‘She-Hulk’ Is A Total Smash…Almost


photo courtesy of AP Images

Actors Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo pose together at the premiere of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” on Aug. 15.

Maddox Karnes, Arts and Entertainment editor

“She-Hulk.” Eight episodes of comedy, campery, and downright entertainment that made me stay as far away from the remote as possible– and one episode that was utterly disappointing to watch.

Marvel released their latest Disney Plus show, “She-Hulk,” on Aug. 18. The nine-episode series features Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk, and takes on a light-hearted theme while still retaining its identity within the superhero genre.

The show is accompanied by many appearances from previous characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe such as The Hulk, Mark Ruffalo; and Daredevil, Charlie Cox, amongst others.

With its unique comedic approach, outstanding cast and long amount of air-time, “She-Hulk” should be one of the best Marvel shows to date, right? Well after watching the first eight episodes, that would be a fair claim to make. It fulfills the task of being a funny, alternative form of a superhero story.

However, the show takes the interesting choice of taking all of that success and throwing it in the garbage.

The season finale, episode nine, picks up on the cliffhanger from the previous episode. The tension that was so artfully crafted in the previous episode is almost immediately dissolved within the first five minutes. The plot then steers into multiple storylines that feel odd. The events happening feel as if they are intentionally supposed to be bad or ill-placed, and that’s because they are.

In the midst of the plot-chaos, Walters physically pauses the scene dead in its tracks, looks at the camera and breaks the fourth wall– figuratively and literally. She exits the show by jumping through the Disney Plus home screen. 

The events that follow consist of Walters entering a writing room where she complains about her show’s finale, meanwhile I’m wishing I could do the same. The writers then direct her to a robot named K.E.V.I.N., a nod to Marvel executive Kevin Feige, where the two have a conversation that felt like it was made for fan-service. However, what I fail to be missing is which fans they are servicing. 

Rather than a big fight scene, the finale opts for Walters returning back to the show with all the conflict resolved, a couple ill-placed cameos and the credits rolling. That was followed by me sitting on my bed for approximately four minutes while I tried to process the hot mess I was a witness to.

I’m glad that Marvel wanted to branch out from their traditional fight scene finale. However, this approach is half-baked at best. The finale is the main character complaining about not getting the ending she wanted, instead of the writers just making that ending. All while there is excessive fourth-wall breaking. 

Throughout the series there have been small instances of talking directly to the camera, but nothing to the extent of a character exiting Disney Plus like their subscription had expired.

She-Hulk worked vigorously establishing strong characters over the course of eight fabulous episodes. The wonderful writing and powerhouse cast made the lackluster finale all the more disheartening. 

Despite this, the show has been announced to return for a second season. I just hope their next finale will smash my low, low expectations.