The Handmaid’s Tale Season 1: Stay awake everyone

It’s taken me a long time to be able to watch the entire season. So I think I will say to you what I said the first time I recapped it. Watch it and go slow. No spoilers starting now.

Handmaid's Tale TV

There’s been a lot of talk about how close we are to it in real life, the stripping of female rights, that gaping chasm between rich and poor, the push back to a more conservative, Christian society by a large segment of people. We’re not quite there yet but we’re getting there. The amazing Ann Dowd who plays Aunt Lydia calls it a message to ‘Stay awake’.

The season is largely flawless, it dips slightly when we enter the men’s perspective of Nick and Luke but it’s absolutely necessary for a few reasons. One, it gives us a break from the claustrophobic headspace of June and that house and two, I think people are mistaken when they think of the Handmaid’s Tale as a book for feminists. It’s a book for everyone to think about the consequences of moving into a society like this one.

The acting by everyone is phenomenal, there’s not a weak one in the entire show (particularly Janine kills me, you may dislike her at first but gradually her performance resembles a puppy that’s been constantly kicked. It’s the most heartbreaking transformation.) What gets me the most is the lack of vanity in the acting. It’s harsh lighting, extreme close-ups and an ability to carry an entire character in your face. Elisabeth Moss has said she loves to act because it’s fun. I don’t know that any of this was fun for anyone, challenging and rewarding but not fun. Possibly they needed strong drinks afterwards.

I am cautiously excited for Season 2, but I admit to being hesitant about it. While I’m thrilled that this is going ahead and we continue with the journey of June, it’s also a bit like punishment, I don’t want to see her get further hurt. In fact, it’s best for my peace-of-mind if none of our characters take any more trials but then there’s no show right? The show isn’t going to promise a happy ending for June, Luke or anybody. It might be too hard to watch. It’s the Game of Thrones dilemma.

What did you think? Did you love it?


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