She-Hulk: Attorney at Law just finished its first season run of nine episodes, and as it predicted in the Marvel Studios show itself, the reception was mixed. Showrunner Jessica Gao has stuck by her decision to keep the show in its own formula rather than in the mould shared by the rest of the MCU.
She-Hulk is not the usual Marvel fare. Even in her comics incarnation, She-Hulk has always been a fourth-wall breaking character. In the show, this involved Jennifer Walters giving asides to the audience, but the season 1 finale took things up a notch as Jen smashed her way through the Disney Plus interface and faced K.E.V.I.N., the robot in charge of the MCU and a parody of Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige.
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In an interview with Marvel’s official blog, Gao defended the creative decision. “This feels right for this show,” Gao explained. “This is not the right ending for every show, but this is the right ending for this show. We could not have been more clear about what this show is. From day one, we’ve been very upfront and honest about what kind of show this is, what the expectations for the show will be. And for some reason, people love to not believe that…even though we’ve been telling them for months now that this is what the show is going to be. »
Gao’s reference to “people” who “don’t believe” what the show is about refers to fans who found the final moments of the episode confusing. At its heart, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has always been a show that isn’t afraid to tackle serious subjects, but also isn’t afraid to do so with humor. Gao views Jen’s foray into the real world as an extension of She-Hulk’s ethos.
Many fans were likely irked by the depiction of the villains in the final episode. She-Hulk’s version of the Intelligencia was more along the lines of an internet trolling platform; it was a source of social satire and a critique of toxic masculinity. Those topics are touchy ones in today’s discourse, to say the least. Some argue that it is this very demographic that had the most issue with She-Hulk’s finale. Others say that it was a bit harsh to lump all critics within that category and feel that the show may have missed the mark and made it seem as though all of the She-Hulk critics were the subtextual villain all along.
It was definitely a bold move to include such a drastic use of the fourth wall in the finale. While Deadpool is known for having fourth wall breaks, his character has not yet appeared in the MCU proper, making this brand-new territory for Marvel Studios. She-Hulk was perhaps even more audacious than Deadpool in her usage of the fourth wall – it was as though the character pulled a sort of reverse-Deus ex Machina in order to resolve the climax of the show.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law can be streamed on Disney Plus.
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