She-Hulk: Attorney at Law 1×01 Review: “A Normal Amount of Rage”

A Normal Amount of Rage
Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) in “A Normal Amount of Rage”

She-Hulk makes her debut onto Disney Plus and into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with an entertaining origin story in “A Normal Amount of Rage.”

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to expand after the events of Avengers: Endgame, She-Hulk makes her debut on Disney Plus with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. The series premiere, “A Normal Amount of Rage,” focuses on She-Hulk’s origin story, and has a lot of humorous moments throughout.

Though much has been discussed leading up to the show’s debut regarding the effects for She-Hulk, I will not be discussing it in my reviews. The CGI was not an issue for me and I’m not going to make things more difficult for the overworked visual effects companies bringing so many aspects of the MCU to life.

The episode opens with Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) practicing her closing argument for her latest trial. Maslany did a fantastic job with her Emmy-winning performance playing multiple clones in Orphan Black, and she continues to shine here. Jennifer is instantly likable with her humor and relatability.

Similar to in the comics, Jennifer breaks the fourth wall numerous times throughout the episode. Though breaking the fourth wall has also been seen on screen in the Deadpool movies, its debut into the MCU is very effective in establishing Jennifer’s character and her view of the world. The technique could easily become overused, and hopefully the writers are able to strike a balance with its usage.

She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) breaking the fourth wall in “A Normal Amount of Rage.”

Jennifer begins to explain how she became She-Hulk, showing the car accident she gets into with her cousin, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). The dynamic between the two is fun and becomes even more entertaining as the episode’s events unfold. Their discussion about Captain America’s virginity is interrupted by a spaceship-caused car crash. During the aftermath of the crash, Jennifer is exposed to Bruce’s blood and her transformation into She-Hulk begins.

Separated from Bruce, Jennifer makes her way into a bar where a group of women try to help her. When waiting outside for Bruce, a man tries to hit on her and causes Jennifer to transform into She-Hulk. The incident is all too relatable for most women, and Jennifer’s reaction is easily understandable.

Jennifer wakes in Bruce’s secret Mexico hideaway, which is a secluded tropical paradise with a lab underneath. The admission that Tony Stark helped build it for Bruce is a nice reference for fans of the dynamics between the Avengers. Bruce begins to test Jennifer’s abilities and tries to teach her about how to deal with being a Hulk, particularly about the necessity of Spandex. Jennifer has no interest in any of this and is eager to go back to life as a lawyer. Bruce runs a series of tests and they undergo a fun training montage around the area.

Bruce is surprised to find that Jennifer can control the Hulk instantly and without any of the struggles that he faced. As he continues to test Jennifer’s control, Jennifer makes the admission that women must control their anger much more than men do due to how they are expected to behave despite sexist microaggressions or harassment.

Jennifer’s speech is the emotional highlight of the episode, and it’s easy to understand why she isn’t eager to follow Bruce into the superhero business. The two get into a fight and part ways not long after, though Bruce tells her that he will be there to help her when she needs him.

“A Normal Amount of Rage” concludes by returning to the beginning, with Jennifer attending her trial. As she is about to make her closing argument, Titania (Jameela Jamil) attacks the courtroom. Jennifer reluctantly transforms to stop her and exposes her secret. Though much of this episode focused on Jennifer’s origin story and training with Bruce, the last moments provide a glimpse of how Jennifer will juggle both her career and superhuman abilities. Hopefully, the rest of the season will live up to the fun of the premiere.

Author: Jessica Wolff

Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.

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