tonal change after the car chase in Black Panther that signifies a shift between phases, but I’m phased off with the whole thing. I get that endless world building and retcon-ing is great for marketing, but it’s a endless series of off-ramps for those who loved the satisfaction of a great movie in the dark. I’ll need my student loan written off if I’m to pass my She-Hulk exam.

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