The Handmaid’s Tale just might be the most disturbing series I’ve ever seen. But it’s also tremendously timely, and painfully thought-provoking.
Produced by Hulu and based on the dystopian novel from 1985, the series tells the story of a totalitarian United States that subjugates women and renders them nothing more than breeding stock. It’s horrifying to watch, but the show’s impeccable attention to detail means you actually believe this unsettling reality could come to life. The show has already released three episodes, and each of them does an outstanding job of crafting a terrifying new world that’s packed with oppression and menace at every turn.
Of course the cinematography and set design are first-rate, but it’s Elisabeth Moss’ central performance that grounds the show. With her captivating facial nuances, Moss manage to convey so much pain and resilience with barely any dialogue. I doubt anyone can watch this show and not become completely immersed in her heartbreaking journey right from the beginning.
Bits & Handmaids
Note: Only read the following bits if you’ve watched all three episodes because I will spoil the coolest surprises.
– Immensely disturbing sight: Offred being raped by Commander Fred as his wife Serena holds her down. That’s the kind of visual you never ever forget.
– How creepy was the ritual with all the Handmaids brutally attacking the rapist? Gorgeous cinematography though.
– The scene with June and the rest of the ladies getting fired from work felt so darn realistic didn’t it?
– Ann Down is perfectly cast as the ruthless Aunt Lydia. She reminds me of Margo Martindale from The Americans (I’ve yet to watch past season one of that show).
– Why did Offred spit out the delicious macaron? A sign of defiance?
– Jawdropping moment: the madam sitting behind Janine who gives birth so she can pretend to be the one doing all the work. Oh..my…lord.
– It’s so heartwarming to see all the Handmaids unite and tower over Janine after she gives birth.
– I was literally on the edge of my seat during those flashbacks as June and Moira ran for their lives. It felt like a frickin’ terrorist attack.
– The single scariest scene I’ve seen all year: Ofglen watching on as her lover gets hanged and her van drives away. I was truly and utterly disturbed by this sequence.
– Alexis Bledel is outstanding as Ofglen. The third episode ends with her genital mutilation, and it’s so traumatizing.
– Will June ever get reunited with her daughter? What about her hubby?
– Serena becoming loving with Offred (after assuming she was pregnant) only to turn venomous and evil was some really stellar work by Yvonne Strahovski. Kudos!
– Seriously how beautiful does this show look? The landscapes, the Handmaid’s red cloaks etc… It’s all so visually eye-catching.
It’s not for everyone and it’s often very difficult to watch, but The Handmaid’s Tale is an important piece of television that should not be missed.