blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) s01e04 – Is This Not Real Magic?

This episode down-shifts the action a little, leveraging returning guest star Benedict Wong—who star Tatiana Maslany frequently breaks the fourth wall to comment on appearing—without moving any of the subplots forward. Other than Mark Linn-Baker’s too understated sitcom dad in the real world bit. He shows up for a scene to Wrecking Crew-proof Maslany’s apartment after the attempted assault last episode. No straight-to-the-heart and twist zingers for the incel bros this episode, but Maslany does get in a fun “what’s Twitter complaining about?” comment in.

Is that Earth-616 Twitter, Earth-199999 Twitter, or our Earth Twitter? I really want to know the rules behind references in the MCU; I hope we find out all the twists, turns, and hurdles someday.

A bad (as in, bad at his job) stage magician named Donny Blaze (unclear if he’s Johnny’s brother) has been using actual magic to add some oomph to his shows. He starts teleporting random audience members, usually women in short skirts, into other dimensions. One, played by Patty Guggenheim, fights her way through a demon dimension while making bargains and having adventures, escaping to Wong’s living room just in time to spoil “Sopranos” for him.

Rhys Coiro (director Kat Coiro’s husband) plays Blaze. He’s a complete dipshit, which is one of those strange casting choices. Leon Lamar plays his enabling sidekick. They’re both fine but somewhat lackluster compared to Wong and Guggenheim. Guggenheim’s hilarious as a party girl with a heart of gold; she ought to get a spin-off. They should at least do a special about her fighting her way through Hell, Vormir, or wherever.

Wong does a lot with a little; he’s mostly reacting to Guggenheim being fabulous and Rhys Coiro being scummy.

The subplot has Maslany reluctantly starting to date in her big green persona, which proves to attract a different caliber of Tinder match. Michel Curiel plays her dreamiest match. They have a wild night out.

“She-Hulk” is on entirely solid ground now, but—even more than “Ms. Marvel”—it feels like they’re making a TV show here, meaning a second season should be in order, especially if the MCU movie guest stars are going to do two-episode arcs. At the same time, the guest stars—even the tangential ones—are distracting from the regular law firm cast. Ginger Gonzaga’s the only one to show up here, again entirely support for Maslany, with no one else making the cut.

It’d just be such a perfect way to comment on the overall MCU (Wong makes a good Spider-Man: No Way Home reference at one point).

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