She Hulk: Attorney At Law is the latest mini-series released by the MCU. After the first season of the show concluded on October 13, the overall reaction from the audience was not good. The series also failed to get enough viewership to land on Nielsen's streaming charts, which is a first for a Marvel show.
She Hulk introduces a lot of new characters and gives Charlie Cox's Daredevil a more prominent role in the MCU. So, why did the show fail? Here, we explore some possible reasons for the same.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the entirety of the show as well as the author's opinions. Read at your own discretion.
Poor CGI, Daredevil's depiction, and 6 other reasons that led to She Hulk's failure
1) The characters are extremely shallow
She Hulk is full of characters that enjoy a lot of screen time. However, far and few of them are relatable or even likable. Jennifer Walters is a dedicated lawyer, but the people she ends up interacting with are just plain shallow.
The character of Titania, who is a villain on the show, seems like a stock character. Others such as Lulu (Patti Harrison), Jon Bass (Todd aka Hulk-King), and even Wong (Benedict Wong) have no arcs of their own. They seem to come and go as per the showmakers' convenience.
This disengages the audience, as a result of which, they do not care about the characters, and by extension, about the show.
2) World-building is severely limited
The MCU is known for its stunning legacy. Spanning the course of over 15 years, there are many titles that build upon the events of their predecessors. While She Hulk follows the same principle, it also feels extremely limited.
For instance, when a group carrying Asgardian construction tools encounters her, it's a call back to the fact that Asgard is indeed part of the main lore. However, it doesn't serve to increase the scope of the story.
3) Jennifer does not go through any character development
Jennifer Walters gained her powers after she got into an accident alongside Bruce Banner. After some of Bruce's blood gets transfused with her through a wound, she turns into the titular She Hulk. This was followed by Bruce taking her to his secret lab and helping her embrace the reality of being a superpowered individual.
However, Walters is constantly rude to The Hulk, and insults his legacy, which is filled with an incredible amount of struggle. She follows this pattern of behavior throughout the show, as a result of which, her character falls flat.
Even during the finale, when it's time for her to face the reality of the situation, she breaks the fourth wall and demands the writers give her a happy ending. Without any real stakes, the story feels superficial.
4) Another case of bad Marvel CGI
The show is not entirely visually unimpressive. However, the appearance of the main character itself is quite sloppy. It is definitely a far cry from the glorious and surreal CGI depictions coming from the big MCU titles.
MCU's CGI team is under a lot of pressure to deliver quantity over quality, which is referenced even in the show. This is an ongoing trend, as seen in Black Widow and Captain Marvel, and seems likely to continue.
5) Wasted potential of Abomination
Tim Roth returned to the MCU as Abomination in Shang-Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings. While he appeared as a fierce villain in The Incredible Hulk (2006), he now seems to have shed everything that made his character likable in the first place.
Abomination is one of the core Hulk villains and holds a lot of potential if used correctly. However, seeing as Emil Blonsky lacked any conviction to make a big move, it's next to impossible to bring him back into that light.
6) The show assumes that it's going to be hated
She Hulk had everyone's hopes up as its release came closer and closer. However, the show itself tries to ridicule the trolling Marvel fans as simplistic caricatures of trolls within the show.
Trolls on social media are, without a doubt, a negative influence on the whole fanbase. What the writers didn't consider is that by incorporating it into the story itself and projecting it constantly, they're also alienating the real fans of the MCU, who could have liked it much more if it focused on other aspects of She Hulk's story.
7) The show ruins Daredevil
Netflix's The Daredevil introduced Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock in a serious light. Not only was Murdock's character intense, he was also deeply introspective while battling his inner demons, and was a powerful fighter.
She Hulk sadly reduced Murdock's character to light-hearted support for Walters. A callback to the famous Daredevil hallway scene, the show sets up another similar encounter, only for Walters to drop from the ceiling, thus ending the expectation. Although Daredevil received some very gracious treatment on the show, it would be hard to bring him back to his Netflix roots.
8) The finale is a stark departure from MCU's usual endings
The MCU holds a prestigious legacy. With the Avengers' saga ending after Iron Man's grand sacrifice, it's up to the future to uphold these ideals. Sadly, that sacrifice is rendered meaningless in She Hulk.
Walters constantly breaks the fourth wall by talking to the camera and addressing the audience directly. It mimics the antics of Deadpool, though it works to the detriment of her story.
If that wasn't enough, Walters then lands in the writer's room, only to find that an A.I. named K.E.V.I.N (a reference to Kevin Feige) controls all the stories. There are countless moments in the MCU that are magical, and a portrayal like that might take the magic away from them.
She Hulk failed because it lacked the emotional hook that is otherwise typical of MCU's projects.
Despite the fact that the show had some obvious problems, it also introduced many new characters, including Mr. Immortal and The Hulk's son, Skaar - which means that Planet Hulk is imminent. Even if the show didn't hit all the right marks, we can hope that future MCU projects will have a lot more to offer.