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She-Hulk represents Wong and party girl Madisynn in episode four, now streaming on Disney+ (Photo provided via @FandomCrunch).

TV Review: “She-Hulk” sees the glorious return of Wong

Yes, I know Wong appeared in the last episode, but that was in a small, supporting role. This week, he's given the time and spotlight he deserves.

Everyone loves Wong; he's a fan favorite, and "She-Hulk" purposefully plays to that in episode four, Is This Not Real Magic?. It starts with Jen breaking the fourth wall to tell us she knows this episode will get a pass on Twitter strictly because of Wong, and she's probably right. He can't save this episode entirely on his own, though. A lot of the jokes fell flat this week, but's still entertaining. It may not be as strong as the last couple of episodes, but there’s a few slam dunk jokes.

The extremely self-serious but silly to the core Sorcerer Supreme is Jen's client this week. He's looking to stop the faux magical Donny Blaze (Rhys Coiro), a man using a sling ring to portal people to different dimensions during his otherwise underwhelming magic shows. Meanwhile, Jen attempts to put herself out there on a dating app, to varying levels of success. 

As stated before, this episode isn't the best of the series we've gotten so far. I view the premiere episode as its own thing, an inevitability of MCU storytelling, mostly cookie-cutter and kinda boring to watch. It was the worst of the series so far. The three episodes after that have greatly established the series' tone and style. This week's episode is a weak link, but it's still better than the premiere,.

This episode still does a better job being entertaining than the entirety of multiple MCU shows before it, mainly "Moon Knight" and "Hawkeye". There's some really great stuff in here, such as exploring how performing magicians have been affected in a world where real magic exists. If anything, "She-Hulk" is just a fun series of diversions from the mainline MCU, shining a light on portions of the universe most wouldn't expect to see. Wong's "friend," Madisynn (Patty Guggenheim), another great idea from the writers, has led to some of the series' biggest laughs so far. Guggenheim nails this dumb, drunk, spoiler-spewing valley girl role, which could've easily come off as cringeworthy or cliche.

Another aspect of this week's episode is the dating app subplot, which is a bit more exciting in concept than practice. "A superhuman you can swipe right on? What a great idea," the writer's room most likely exclaimed. But the scenes didn’t bring anything new to the table that modern rom coms and teen dramas haven't already explored 10 times over. It's just not that interesting to see two people not really get along on a date several times through repeating vignettes. The only real highlight is a small segment that overly dramatizes the bill being put down after a bad date, but it doesn't lead to any real punchline. One thing that hilariously carries over is She-Hulk's perpetual horniness from the comics, which is somewhat unexpected because, you know, it's on a Disney streaming service.

Regardless, Wong steals the show in every scene. Like, come on, he's watching "The Sopranos" and "This is Us" in multiple scenes; that's just funny. This episode puts the WongCU stans first and I'm here for it. Finally, it seems like Marvel understands that you need to put Wong in everything, no exceptions.

In all seriousness, at least as serious as I can be about a show that previously featured its protagonist twerking with Megan Thee Stallion, "She-Hulk," is still worth checking out. Even in its rough spots, there's still a lot of fun to be had. The action also took a big step up in quality this week, making me much more hopeful that director Kat Coiro can provide some exciting action scenes when the series needs them. I'm just having a blast with the show, which just means it's mostly nailing what it's going for, even if there are a few speed bumps and some consistency issues that come along with it. A series doesn't have to be at its A-game 100% of the time to be massively enjoyable, and "She-Hulk" makes that point clear.

The biggest realization I've had while watching this show is that it's the first MCU project I've seen in a while that I truly enjoy. Others I feel like I'm watching to understand what's going on in other projects I'll care more about that come down the line. "She-Hulk" isn't one of the best shows I've seen or even one of the funniest, but it's good to have some junk food every once in a while (not that this show is junk). I'm excited to see what the MCU can do with this series now that it clearly isn't bound to the six-episode movie aesthetic of the rest of its companions.


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