She-Hulk: Episode 3 – ‘The People Vs Emil Blonsky’ REVIEW

The Marvel sitcom we’ve been waiting for.

she-hulk the people vs emil blonsky

The general conventions of a sitcom aren’t complicated: there’s a group of characters in a room dealing with a problem, and there are some jokes along the way. It’s a formula that has been around in many parts of the world since regular TV programming started booming in the 1940s. In the United States, because you need 8 minutes of ads every half-hour, these shows are generally 22 minutes long, have an A and B plot that intertwines, and tell one complete story.

Despite the relative simplicity of the concept, it’s something that MCU TV shows have either been uninterested in doing or struggled to execute. Sure there were a few episodes of WandaVision that were visually inspired by old sitcoms, but the unsettling currents that moved through those episodes turned them into something else. She-Hulk, and specifically this episode of She-Hulk, is the first time Marvel has tried to take the things they’ve created in the MCU and fit them into the traditional sitcom formula.

‘The People Vs Emil Blonsky’ picks up with Jen confronting Blonsky over the footage of him, as Abomination, at an underground cage fight against Wong (Benedict Wong). This complicates his upcoming parole hearing, but Jen’s paralegal and best friend, Ginger figures out from Wong’s internet presence that a picture of her with a pile of books will trick him into talking to them. As Jen works on that, her coworker (Josh Segarra) in the superhuman law division takes on a case involving a shape-shifting Asgardian light elf who catfished someone Jen used to work with by impersonating Megan Thee Stallion.

If all of this sounds ridiculous and chaotic, that’s because it is – but in the best possible way. It has a similar energy to sitcoms like Community or Parks And Recreation. The stream of ideas, jokes, and references is constant, and it could all devolve into something incomprehensible, but it never does.

There are a couple of examples of running jokes in ‘The People Vs Emil Blonsky’ that go right up to the line of becoming boring, but the show either finds a natural endpoint or abandons the joke for something more interesting. A good example of this is the way everyone in this episode says Megan Thee Stallion’s name so much that it starts to lose meaning until she shows up during the final minutes and the post-credit scene to cap the joke.

While I love this bit and the way that it pays off, the funniest parts of this episode might be the ways that it uses already established bits of MCU lore as a source of comedy. The confusion caused by the shape-shifting light elf is a great way to incorporate the breadth of the MCU in the funniest way possible. That bit has a great ending when the light elf’s “Asgard isn’t a place” defense (referencing this moment) is shut down by a judge who isn’t amused by her Thor references.

Other moments like Abomination holding a pair of crocs, Wong’s strategic use of portals, and a news anchor asking for She-Hulk’s fitness tips also take advantage of the natural comedy present in a world filled with superheroes. In the previous episode, I struggled with the way scenes worked to set up what will happen next in the MCU and how that took away from what is currently happening on the show.

What they are doing in ‘The People Vs Emil Blonsky’ is different. When they include something from another part of the MCU the priority is on how it enhances the comedy in that scene. Also, the jokes don’t depend solely on understanding the reference. It helps, but they are funny enough on their own.

I hope ‘The People Vs Emil Blonsky’ represents a shift for the rest of the season towards the more conventional sitcom format and how they play with what’s already in the MCU. They have so much material to work with, and so many great actors they can call on, that it’s kind of disappointing when that effort is directed towards just setting up the next thing. This was a good episode of TV that stands on its own, and I hope I can say the same about the next one.

READ MORE: She-Hulk: Attorney At Law: Episode 2 – ‘Superhuman Law’ REVIEW

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.

she-hulk the people vs emil blonsky
A chaotic and funny episode that uses the convention of traditional sitcoms to its advantage. I hope we get more episodes like this.