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?

The Handmaid’s tale – Episode 1 – 3: The new normal

“Ordinary is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.” – Aunt Lydia

I have been watching this very slowly. It’s not a show that’s meant to be binged and I’m having a hard time recommending it to anyone to watch even though everyone should watch it.

Handmaid's Tale TV

If you haven’t heard of it, the Handmaid’s Tale is about a dystopian future not so far away from now. The government in the US has shut down and the religious right has taken over and relegated women to second class citizens. Women are divided into three categories, Martha’s are infertile women who do not qualify for the high status of Wives and so work in domestic roles. Handmaids – fertile women who are chosen to bear children for the elite classes and Aunts who are women assigned to indoctrinate the Handmaids with the beliefs of the new society and make them accept their fates. Do you see how that could be too close for comfort right now? They just made abortion a crime in the state I live in. The votes for the bill were almost all men.
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