Extreme battle lines have been drawn between those who love the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4 releases and those who, to put it lightly, don’t. However controversial this may be, Phase 4 has some of the best projects the MCU has released to date and one of them is 100 percent She-Hulk. She-Hulk follows Jennifer Walters as she figures out the “highs and lows of high school football”—wait, wrong show. The show offers a new perspective on She-Hulk’s origin story and has Jennifer come to terms with the new change being green, mean, and unfortunately, a bit leaner than fans were expecting.
She-Hulk has been controversial since its first teaser trailer release revealed pretty underdeveloped CGI, but the biggest issue: a super petite version of the newest Hulk family member to the MCU. You would think that after the endearing success of Luisa Madrigal in Encanto, that Disney would have taken the hint that visibly strong women were well-liked by viewers and a great representation for girls and women everywhere. But no. According to visual effects artists working on the show, orders came directly from the top to make her less muscular and less “Hulk-like” overall. If you have seen the comic issues before the 2022 release, you will understand fans’ anger. Still, I would not be as inclined to add to the 36 percent of one-star reviews released on IMDb leaving the show with a 4.9 out of 10 rating on the site. In recent episodes, many fans are baffled on the site about the fact that She-Hulk “also apparently twerks?” Because Thor decapitating Thanos is totally fine, but She-Hulk twerking with a major celebrity is just too much to handle.
I digress—despite my initial negative reaction towards her appearance on the show, particularly after realizing I had bigger calves and thighs than an actual Hulk, I have to say, I am loving the show. Each episode is packed full of great female representation and the perfect balance between being an “attorney at law” and a positively entertaining comedy. And WONG! And, of course, the long-awaited cameo and possible love interest coming in the next few episodes.
Overall, She-Hulk is a show written primarily by women, for women. The episodes more than accurately depict the struggles women go through while simply living their lives, from the shame of attending a family member’s wedding alone to having your success measured only by your relationship status. Even a future Avenger is subjected to bad dates and not getting a text back from a weekly crush—we are not alone! Moreover, it is incredibly refreshing to have supportive (and alive) parents in the MCU for essentially the first time with She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel, especially after the soul-wrenching family dynamic in Moon Knight. Finally having relatable content in the MCU after growing up with the male-dominated Avengers sphere and overly sexualized Black Widow is interesting to see. I guarantee you will find yourself hitting “Next Episode.”