By Matthew Moorcroft
- Directed by Kat Coiro
- Starring Tatiana Maslany, Ginger Gozaga, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Roth
Now that the origin is out of the way, we can get into the swing of things! Well, almost. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has the She-Hulk portion of the out way, but now it needs to get the Attorney at Law part of it’s title introduced in earnest. So there is still some table setting that needs to be done, and because of that She-Hulk still does feel like it’s “revving up” so to speak, a prelude to the actually good things that are incoming for the show.
So it’s probably a good thing that it’s nailing said setup. It’s a great angle they have going here – a Superhuman Law division where she is basically an affirmative action hire, putting her squarely in an underdog’s position where she normally wouldn’t be considering her powerset. The CGI is certainly still wonky – clearly a lot of it was saved for the pilot which does look better then this – but it’s nice to see the show embrace it’s comic roots by having Jennifer be as She-Hulk for a good chunk of this. Her fourth wall breaking isn’t too much either, though on my end she could stand to do it more often as it doesn’t bother me like it would other people.
Outside of that setup though, most of the strong stuff here once again comes from the performances across the board. Maslany is delightful once again and here we get to see more of the confident lawyer side of the character we only really got hints at in her origin, and her chemistry with Gozaga is really great. Her family dynamic is also exceptionally funny and delivers some of the strongest laughs of the episode – between this show and Ms. Marvel it seems like the MCU has finally learned the importance of strong familial ties for it’s heroes and I hope this continues into future installments.
But once Blonksy, played by the ever wonderful Tim Roth, enters the picture, you can feel the air in the show shift. Suddenly there is a confidence that both head writer Jessica Gao and director Kat Coiro exude now, like the meat of the show has finally begun. And for sure, once she goes to meet Blonksy it kicks up a gear and becomes a truly great time. Roth and Maslany bounce off each other very well, and Roth’s behavior and ticks give Blonksy both an air of genuine sincerity but also a nagging feeling in the back of your mind that he can’t be trusted. Curious to see how much of him we’ll actually see in this – the original pitch for the show involved the entire show being bookended around Blonksy’s trial – but even if it’s just for a couple of episodes I’m totally down.
Technically this is a solid outing as well. The weaker then usual CGI can be ignored this week cause Coiro directs this outing quite well with lots of well calculated zoom ins, some clever editing tricks, and a solid focus on Jennifer’s inner struggles. She-Hulk has shown two episodes in that it’s not going to have the flashy direction of Ms. Marvel or Moon Knight, so instead it seems Coiro is content at keeping things actor centric first and foremost. The lack of action in the story as well seems to be helping with this as well, though once we get into possibly heavier action territory things could change on that front.
Overall though I’m really enjoying this a lot. It’s taking it’s time and it’s nice to see a Marvel show that is simply content with being a TV show rather then some big event. With the legal section of the series starting up in earnest next week, we should finally be getting into the swing of things, and hopefully it keeps up the comedy and witty writing to boot.