Recently-concluded Disney Plus series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law broke new ground for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a number of ways, even if many of them ended up incurring the wrath of the online trolls the creative team was fully prepared for.
Jennifer Walters became the first marquee character to break the fourth wall and speak directly to the camera and audience at home, which reached insane levels during the finale when she busted out of her own show, headed to Marvel Studios headquarters, and called out the franchise for its formulaic finales.
A lot of salient points were made when Tatiana Maslany’s title hero confronted K.E.V.I.N., with one of the most notable being a gag revolving around the MCU’s distinct lack of sex-positivity. Sure, plenty of hubbub was made around Eternals featuring a love scene, but it was about as dry and jagged as the terrain Ikaris and Sersei got jiggy on.
Speaking to The Wrap, Maslany revealed that making fun of the MCU’s favored tropes and trappings wasn’t the biggest concern of the top brass, but the “gleeful horniness” that permeated She-Hulk throughout all nine episodes.
“I love it. I mean, Jessica Gao and I and Ginger [Gonzaga], we all talk about how horny this show is. That’s like what we love the most about it, it’s kind of got a gleeful horniness. You know, which just doesn’t feel like a sort of reverent superhero thing. And it really, it’s like, I don’t know. It’s like, giddy, it’s feminine, it’s about desire. It’s about whatever!”
Director Kat Coiro expanded on her leading lady’s comments, admitting Marvel wasn’t exactly 100 percent in agreement with the more salacious aspects of the story.
“It was definitely a part of our conversations, because you can’t make a story about a woman in her 30s navigating modern life and not address sex. And I do think that the media is strangely more prude when it comes to the female point of view in regards to sex. And, you know, we’ve got Iron Man doing a lot of things, but then there were all these conversations and there was a lot more fear around her sex life than there was about making fun of Marvel. But we just kept saying, this is her story, and this is her truth, and we’ll handle it in a way that’s light.
I never wanted to go too far with the sex, but I also don’t want sex to be taboo, even for young people. And so it was always finding that balance. And I think the tongue-in-cheek element is really important. Like, when Jen and Daredevil [get together], I like ending it on that little pan over their costumes. That was kind of an homage to the 2000s rom-com tropes, but also with something totally new because it was batons and helmets, instead of clothing. And it is, it’s very suggestive, but it’s also, you know, accessible for all ages, which I like.”
Kevin Feige may have drawn the line at a robot inspired by his very existence wearing a baseball cap, but the company’s chief creative officer was evidently on board with She-Hulk ratcheting up the levels of onscreen titillation, double entendres, and lustful encounters to previously-unseen heights.