When the story is set to fall into the same trappings that many MCU projects do, the writers end up flipping the whole series on its head as Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters breaks through the fourth wall. She doesn't just make a quip—no, she breaks out of the Disney+ app, into the production offices, and even talks with She-Hulk's actual writers.
Somehow the narrative takes it even further, with Jen going through the Marvel Offices to talk with K.E.V.I.N., the robot making all the important decisions for the future of the MCU.
Needless to say, it's a lot, but it's also extremely creative and fresh. However, it seems that the unique direction wasn't always so clear, and the writers themselves had trouble getting it to where it ended up.
The Difficulty of She-Hulk's Finale
In the most recent episode of Marvel Studios: Assembled, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law's head writer Jessica Gao commented on how hard it was to get the show's finale right.
Gao noted that the team "really, really struggled with the finale," as they kept making it one's standard Marvel Studios affair:
“We really, really struggled with the finale. We started off doing a lot of versions of the finale that were much more just like straight and very, very Marvel movie, you know, and it just never felt right for us to just end in, like, a big set piece fight and you know, and take out the bad guy and it just always felt like, ‘Oh, it’s a different show now.’"
She continued, noting that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige "was the first to kind of pinpoint" that something was off:
"... And Kevin [Feige] was the first to kind of pinpoint that. He was like, ‘This isn’t a Marvel movie. So why are you trying to make it end like a Marvel movie? That’s not what the show is.’ And it was just really, really wonderful and freeing for him to say that.”
While speaking with Marvel in a previous interview, Gao expressed how perfect she felt it was for Jennifer Walters to "go and complain [about the show] to the ultimate lord of Marvel:"
“It felt natural that not only that she was in a show, but that she would have opinions about the show, especially since she just was completely betrayed by the makers of this show. It just felt right that she would go and complain to the ultimate lord of Marvel, which is K.E.V.I.N..”
The writer made it clear that "[they've] been very upfront and honest about what kind of show" Tatiana Maslany's debut was, and that what they came up with simply "[felt] right:":
“This feels right for this show. This is not the right ending for every show, but this is the right ending for this show. We could not have been more clear about what this show is. From day one, we’ve been very upfront and honest about what kind of show this is, what the expectations for the show will be. And for some reason, people love to not believe that…even though we’ve been telling them for months now that this is what the show is going to be.”
Not Just Any Marvel Studios Project
While it may not have been readily apparent as Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner helped teach Jen how to be a Hulk, in subsequent episodes, She-Hulk did take big strides to make its own unique mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For one, the show's half-hour legal comedy structure was unique, as were its exaggerated satirical elements. However, it could be argued that WandaVision worked those into the MCU first.
But was it worth it?
Probably, yes. Sure, it may have been polarizing for some, but it will always be remembered for the new direction it went in. It may have faltered at times, but the series did eventually find its stride.
The real question is, will the show see a second season? The structure of the project is perfect for continuation, so hopefully, Marvel Studios sees the potential in telling more of Jen's story.
Season 1 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is now streaming on Disney+.