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Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.
He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:
Here’s a convoluted story. In the early 2000s, I joined a shared beach house in Dewey Beach, DE. This is where a bunch of 30-40 year olds rent out a space in a huge beach home. You get a bed to sleep in a room with others, all of whom are horny people approaching the years when they should get married. It’s a mess. Anyway, there was this tall guy in the house that everyone noted looked like Frankenstein’s monster, though of course they all referred to him as Frankenstein. Eventually, he found out. He had a good sense of humor about it, so everyone was fake-consoling him. I came up to him and said, “No, no, you don’t look like Frankenstein . . . . You look like Frankenstein’s monster.” After taking a bow, I said, “I’ll be hear all summer.” He was a good guy. I hope he’s doing well.
I don’t know how, but instead of an annoyed adult, he came across as a curious child. Wearing headphones, I guess. The idea that Dr. Frankenstein could have done this to a child is a horrifying thought. So I did okay, right? Right?
Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.
I enjoyed She-Hulk immensely. As with every series that came before it, it did a few things that the previous series didn’t and carried with it its own tone. In this case, one of those somethings was breaking the fourth wall. I’m not a comic book reader, but I know that breaking the fourth wall is big in both Deadpool and She-Hulk, so doing so in She-Hulk is being faithful to the comic and not a cheap rip-off of Deadpool. In fact, she did it first. I get all that and have no (more of a) problem with She-Hulk doing it as I do Deadpool doing it. That’s to say that I think it’s overdone but doesn’t ruin either character, TV show, or movie for me.
Once again, spoiler alert!
That said, the final episode of She-Hulk overdid it. Once you get past the marvelous opening, it was ridiculous. The fourth wall breaking was too much. Consider when in Me, Myself, & Irene, Irene asks Hank, “Did you just refer to yourself in the fourth person?”
As you know, there is no fourth person in English grammar. Her point was to say that Hank’s use of grammar to describe a weird situation involving multiple personalities (as Hollywood defines them) was outrageous. In a metaphorical sense, Hank’s grammar was so bizarre that it would transcend known dimensions beyond what we could sense. She used a funny, shorthanded way of saying that and then moved along because all jokes get old eventually. If they linger too much, they quickly become cheap gimmicks that distract from the actual story. This is especially true where the specific way they presented it is screwed up. For example, I didn’t find “KEVIN” either funny or clever (though I did like the line, “Everyone signs the NDA”). I didn’t like the fact that she was supposedly outside of TV land, yet everyone treated her existence as normal or expected. Is she outside the fourth wall or not? That can work with the Monkees, but not with a huge, green superhero that can’t exist in the real world.
Moreover, when Jennifer Walters returned to TV land, she didn’t really get what she asked for. Sure, she got the ending she wanted, but that doesn’t address all her complaints. She was focused on how she wanted the story leading to the ending to play out. She didn’t merely want to win. How she won mattered. She wanted to be the hero, not Bruce. She wanted Abomination to learn a lesson rather than relapse. All we got from that new story was the conclusion with no showing of how exactly it played out to reach that conclusion.
The same could be said about the (ante?)penultimate scene. I don’t want to go all lawyer on you (<– lie), but why did the prosecution drop the charges against Jennifer Walters? The fact that they goaded her, even criminally, doesn’t relieve her of responsibility for her actions (i.e., she can’t justify putting all those people in harm’s way and destroying property as “self-defense” from an invasion of privacy that’s already resolved). Importantly, the script pointed that out! When her coworkers came to visit her in prison, Jennifer defended her actions, and then the attorney continued Jennifer’s story, adding additional facts that pointed out that Jennifer was still culpable. The attorney didn’t have to say that. She could have kept her mouth shut, and everyone would have assumed that Jennifer’s rant had legal merit. All the lawyers watching would have said, “Oh, yeah, drama wins out over law. Got it. We can move forward without complaints.” Instead, they made Jennifer’s culpability the fundamental basis of the episode starting with what was said in the previous episode, but they just abandoned it without explanation. Seriously, WTF? It would be as if She-Hulk were purple in the final scene, and no one seemed to notice or care. Well, I’d notice, and I’d care, and I’d write a post about it.
Wait a second. Purple Hulk is a thing? Okay then, imagine she was orange.
So, this isn’t a matter of me refusing to suspend disbelief in the law or science. If they say, “gamma radiation turns people into hulks,” “everyone’s entitled to one phone call upon arrest,” “vampires exist,” or, “Me, Myself & Irene is a treatise on multiple personality disorder,” I’m 100% on board, but they must stick with those premises. Otherwise, the show becomes an inconsistent and unsatisfying mess. Granted, some issues are trivial things on their own, but combined with everything else, you get a stupid episode without true resolution. The writers were just daring me to find things to dislike about it and left a bunch of things in there for me to find. (Do they think that’s what’s meant by “Easter eggs”?) Also, the structure for the episode can be summed up like this: “Once upon a time — here’s something that didn’t happen — they lived happily ever after. The end.”
So, I didn’t like the ending, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to miss it just because it ended poorly. It was a solid season introducing a fun character that should appear in the movies. Besides, you may not have a problem with the finale. Reasonable minds and all that.
You’re probably better off watching it — warts and all — than not.