Hollywood has a dialogue problem, and exhibit A is She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Stating that the first episode of She-Hulk is awful doesn’t do anyone the due diligence in explaining the fundamental problem with modern Hollywood writing. Namely, there is a difference between storyline, and dialogue.
The story is the pillar that holds up the foundation of your creation, while the dialogue acts as the links in the chain that connect them together. A good writer knows great dialogue between strong characters can mean the difference between a show that lasts several seasons, or one that is canceled before it gets started.
This leads us to the latest television show that is a part of the longest cinematic soap opera in history – one too big for just the big screen. Tatiana Maslany plays Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk, who is involved in a car crash that finds Mark Ruffalo’s MCU Hulk character accidentally exchange blood with his cousin, causing her to experience the same Hulk-like abilities as him. The only difference is that Jennifer has a much better handle on her powers than Bruce did at this point.
This is the first problem with the story, a show that only consists of nine episodes. The writers opted not to spend numerous episodes taking Walters on the same route that Bruce Banner did to control his anger. Instead, the show decides to fast forward past this arc by explaining that Jennifer is already great at controlling her anger better than Bruce, because she is a woman who deals with men every day.
Cue the obligatory sigh.
A couple of notes to start off with. First, this is our introduction to the character of She-Hulk, yet we know nothing about her up to this point. The infamous viral rant about how Jennifer is better at controlling her rage than Bruce because she deals with men happens 20 minutes into a 30-minute opening episode.
The idea of Jennifer being in complete control of her emotions is not true, because seven minutes into the episode we see her lose control when a group of men talk to her outside of a bar, meaning the entire narrative the show attempts to create is undercut within minutes. Poor writing.
— IMDb (@IMDb) August 18, 2022
When you are dealing with an episode of bad writing, you should always ask yourself “who wrote this?”
She-Hulk is written by 38-year-old Chinese-American writer Jessica Gao, whose biggest claim to fame was winning an Emmy for writing the “Pickle Rick” episode of Rick & Morty.
Gao is responsible for the majority of the dialogue you will experience in this series. Jennifer Walters as a character sounds like a 40-year-old progressive woman who has made her gender the defining trait of her personality. Shows like this fail because modern Hollywood writers cannot separate their own ideology from the characters that they are writing. So when She-Hulk speaks, it’s Jessica Gao doing the talking.
Gao, who once publicly slammed actress Scarlett Johannsson and her husband Colin Jost in the wake of her casting in the 2017 film Ghost in The Shell, recently claimed that the idea of this show came from a failed pitch for a Black Widow movie that would have seen Natasha Romanoff go to a 20-year high school reunion after assassinating someone’s dad 20 years earlier.
Because that pitch involved the character of She Hulk, this is why the show exists.
Mark Ruffalo is by far the best part of the first episode, because he acts as the calm voice of reason who is constantly met with disdain for the crime of trying to explain to his cousin the magnitude of the situation that she is in. Yet, as the dialogue states, Jennifer doesn’t take kindly to men telling her what to do.
Nobody who has watched The Incredible Hulk or the first two Avengers movies would have written a line that disregards the tragic story of Bruce Banner, because it would have made no sense. The show doesn’t want the character of Jennifer Walters to be viewed as “emotional” or “difficult,” but after 30 minutes of screen time, she’s done nothing to disprove those characteristics.
Jennifer Walters comes off as a character who is mad at the world, but hasn’t accomplished anything for audiences to sympathize with her struggle. This is Woke progressivism in a nutshell.
The first episode of She-Hulk isn’t for MCU fans, but for radical progressive show boaters on Twitter. It was made for people who need to hear their talking points come out of the mouths of Disney-backed comic book characters. This show was made by people who have brought into the idea that catcalling and “mansplaining” are on the same pillar of trauma as grief and self-loathing.
Is it fair to condemn an entire series based on the first episode? No, but it isn’t until the last two minutes of the episode that we get a proper look at what the show is going to look like. Yet, sometimes you don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. The number one reason why television shows fail is that people watched the first episode, and decided NOT to come back for another.
Perhaps we will get the lighthearted fourth wall-breaking comedy series this show was advertised to be in the future, but right now, it is yet another example of why people are becoming less and less interested in Disney’s overall content offerings.
- Mark Ruffalo's Hulk
- Terrible Dialogue
- Rough Visual Effects
- A Script Soaked In Misandry