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She-Hulk smashes onto Disney+ with the premiere episode of Marvel’s newest series, “A Normal Amount Of Rage”. How is Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters? How does She-Hulk connect to the MCU? And most importantly: how’s the CGI? We discuss that, plus Marvel Comics origins, Easter eggs and more.
Full Episode Transcript:
Alex: Welcome to MarvelVision, a podcast about Marvel, the MCU. And right now, She-Hulk. I’m Alex.
Justin: She-Hulk. I’m Justin.
Pete: I’m Pete.
Alex: And we are going to be talking about the first episode of She-Hulk from Marvel. Everybody’s psyched. Everybody is equally excited and equally loving it. And we’re going to get right into it. Now, if you haven’t watched it on Disney Plus, go check it out because it is live right now.
Alex: But in the first episode, we meet the new She-Hulk, Tatiana Maslany. We find out her origin. Her cousin bled inside of her arm and she got Hulk powers. And we get a montage over the first half an hour, where we find out how she uses her powers, how she becomes a Hulk, how she’s different from [inaudible 00:00:54] Hulk played by Mark Ruffalo. We also find out whether Captain America’s ever fucked anybody, and there’s a lot of stuff going on. So let’s get this out of the way first before we get into the episode.
Pete: I’m glad we’re going to talk about the Marvel flip first.
Justin: Let’s clear the air about the Marvel flip.
Alex: The Marvel flip. Finally, it’s ending with… You got Shang-Chi, you got Ms. Marvel, you got all the newer characters. It really feels like it’s bringing us into the present. And I think we can all agree on that and we should probably end the podcast here before any fighting starts.
Justin: Yeah. Let’s all agree that this is everyone’s favorite phase. Everyone loves this phase.
Pete: What’s wrong with this phase? It’s exciting territory. It’s new and exciting. We don’t know what’s going to happen.
Alex: So there has been a lot of discussion about She-Hulk going into [inaudible 00:01:42], specifically about the CGI, and it’s been in a lot of different directions. And I think it’s important to get this out of the way up front in terms of, the trailer came out. Everybody was like… Not everybody, but most people were like, “Ugh, this looks like crap,” is essentially, I think, what the general impression of it was. From there, there were a lot of reports of VFX artists, first from a Reddit thread and then from a variety of reporting. I’m going to get this wrong, but I think there was something on the Verge and there was also something on Gizmodo, where they went very, very deep talking to VFX artists who have worked with Marvel and other places, about what the current situation is.
Alex: And it wasn’t specifically about Marvel. It was talking about the industry as a whole. Not just because of COVID, but just in general, because of the amount of product that is coming out, there are insane demands on VFX artists. And they called out Marvel in particular, though this is not an outlier, necessarily, they’re just doing more shows and movies than anybody else, in terms of demands. Asking for changes, not understanding how VFX works. So this wasn’t specifically about She-Hulk, but I do bring this up in the lead-up to She-Hulk, because I would say… I’m going to put this out there, up front. The VFX do look shitty, but I think we could very specifically say it’s not the VFX artists’ fault. It’s the pace of getting out the TV show. So I want to be very clear about that.
Justin: I think that’s fair, but let me tell you, the VFX didn’t bother me.
Pete: I thought it was fine.
Alex: Well, that’s the other thing-
Justin: The making sense effects of the show-
Pete: What are you talking about?
Justin: …are what my issue is. That’s where my issue is.
Alex: Yeah. Well, I agree with you. Something that they brought up, and particularly the creators of the show brought up quite [inaudible 00:03:26]-
Pete: Are you not familiar with She-Hulk? What do you mean? What don’t you understand? What doesn’t make sense?
Alex: Well, I’ve never read a comic book, so I’m not familiar.
Pete: Yeah, exactly. What the fuck? Are you new to this?
Alex: No. So here’s the thing. I’m going to say it out loud.
Pete: Stan Lee got Hulk powers from drinking a soda with Hulk blood in it. You know what I mean? Oh, what are you-
Alex: Oh my God. One of the grossest moments in the MCU, when he drank that blood soda. I’m still not over it, a decade later.
Justin: Yeah, definitely not.
Alex: Anyway, I agree with you, Justin. I think in this episode, which was mostly She-Hulk and Hulk hanging out and training in a tropical environment, it didn’t look any out of the ordinary. To be perfectly frank, the Hulk effects look pretty bad most of the time across the board at the MCU, but it doesn’t matter as long as the story is good and what we’re watching is good, and I’m involved in it and you get into it. So I get over it that way. This is obviously a very negative thing at the beginning, but I bring this up because this is the big discussion about She-Hulk going into it, and I feel like this is still going to be one of the big discussions going through the series. That said, Pete, you seem very positive about this show so I’d rather get some positive opinions of it out now. What d’you like about it?
Pete: Well, first off, I was surprised by the fourth wall break. I think that was an interesting choice for She-Hulk. Also, I like the idea of her and us having a conversation about what’s going on. The whole moment where she looked away and was like, “Oh, he’s totally lying,” and then Hulk was like, “What?” And then she looked at us like, “Oh God,” I think it was fun. I liked how much fun they’re having with this. I’m very excited for the cousin, which feels like a brother-sister kind of vibe, the way they were fighting and arguing about stuff.
Pete: I also really thought the touching Tony moments really landed well. I loved that. I was excited for a training montage. Also, seeing Hulk jealous a little bit of the fact of there isn’t this battle within himself about who’s going to take control of the Hulk and who’s going to be driving the ship. The fact that she can be herself and not have to give over control to somebody else, really opens things up for the characters. I thought it had a badass ending and then an even more fun after credits thing. I really love the momentum that this first episode ended with, to get us excited for this courtroom drama, and then a villain shows up and just anarchy begins.
Pete: I think it’s an interesting setup. I’m very excited to see where this goes. I thought it was, instead of, “Okay, this is my origin story,” we did a little flashback. “Now we’re caught up. Let’s roll here.” Yeah. I really enjoyed how much the Hulk cared about his bar and the drinking moments that happened. Yeah. I thought this was really an action packed first episode that gave us a lot to be excited for, looking forward. I also love this idea of side supervillain characters in each episode maybe having these fun little cameos.
Alex: First of all, I want to say, Pete, thank you for your positive opinions. Anything that is about to be said does not negate those opinions. That is awesome.
Justin: Love those opinions.
Alex: And I think there’s going to be people who are very split on the show. I think in particular, Marvel fans, I think are going to love the in-jokes. They’re going to love the Easter eggs. They’re going to be super into them. Some people may take exception to other things. And to that point, I think, let’s turn it over to Justin who has a counterpoint here.
Pete: Wait, wait, wait. Before we have a counterpoint, one thing I think we can all agree on is the chopsticks with the Cheetos is a brilliant idea. I can’t wait to eat Cheetos from now on. I think it’s going to be a super [inaudible 00:07:26].
Justin: You can’t wait to eat Cheetos? That’s what you’re walking out with?
Justin: First off, let me say, shoutout to you for getting the #touchingTony thing going. Because you mentioned that earlier on, and I love that you’re really pushing that out there, #touchingTony.
Alex: Wait. Actually, before we get into any negative counterpoint, I do want to put out something that I-
Justin: You don’t know my opinion. I’m not-
Alex: No, no. I think I know your opinion. But I do think we can all agree on, that I will say positively, Tatiana Maslany is great. So good as She-Hulk. Whatever happens with the show, however it goes, I’m very excited to see her in the rest of the MCU. She’s great playing off of Bruce Banner.
Justin: Mark Ruffalo.
Alex: Yeah. Mark Ruffalo. Couldn’t remember his real person name. Bruce Banner.
Justin: Wow. Have you read a comic book? I don’t know.
Alex: No, I’ve literally only read comic books. I’ve never interacted with real life. Anyway-
Justin: But seriously.
Alex: Her interacting with Mark Ruffalo was great. For anybody who doesn’t know her, check out a show called Orphan Black that ran for a couple of seasons on BBC America.
Justin: Yeah. So good.
Alex: Which she rocked it in. And part of that show was, she played multiple versions of her own clone and it was mind-blowing as an effect and how she played it. So having her play… She is playing the same character. Jen is the same, whether she’s a human being or whether she’s turning into a Hulk, versus usually what the Hulk is. But she clearly has a familiarity with working with these sort of effects, and she makes that part swift and easy.
Pete: All right. Are you going to let us know how you feel about the chopsticks and Cheetos?
Justin: Wow. You want to see-
Alex: It’s funny because usually, I’ve been eating chopsticks on their own, so the idea of adding Cheetos is weird to me.
Pete: Oh my God.
Justin: Yeah. I love just some orange ended chopsticks as a snack. Just think of it like this, Alex. Mark Ruffalo loves The Gruffalo. Mark Ruffalo loves The Gruffalo. Easy to remember.
Alex: Bruce Banner loves the Hatter? I don’t know. I can’t really think of anything right now. Let’s hear your opinion, Justin. Lay it out, counterpoint it, if you may.
Justin: So I agree, the performance is… Great to see Mark Ruffalo back.
Justin: It’s actually-
Alex: He’s easily my second favorite actor who’s played Hulk.
Justin: Oh, yeah. That’s a burn. Is that a burn toward Pete?
Pete: Yeah. I don’t know who you’re burning there.
Alex: Eric Bana, man.
Justin: You’re a Bana man?
Alex: No, I’m not an Eric Bana man. I think… Oh my God. What’s his name?
Justin: When Eric eats a banana, he becomes Bananaman.
Alex: Who played it in The Incredible Hulk? Why can’t I remember human names anymore?
Justin: You can’t remember Eddie?
Alex: Edward Norton. Edward Norton was a better Bruce Banner.
Pete: I’m out of here.
Justin: I disagree. I’m all in on Ruffalo.
Alex: I don’t think anybody who’s listening to this podcast is like, “And, click. Going to another one.”
Justin: Yeah, exactly. Delete. Yeah. Go to any other one. The Nortonheads be damned. Like I said, the performances were great. The thing I have with this show is-
Pete: Cheetos, chopsticks. Please start there first. Come on.
Justin: Gross. Cheetos, gross across the board. Put them in your hands, your mouth, eat them with your toes. I don’t care. They’re gross. I can’t touch them. Can’t touch those things. It’s like they took cheese and burned it beyond recognition.
Pete: What are you talking about?
Justin: Have you ever had cheese? Have you ever had cheese?
Justin: Try cheese. If you like Cheetos, try cheese. You’re going to love it.
Alex: This is a little off it, and I know Pete’s trying to delay us talking about things that we didn’t like about the show. But earlier today in the supermarket, I saw Utz cheddar flavored chips, but they weren’t just cheddar flavored chips. They were Utz Cheddar Balls flavored chips, which was nonsense. And I have launched a complaint with Utz.
Justin: Let me just say that just the way you say that, Alex, you’re not selling it to me. You really emphasized the balls of the cheddar.
Alex: Well, this is what I’m saying. Balls don’t taste like-
Justin: Not everyone.
Pete: Utz makes the Cheddar Balls and it’s a famous thing, so they made a chip flavor of it. I don’t know what your deal is.
Justin: You’re going to bat for cheese dust, Pete, in a way that I’m shocked right here. Why are you going so hard for cheese dust?
Alex: He’s trying to delay you talking, Justin. Go ahead.
Justin: The issue I have with this show, just out the gate, is it feels like it was… We talk about a show being rushed, the VFX being rushed. It feels like this show was rushed. The story was rushed. It feels like they were like, “What’s cool? Fleabag. Let’s do a little Fleabag, but not really do a ton of it.” And then-
Pete: Hey, you want to over Fleabag?
Justin: Well, but I would have liked… There’s no justification for it. When she turns and talks to the camera, I was like, “What?” And then she-
Alex: Can we talk about this for a second? I don’t want interrupt you too much, Justin. But the justification for it, I think, is that there’s a couple of different runs of She-Hulk this is pulling on.
Alex: I know you guys know, but I’m going to say for our audience, if they don’t know, John Byrne did a pretty famous run on Sensational She-Hulk, I believe, where it did introduce fourth wall breaking, which is probably why they mixed it into the show. This show itself seems to probably be pulling a little bit more on Dan Slott’s run on She-Hulk, which is also phenomenal and you should check out.
Pete: Shoutout to the Slott.
Alex: Where she was a lawyer and she prosecuted weird… Not mysteries, but weird cases with weird supervillains and superheroes. Very fun. And also a little bit of Charles Soule and Javier Pulido’s run, that also then brought her back to the law, also is very good.
Alex: But I want to say, I agree with you on the fourth wall breaking, because I love the idea of her breaking the fourth wall because I love John Byrne’s run on She-Hulk. It doesn’t feel particularly motivated here, other than the thing that Pete called out, the one where she’s calling out Bruce and turns to the camera, and does basically the same thing in Fleabag that she did with the hot priest in the third or fourth episode of the second season, where it feels derivative to me, is my problem.
Justin: Let me real quick on the Fleabag of it. That episode you referenced in the second season of Fleabag, when she gets caught looking at the camera, it was such a revelation. They really built that up and earned it. And this felt, like you’re saying, like they saw that and were like, “Oh, we can do that.” But the show isn’t doing the work, I think, to earn that.
Justin: Instead, we get a cold open on her with this case and then we get the Fleabag moment and then we jump back into the superhero stuff. And I was like, “There’s already too much happening. Show me this origin first, before we get into all this.” I’m fine with that. We don’t need all this extra work up top. And I think across the board, it was just a lot of, “Oh, this worked in the comic book. Put it in.” And I feel like that’s not a good enough thing, because it doesn’t work in… It’s a totally different media language and it makes for a little bit of a hard watch, I feel like.
Pete: Okay, I hear what you’re saying. But the problem is, they’re doing nods to comics and that’s normally a great thing. I understand what you’re saying by rushed, but we’ve seen so many origin stories and so many times, a pearl necklace falling on the ground. So I’m glad that we’re doing things differently. I’m glad that we’re trying to reinvent the wheel a little bit here, and kind of like, “Okay, you guys get it. We’re joining the hero here in this moment in her life.”
Pete: But also, the part that I wanted to say, where I thought another time that it worked is when she looked at the camera, was like, “It’s a lawyer show.” She has this agenda that is like, “I’ve been training my whole life to get to this point, and whether or I’m Hulk or not is not going to change my goals,” which I thought was interesting.
Alex: I want to talk about this lawyer show point because I do think that’s something that I hooked into a little bit, in terms of something where I feel like the show went a little wrong, to be frank.
Pete: Stop saying, “To be frank.”
Alex: Sorry. Sorry, buddy. Sorry. To be Pete about it.
Justin: Yikes. Watch out.
Alex: This first episode is almost entirely a training montage. We get a little bit of the lawyer stuff at the beginning and the end.
Alex: No. My issue with it is, if you’re going to be meta about it and then if you’re going to do the “Lawyer show,” which is in theory a funny joke and, “Oh, you’re going to comment on it,” we’ve already seen superhero training montages. We’ve already seen innumerable lawyer shows. So you got to push past that as quickly as possible, to get out whatever is new and fresh about this. And in this first episode we barely meet, I think it’s Ginger Gonzaga, the woman who’s working with her, who’s her second in command.
Pete: Her paralegal.
Alex: Yeah, her paralegal. And we meet Bruce Banner, who we already know, and that’s it. That’s it for the whole show. There’s a whole-
Pete: [inaudible 00:16:25] Dennis.
Alex: Well, sure. And Dennis. There’s a whole other cast here. There’s a whole other cast of characters, including Renée Elise Goldsberry, I always get her name wrong, who is on Girls5eva and was in Hamilton and is hilarious. She doesn’t even show up in this episode at all. There’s multiple other characters that don’t. There’s barely any lawyer stuff, so whatever.
Alex: It feels like, weirdly… And I don’t know if this would’ve fixed the problem, but I was really looking forward to a half hour show. I thought, “Great. Half hour comedy. Let’s go. This sounds awesome. Really shake up the Marvel formula.” The fact that they barely got through anything in this first episode, this is the first one I was like, “I wish this was 45 minutes.” I wish that they had taken more time to be like-
Justin: Yeah. Slow down.
Alex: Have the montage with Bruce in 10 minutes and then shout up her lawyer stuff and whatever her new status quo is, because we don’t get anything in this episode.
Pete: I don’t understand you. First, you’re like, “Everything should be a half an hour.” Then something’s half an hour, you’re like, “Oh, I want 45.” Make up your fucking mind.
Alex: Well, this is what I’m saying, is that I wish they had done it in half an hour. But based on the fact that it was half an hour and they didn’t get through any of the plot or any of the setup, it doesn’t feel-
Pete: They get through a lot of the plot.
Alex: It doesn’t feel like-
Pete: We know how she got her powers. We know how she-
Alex: It’s not a pilot. This is not an episode of TV. I’ll just say that. To be super rough about it, it does not feel like an episode of TV.
Pete: Super rough, bro.
Alex: It feels like the first 20 minutes, and then there’s 10 minutes of credits or whatever it is. This is not a TV show.
Pete: It’s a great TV show. It’s too bad you’re not watching it.
Justin: Wow, wow. I think we are watching it. I do think, to your point, Alex, I think what it is, is they’re like, “We’re going to give you a half hour lawyer show.” And what this feels like is the first 20 to 25 minutes of a movie that is about superheroes, with a light veneer of the law over the top of it. And if they did treat this a little bit more like a sitcom…
Justin: It’s like the first couple episodes of WandaVision. They had the lay-on that we were in a sitcom world, so they were doing sitcom stuff. If they were able to really, premise wise, give us the plot and narrative of a sitcom where something is introduced and we’re dealing with it, and then ending it while this rest of the story continues, I think that would’ve been refreshing. But instead, it feels like we’re back in the same Marvel model but it’s a little bit harder on this one because they’re so flip about everything, so everything feels a little loose.
Alex: Let me… Oh, go ahead, Pete. Sorry.
Pete: Okay. So first off, okay, whatever you’re saying. But I think that what’s nice here is, we’re getting her personality in little chunks. And it’s also, we’re poking fun at what’s happened before. Having Bruce Banner try to defend his dealing with emotions and, “How did you calm down?” He was like, “Well, sometimes I would get sung a lullaby,” was hysterical. And then, when she first turns into the Hulk and he’s like, “Easy. Easy, girl,” and she’s like, “Why are you talking to me like I’m a horse?” Which is just a funny thing because that’s how they treated Hulk, like this wild horse that they couldn’t control. So I thought they were making smart choices with something that we’ve seen a ton, or seen in different ways.
Justin: I like those ideas that you’re saying, Pete, because I agree with you, having her be different… And they make the point later, “Look, if this is about restraining emotions, that’s what every woman’s life is about all the time.” And I like that idea. But to me, it was so built into Hulk knowledge, knowing so much about Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, in all of his run, that it was like…
Justin: And then all the justification. “Well, it’s not that the blood just got in your system. It’s that you have a gene that makes it so the blood was actually a gamma radiation overdose that would have killed a normal person, but you happen to have the gene that makes the thing and so that means you were fine. They were going to put you in this chamber and scare you, but it doesn’t even work that way because the way you work is, it’s built on emotions that are a little bit different and there’s no other person there that’s going to come out.” She’s like, “No, I’m fine. There’s definitely not another person that’s going to come out.” And he’s like, “Are you sure there’s not another person that’s going to come out?” And she’s like, “There’s definitely not another person that’s going to come out.” And I feel like in episode five of this season, there’s going to be another person that’s going to come out.
Pete: No, I think they had to explain, because of the fact that Hulk, part of his problem is he doesn’t get to control. He blacks out and then comes to, as what Hulk did. So they had to spell it out for us like, “Hey, listen, this is not the thing that you’re used to. This is a little bit different.”
Justin: 100 percent. But what I’m saying is, the crazy part was, he’s not dealing with that anymore. He’s smart Hulk, smug Hulk.
Alex: Smug Hulk. Yeah.
Justin: So he’s fine. She’s not dealing with it. She’s already passed it. So they’re literally just talking about something that we all saw. We don’t ever see it. It’s just they’re mentioning it. And I’m like, “This isn’t TV. This is like a research. This is like a Wikipedia article about the Hulk.” And if they had front-loaded it with, “Hey, I’m a woman. I can deal with having to control my emotions all the time,” and him being like, “Well, then you should be fine,” and then we’re out, we would have achieved what took a huge chunk of the episode, in a way that I think is smarter and more fun.
Pete: Well, I agree with-
Alex: Sorry, Pete, can I just throw out a couple of quick thoughts here, in addition to this? One thing, not to be an armchair editor or anything like that, but in terms of the flow of the show, I feel like if you start with that first scene where she introduces that she’s a lawyer and that it’s a lawyer show and you’re going to watch something different, then you go to the courtroom that we get at the end, the way they paced that out with the reveal of her Hulking out there, it felt like that’s the sort of thing where, this is the She-Hulk look reveal. And if she Hulks out, beats up to Titania… How did they pronounce it in the show? I feel like I’ve been pronouncing it wrong my entire life.
Alex: Titania. Whatever it is.
Justin: Titania is the traditional Shakespearean pronunciation of the character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Classically trained actor, for those of you new to the podcast.
Alex: Yes. But Jameela Jamil, I guess we can call her. Anyway, she beats her up and if at that point she’s like, “Okay, you’re probably wondering what’s going on here,” and then we jump back, I feel like pacing wise, that might have worked a bit. Then you get that flashback there, but then we need a little bit more at the end.
Pete: Yeah, but that was such a great button because you got Eve blasting, you got that fun shoes moment. And then just boom, credits. I was pumped. I was like, “Great song choice, badass introduction to be like, “Now we’re going to start the show.”” I do agree that there are smarter things and smarter ways to do this, but I felt like they were like, “Hey, okay. Maybe you are not familiar with She-Hulk. This is what this is going to be about. This is why it’s different from regular Hulk. We have the regular Hulk here to hold your hand through this changing of how Hulk is and stuff like that.”
Justin: Hulk your hand.
Pete: Yeah. Hulk your hand. And so I think it was one of those things where, maybe not the smartest choice but they walked us through it. And I feel like, now that we’ve got this out of the way, hopefully this show is just off and running and we’re just-
Alex: Totally. And this is the point that I wanted to make, is that there is a lot of introduction going on here and maybe there’s a sense of expectations. I went into this, expecting… They were selling this, or at least Kevin Feige, multiple times, said, “It’s a half hour comedy, but in the MCU.” And I was like, “Great, really looking forward to that. Sounds very fun.”
Alex: This is not. Like Justin said, it’s the first 20 minutes of a Marvel movie. It’s edited like a Marvel movie. It’s shot like a Marvel movie. It’s scored like a Marvel movie, which frankly I think works against the comedy a little bit. But like I’m saying, that might be my expectations there, in terms of coming to this first episode and expecting it to be what the creators kept talking about. They kept calling it Ally McBeal, and not to-
Pete: Yeah, it’s Ally McBeal meets the Marvel universe.
Alex: No, it’s not. My problem is, if you go back and watch the pilot of Ally McBeal, Ally McBeal first of all has, A, the correct pacing for humor because they actually take, even in drama, even without a laugh track, a pause for jokes. And then beyond that, it’s a total premise pilot in terms of Ally joining the firm. It sets up all the characters. It sets up the situation that she’s working with her ex who she’s still in love with, and that’s her goal. You have a very clear goal that she wants, an emotional hook, and it sets up everything that’s going on here.
Alex: All this does is, like we’re saying, I think the first 20 minutes of a Marvel movie. They were not doing Ally McBeal. They’re not doing a half hour comedy. They’re doing a Marvel movie over nine episodes. I just have to rejigger my brain to get used to that for the second episode. And I do hope, for the second episode, they change it up a little bit.
Pete: I think what they’re trying to do is say that she wants to… The premise is, she wants to still be a lawyer, even though her life is completely changed and she’ll have to come to grips with the fact that she’s a superhero. That’s what it seems like the premise is.
Alex: Well, and I think you’re 100 percent correct. I think we need to see that.
Justin: Well, we did get to hear Bruce Banner say that, five whole times over the course of the episode. Which I was like, it’s a little strange to me to have a hero whose whole thing is not being a hero, being a force of nature, who is something that everyone has to deal with-
Pete: Oh, whoa, whoa.
Justin: Wait, let me finish.
Pete: You’re saying the Hulk isn’t a hero? Go fuck yourself.
Justin: I’m saying all of the Hulk movies and all of the… Literally the first Avengers movie is like, “Wow, I can’t believe he helped us during this invasion.”
Alex: Well, and the second Avengers movie was like-
Pete: And he did, didn’t he? He fucking saved everybody’s ass. He grabbed Loki like a rag doll and did that sweet move, so shut the fuck up.
Alex: Absolutely. And in the second movie, he gets corrupted by Wanda and is like, “Hmm, I don’t know if I should do this. Time to leave Earth forever.”
Justin: So my point, Pete, I’m not-
Pete: Do you blame him? Everybody keeps saying he’s an asshole. He’s just going to stick around and keep saving the world?
Justin: Pete, well-
Alex: Do you relate to that in some way on our podcast, Pete?
Justin: Wow. Let me just say, I’m not trying to say the Hulk is somehow bad. But what I’m saying, is it strange… His whole thing is, “I didn’t mean to be in this position. I’m just trying to figure out what I want to do. All I want to do is be a scientist.” And then he’s lecturing her? He’s like, “You can’t be a lawyer anymore. You’ve got to be a quote-unquote superhero.” Which he does as an amorphous thing. It just felt so strange and it felt like… Again, I love Mark Ruffalo. It felt like such an odd thing coming out of his mouth, over the course of the show.
Pete: Well, I think sometimes in life you have somebody tripping your ear and giving you bad advice. You know what I mean? And the right-
Justin: The Hulk’s giving you bad advice?
Pete: No, that’s not what I’m saying. I just think that it’s interesting to have them at odds. You know what I mean? Instead of it be-
Justin: 100 percent. I feel like you think I’m trying to say this is bad. What I’m trying to say is, I love She-Hulk. One of my favorite characters. I think they got the look of She-Hulk really well, the colors. It’s such a bright, sunny show. I think so She-Hulk. Really cool. The acting I think is great. It’s just there are choices in here that, because I like it and I’m excited for it, I’m like, “Ugh, that bothers me.” And so I [inaudible 00:27:56].
Pete: You didn’t like the Pixar line? I thought that was well done. “You want me to get emotional, put on a Pixar movie.”
Justin: 100 percent. But to Alex’s point, this show, if it’s a comedy, there were like five jokes. A normal half hour comedy would have 30 jokes, so it didn’t have pace.
Alex: Just trying to look at it very closely, I do think the jokes were there. The way… And I don’t think they were the [inaudible 00:28:25].
Pete: The dick move callback was great.
Alex: Hold on. The jokes were there. I don’t think they were all 100 percent, “Yeah, this is nonstop home runs on jokes,” or anything like that. But the amount of jokes of your regular half hour sitcom… The problem is that the score, in particular, didn’t match them and the editing didn’t emphasize them. That was, I think, the big problems here. Because I think Tatiana Maslany is funny. Whoever the human is who plays Bruce Banner is also very funny. I hope to learn his name someday.
Alex: They know comedic timing. They know how to sell jokes. But everything was running over them as they were doing it, for the most part. There were a couple of jokes I will say that worked. I think the timing on both of the “Steve Rogers being a virgin” jokes, both the one in the episode and particularly the post credits tag-
Pete: It was so funny.
Alex: Totally hit that. Absolutely it. Very funny. I think those worked very well.
Pete: The surfboard to the face joke was great. I mean, come on, man.
Alex: There was also another one which they actually gave time to, which is, I think it’s after they destroy the bar and they’re laying there and they just give a moment for Hulk to throw a very little temper tantrum where he takes his arms and legs and it’s like, “Nyah.”
Pete: “My bar.”
Alex: Yeah. And just that little movement there was very funny. But the reason it was funny is because they gave a pause for it. They didn’t just run past it. So I don’t know.
Justin: The only thing I would argue, where I feel like the comedic sensibility is odd is, she gets to that bar. Those four women walk in and I was like, “What? None of this…” They do her makeup. She’s like [inaudible 00:30:08].
Pete: That was a fun-
Justin: But to me, that’s an off-tone bit. It was so strange.
Pete: Well, first off, you probably don’t hang out in a lot of women’s restrooms. It’s a fun juxtaposition of somebody-
Justin: And you do, obviously.
Pete: No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying it’s obvious you don’t. I’m just saying that she’s in a tough spot. She goes into a woman’s bathroom and they were all about pumping her up and being like, “Hey, you know what? We’ll help you out. Use my phone. Hey, let’s dress you up and get you…” You know what I mean? It was a fun opposite reaction of, “I’m in trouble.”
Alex: I will say, this is going to come out too strong and I can tell already that you disagree with this, Pete, so everybody is entitled with their opinion. That scene set off my alarm bells a little bit because it felt like, the way they were dressed and the way that everybody was acting, it did feel like a show that would come out in Ally McBeal times. Which, to contradict what I said earlier, I think in terms of writing and structure, Ally McBeal is strong. But if you go back to that, it does feel very retrograde in terms of its sensibilities. And I’m hoping that the show, despite what I have seen in certain parts of it… Also, the first part also felt very much, “We’re a lawyer show from the ’90s and early 2000s,” which… I’ve seen that. I don’t need to see that again. There has been 20 whole years between that and now, so that worries me a little bit.
Justin: Well, I think this show, I don’t know what the writers’ room was like, but it feels like maybe they didn’t… A show like Ally McBeal or any comedy’s going to have a large writers’ room, so there’s a real collaborative atmosphere. There’s people being like, “Oh, that’s super funny. What if it was this?” Everyone’s working on it together. It felt like it was a little smaller and a little bit more like, “All right. This is what we’re going with.” And so if there was a little more collaboration, I feel like the things that you’re talking about, Alex, get a little bit tweaked and elevated so it doesn’t feel like it’s out of touch with reality.
Alex: Yeah. Let’s talk about something that we can all probably agree on, which is cool theories, man. So in the beginning of the show, Jen and Bruce are driving and a ship comes up and that’s why they drive off the road. We should probably talk about her origin in a little bit, because gross. But the ship comes up and we find out it’s a Sakaaran [inaudible 00:32:38].
Pete: Blood in, blood out.
Alex: Sure. Let’s talk about that now. So her original origin is, she gets in an accident and then Bruce gives her a blood transfusion and it gives her Hulk powers. Here, both of their arms get cut and he bleeds in her arm.
Pete: Just one of those things where you’re tumbling over and over each other. Sometimes you get in a tumbler and things kind of get mixed up. You know what I mean?
Alex: So unnecessarily gross.
Justin: A tumbler. It was gross. And also it’s very convenient. Overly convenient, for my taste, and immediate. And then we had sort of a science justification later that I was like, “Okay, sure.” But because I actually liked the comic. I was complaining about the… It feels like there was a lot of stuff translated directly, without any thought, into the medium, into TV. But actually, the comic book origin I think is great, where Bruce Banner is like, “Oh, I’m a match for her. Let me help her in an emergency situation.” And then it gives her Hulk powers, something he hadn’t intended. So that, to me, feels a little bit more character driven. Rather than just a weird accident, he’s got a computer on his arm for a reason I don’t quite understand, and then that’s it.
Pete: Because he’s trying to control when he turns into the Hulk.
Justin: But then he’s Hulk the rest of the day anyway.
Alex: No, it wasn’t controlling turning into the Hulk. It was because his arm got withered when he used the Infinity Gauntlet in Endgame. He was trying to fix it very slowly and as a side effect, I think it controls his transformation. So that’s why he’s Mark Ruffalo in that scene. But that’s also the explanation.
Pete: Because otherwise, when they got in an accident, he would’ve immediately turned into the Hulk and would’ve been okay.
Pete: Or maybe crushed her. Who knows?
Alex: And then he wouldn’t have bled in her arm. Yeah.
Pete: Yeah, exactly. And we wouldn’t have had a show.
Justin: But is it the justification-
Pete: You had to have the thing there to keep him [inaudible 00:34:29].
Alex: The blood from his arm had to drip into the blood from her arm.
Alex: Which is a cool thing to happen.
Pete: Sometimes arms line up.
Justin: And you know when you get a cut, nothing else that cut wants to do but suck outside blood in. Anytime I get an injury, it’s just thirsty for other blood. I’m a vampire arm. But also it wasn’t the justification like, “And Jen, don’t worry, your blood has healing powers and it fixed my withed arm.” I was like, “What’s that?”
Alex: That was-
Justin: Yeah. Now he’s-
Pete: Well, I mean that’s great because-
Alex: [inaudible 00:34:59] blasted past that.
Pete: Wait, wait. I thought it was great because I was really sad about seeing the Hulk with the arm sling for another movie or whatever. Let’s fix this in the TV show so we can get the Hulk-
Alex: Well, the line that really bothered me there is, “Yeah, and I used your blood because Kevin Feige didn’t want deal with that anymore,” and then we kind of moved on from there.
Justin: It’s weird to name-check Kevin Feige because I’m like, “Oh [inaudible 00:35:23] should really deal with [inaudible 00:35:25].”
Alex: By the way, by end of this run, they 100 percent are going to name-check Kevin Feige at some point. Absolutely. That’s the ultimate fourth wall break and they’re going to do it. But to get back to the Sakaaran ship. So this ties into Thor Ragnarok, potentially, I think. What do you think’s going on here? Why does this ship want, presumably, Hulk?
Pete: Well, Bruce says he’s going to get to it later. He’s just a little busy.
Alex: Oh, okay. Feel free to answer for him.
Justin: But you’re so defensive of everyone. You’re on the character’s side, over everything. Even stuff that they’re dealing with, which we have no control over. You could take our side on this one.
Alex: I’m asking for a theory, Pete. You’ve watched one or two Marvel movies at this point. What do you think this is leading up to?
Justin: And let’s throw out, Pete, you’re the biggest fan of the Sakaaran shit. You’s should be psyched they’re showing up. I assume they want to bring Hulk back to Sakaar.
Pete: Yeah, that’s what it is. Sakaar’s in trouble and they need their Hulk to save the day. What’s hard to figure out about that?
Justin: You think he could maybe go there and ride around in a stone ship and maybe have a son and stuff?
Pete: I think maybe he’s got to go there, fall in love and then have that love ripped away from him, and then him come back to Earth so angry that he’s got to ride the front of the ship because he’s too angry to sit in the ship and he’s going to ride on the front of it.
Justin: I know. That’s the way you get after our podcasts when you’re driving a car, right you get so mad. You sit on the hood and drive to get pizza or whatever?
Alex: For anybody who doesn’t know what Pete’s talking about, he’s talking about the storyline World War Hulk, in the comics.
Pete: That’s right. Written by Greg Pak.
Alex: Yes. There you go. Cool stuff. Justin, what is your theory? What’s going on with the ship?
Justin: It felt like the ship didn’t attack them. It felt strange to me. The ship sort of said hello, and then that’s all we saw.
Alex: That’s all we saw. Yeah.
Justin: Right. And even later, he was like, “Yeah, I got to talk. I got to figure that out.” I was like, “Okay, well they’re not trying to kill Hulk.” So I would assume they’re trying to say hi. And based on our comic book knowledge, I feel like bring him back to do something there.
Alex: Hmm. Interesting.
Pete: Well, what’s your big time theory?
Alex: No, no, no. I think it could be-
Pete: You were disappointed in what Justin said. You were like, “Man. Nah, I guess-“
Alex: I got distracted for a second. I think it could be… Oh my gosh, what’s his name? Not games master.
Alex: Grandmaster. Grandmaster. There you go. Really not doing well on names this episode.
Justin: I’m truly like, “What’s that guy’s name?” I was like, “I don’t even know who you’re talking about.” Chris Pratt?
Alex: Could be Grandmaster. We could be getting something with him. We could be getting a World War Hulk thing. Maybe there will be something where maybe that’s the big villain of the series, showing up here. Who even knows? I guess we’ll see more of it. What other parts of the episode do you want to call out in particular? Any other things that you thought were interesting or fun? Or Justin, I guess absolutely terrible, since you hated it.
Justin: No. And again, I didn’t hate it. Let’s talk about just the very end. I think the courtroom Titania stuff, I thought was cool. I look forward to them fighting more. I really like Titania in the comic books. I do wish She-Hulk fought and lawyered at the same time. I think that would’ve been a little bit more fun and funny. I really liked that we get all these drawings at the end. Very easy on-
Pete: The watercolor credits was so much fun. But also, I just wanted to say that it seemed like the person that she was in court with, maybe had paid money to have a supervillain crash it before there could be a ruling, to try to win the day or something there. So I’m excited to see what that is all about.
Alex: Yeah. I think I’m definitely interested to see the second episode and see how this develops, now that we’re past the origin story, training montage sequence. How it’s going to become the rest of the show. On that point, why don’t we turn to our vision board where we talk about what we want-
Pete: I just want to say-
Alex: Oh yes.
Pete: The thunderclap stuff was really, really fun, to see them have a thunderclap-off.
Alex: Yes. Very fun stuff. Let’s talk about the vision board. What are you looking forward to that’s coming next episode, or you want to come next episode? Pete, why don’t you kick it off?
Pete: Well, I’m looking forward to getting into the rhythm of the show and also how this is going to unfold for her, as far as her balancing being She-Hulk and also being a lawyer. And hopefully we’re just going to see a bunch of weird supervillains who need representation, and it’ll be interesting.
Alex: Yeah. I agree with that, just to throw out on vision board. I hope again, now that we’re past this thing, I want to get into case of the week. This promise of half hour lawyer comedy. Legitimately, if we’re going to do lawyer show, let’s do a lawyer show. That sounds great to me. I think that’ll be super fun. So I’m hoping we’re leading into that next week. Justin?
Justin: I fully agree with that. I want down to a Law & Order parody opening credits, or LA Law, or any sort of old show. I think that’d be super fun. The stuff I was thinking about watching the show were, longer term, are we going to get a larger Avengers-esque movie where we got both Hulks kicking ass?
Pete: Oh, that would be-
Justin: Is She-Hulk going to end up on another team that’s not the Avengers? Because the Hulk’s on the Avengers, one would assume still. He’s in the universe, as opposed to a lot of the other people. Is she going to be in sort of a West Coast Avengers type situation? Is she a Thunderbolts character? There’s a lot of stuff that we now know, and I’m curious where She-Hulk slots into all of them.
Alex: Slots. Dan Slott.
Pete: I got very excited because [inaudible 00:41:22] made a cameo there while you were talking.
Alex: Oh, Justin’s dog wandered in the background of our Zoom. There you go. Definitely mention that on here. If you’d like to support this podcast, patreon.com/comicbookclub. Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M. to Crowdcast and YouTube. Coming out, we would love to chat with you about She-Hulk. iTunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher, or the app of your choice to subscribe, listen and follow the show. @Marvelvisionpod on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and many more. Until next time, stay marvelous.
Justin: Captain America fucks. And then just cut it off.
Alex: Cut it right there.
Justin: Cut me off before I start [inaudible 00:42:00].
Alex: Just cut it off.
Justin: Yeah, cut.
Pete: Just can’t [inaudible 00:42:03].
Alex: [inaudible 00:42:04] Captain America fucks or…?
Justin: No, just right [inaudible 00:42:08]. And definitely delete this part, but just cut the part right before the steep.