tek's rating: ½

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, on Disney+
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I've never read the She-Hulk comics, which have been around since 1980, and apparently she has always broken the fourth wall, which is a trope I've enjoyed for as long as I can remember. So it was fun to see her doing it in this show. (Some people have complained about it. Those people are wrong.) For the most part, I couldn't manage to love the show, but I did like it well enough. (And I did genuinely love the season finale, which involved some absolutely epic fourth wall-breaking.) There are lots of internet trolls who complained about a great many things concerning this show. Mostly their complaints seemed like misogyny, though they tried their hardest to argue that that wasn't the case. And maybe there were some non-misogynistic complaints, but even those I consider a matter of personal taste, so it annoyed me to see people using their subjective reasons for disliking the show to say that the show is just objectively bad. It's not. (Like, some people say the show just isn't funny. I happen to disagree, but at least I can't hold that opinion against them. Or I wouldn't, if they sounded more subjective about it.)

Anyway, it's about a lawyer named Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany, whom I wish I could say I knew from "Orphan Black", but so far I've never had a chance to see that show). In the first episode, she's on a road trip with her cousin, Bruce Banner (aka the Hulk), when they get in an accident. Bruce's gamma-irradiated blood mixes with Jen's, and she turns into... well, She-Hulk. (That's a name that's later given to her by the media. She doesn't like it, but eventually comes to accept it.) At first she can't control her transformation, so Bruce starts trying to teach her how to be a Hulk. She doesn't much care for the lessons, and it soon becomes apparent that she's naturally better at controlling her transformations than Bruce is. Her explanation for this is that, as a woman, she's already had to learn to control her anger because of various misogynistic behaviors from men, including the very real possibility that some random guy might kill her if he doesn't like the way she behaves towards him. (This is a real thing that women have to deal with, despite what some internet trolls might say. Some of the other things she mentions, like catcalling and mansplaining, are treated by trolls as too insignificant to account for her ability to control her anger. And of course they're wrong, but they also say Bruce has had to deal with much worse stuff in his life. Some of that is true, though some of what they talk about has never actually been established in the MCU, and they're just taking from comic books which aren't part of the MCU continuity. However, another issue is that Bruce has an alternate personality that used to take over when he transformed into the Hulk, and Jen doesn't. I feel like if we assume Bruce really has suffered greater trauma than Jen before he even became the Hulk, that explains why he developed an alternate personality and she didn't. Which I feel means the trolls' logic backfires on them.)

Well, Jen doesn't want to become a superhero like her cousin. She just wants to carry on with her normal life, and wants the show to be a legal comedy. She gets fired by the District Attorney's office, but soon lands a job as head of the superhuman law division of a firm called GLK/H. Her new boss, Holden Holliway, insists she do her job in the form of She-Hulk. She brings with her from her old job her paralegal and best friend, Nikki Ramos. And there are a couple of good people they work with, Augustus "Pug" Pugliese and Mallory Book. We also get to see some of Jen's family, including her parents (her dad, Morris, is played by Mark Linn-Baker, whom I know from Perfect Strangers), and her cousin, Ched. There are also cameo appearances by other MCU characters, including Wong (from Doctor Strange, among other things), Emil Blonsky (from The Incredible Hulk, whom Jen has to represent at his parole hearing), and Matt Murdock (from Daredevil). And there are plenty of comics characters who get their MCU introduction in this series, like Titania (Jameela Jamil, whom I know from The Good Place), who becomes a rival of Jen's both in and out of court. And... I don't know if there are any other characters I need to specify. In fact I don't want to say too much specifically about the plot of the show. It's mostly stand-alone stories, but with an overarching plot thread with someone who wants to destroy She-Hulk's reputation, for typical misogynistic reasons. (The show is good at hitting back at real world internet trolls by showing Jen dealing with in-universe internet trolls. Of course, another complaint people have is that the show supposedly depicts men as toxic, which is ridiculous, both because its depiction of toxic men is an accurate reflection of the real world, and because it also depicts good men, like Bruce, and Morris, and Pug, and Matt, to name a few.) Anyway, the ongoing plot against Jen comes to a head in the penultimate episode of the season, which ends up getting her imprisoned for failing to control her very justifiable anger. But she gets out in the finale, and tries to find out who's behind the plot, to take legal action against them. Things kind of go off the rails, but Jen fixes all that in very amusing fashion. And I guess that's all I want to say, for now. But I very much hope there'll be a second season.

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