The Advantage TV Has Over Films, According To She-Hulk's Jessica Gao

Let's be honest. Every single new Marvel movie or Disney+ series these days comes with endless amounts of PR spin about how "different" and "unique" it is from all the rest — and almost every time, that simply doesn't end up being the case. It's true that "She-Hulk: Attorney At Law" stands a better chance of actually living up to such lofty goals, in no small part due to the character's rich source material, and, of course, star Tatiana Maslany's endlessly watchable charisma. Right from the start, Marvel president Kevin Feige has touted this new series as a "half-hour legal comedy" that would be able to explore new territory that the movies simply can't.

Series creator and writer Jessica Gao clearly agrees, which is what helped draw her to this project in the first place. Despite some missteps in the premiere episode, "She-Hulk" shows plenty of promise as a very different kind of adventure set in the confines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Where Jennifer Walters' more famous cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) has embarked on missions where the fate of the universe itself was at risk, the main drama at the heart of "She-Hulk" revolves around how Jennifer will be able to continue her legal career without interruption.

To Gao, what truly sets this show apart comes from the fact that, well, it's a show as opposed to a movie. As simple as that sounds, she has a pretty good point!

Slice of life

Much has been made of the specific aspects that differentiate "She-Hulk" from prior entries in the MCU: those fourth wall-breaking moments, the family dynamic between Jen and Bruce, and, naturally, the horniness. But have we been missing the forest for the trees? Perhaps the greatest weapon the show has in its arsenal comes from just how much more time we'll be able to spend with its main character on a week-to-week basis than we would've otherwise.

That's the point that Jessica Gao makes in a recent podcast appearance with Deadline. While alluding to the surprising raunchiness of the series, Gao explains how the very medium itself allowed the creative team the freedom to depict more everyday events in Jennifer's life, from focusing on her profession to dating and everything in between.

"The beauty of television is we have the time and the space to spend time with the character. She's not bogged down and laser-focused on saving the universe for two hours. She actually is just going about her day. That means you really get to see all the different elements that a regular person would have. Dating, sex, all of that is a part of a person's life. That's not the only thing the show is about, but it is one of many things when you talk about slice of life."

Of course, merely having all that time and space to flesh out a character is only half the battle. Taking the next step and actually filling in those gaps with genuine character-building moments and a worthwhile story is another discussion entirely.

We'll find out in the following weeks if the writers behind "She-Hulk" were able to do that exact thing. New episodes stream on Disney+ every Thursday.