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The Handmaid's Tale


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Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' Brilliantly Aligns Content and Context

 

If you’re looking for the cultural zeitgeist right now, you don’t need to look much further than Hulu’s astonishing original series, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ And the show’s arrival illustrates the kinetic magic when stunning content meets a unique point in time within which that content can so powerfully resonate.

 

For the uninitiated (and how have you missed it?), the show is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of a dystopian future in which women’s rights have been torn asunder in the service of ensuring procreation by the ruling class. With a mere four episodes released to the public, the TV series has gone from headline-generating reviews to internet memes to its own satire treatment on SNL, all with digital-like lightning speed. And it thus joins a rarefied tradition of instantaneous relevance almost impossible to reproduce (and please, no pun intended there).

 

‘Handmaid’ is not an “easy watch.” Mindy Kaling, star of Hulu’s ‘The Mindy Project, praised the show at the Hulu advertising Upfront, but couldn’t help but kid that “it is really f*ing depressing!” Yet the dark tone and the unforgettable imagery of political oppression will be forever inextricably linked to the rise of 21st century xenophobia, economic nationalism, and, most obviously, President Donald Trump. Although the subject matter’s source dates from the 1980s, and show’s development obviously pre-dated the Trump election, you can’t watch ‘Handmaid’ without feeling its eerie links to the atmospherics if not the reality of our present politics.

 

This show has been fucking me up for weeks. Hulu didn't release this entire series at once the way Netflix does, so I have to wait for new episodes every Wednesday. While I'd love to binge this series, I'm not sure I could stomach it. Every episode feels like a punch in the gut. It's absolutely BRUTAL watching these woman trapped in sexual slavery in a not-too-distant and not-too-unrealistic future.

 

At first I struggled with how these seemingly strong women could allow this to happen, but their story, told in snippets of flashbacks, slowly pieces it together for you.

 

This show will anger and disturb you. And if you're not a complete asshole, it will probably scare you on a really visceral level as well.

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Yeah, I see the book come into the store alot. At first glance I just thought it was some sort of victorian era romance stuff. It wasnt until the promos for this started airing I was totally off base. The show is great though. Very hard to watch, but really good.

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Yeah, I see the book come into the store alot. At first glance I just thought it was some sort of victorian era romance stuff. It wasnt until the promos for this started airing I was totally off base.

 

Same! I'd heard of the book in passing and at first, all I saw of the series were the women in this traditional garb. I assumed it was a period piece and I don't enjoy those much. It wasn't until I saw the poster I shared above that says "The Future is a Fucking Nightmare" that I went wait...what? I'm glad I gave it a shot even if each episode breaks my heart a little more!

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I'm looking forward to checking it out but I'll wait until the season finishes. I'm very intrigued to see if it's as hard-hitting as everyone is saying.

 

What you have to understand going in is it's not a traumatic sort of hard-hitting. It's not especially violent or vulgar or anything like that, it's not an in-your-face sort of fucked up. It's about how disgustingly normal and dull evil can be, there are moments of conflict but mostly it's about people who have lost everything they could ever dream of just dealing with the day to day boredom of their nightmarish new existence. It draws on basically every major human atrocity committed in the last couple centuries from slavery and later the Jim Crowe south, to Nazi germany, Iran after the Ayatollah took over, Communist China, Stalin's Russia, you name it. It's about people who have already lost trying to deal with their impotent horror at a world that does nothing but hurts them. It. Is. Unpleasant.

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Wow. I knew from the limited promo material I've seen that this was a dystopian future and would have a dark tone to it. However, after reading the posts in here I'm glad I haven't signed up for a free month of Hulu yet because it seems like I will need to be in certain headspace to get through this series. Same reason why I haven't watched "13 Reasons Why" yet. The cast looks great, and I'm glad to see Elizabeth Moss in a leading role after Mad Men. Also, according to IMDb the author of the novel is heavily involved in the series, so that's a good sign.

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so 1 ep in, and....geez

this show's more brutal than walking dead, without the satisfaction of knowing neegan will eventually get his

 

dunno how long ill stick with this before just bailing & telling myself peggy popped wolvy claws in the next ep & took out everybody

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I find it to be so. It seems...relevant. Though, I'm not gonna lie, I watched the first four in the middle of the night while feeding a newborn, so might be my hormones were a bit whacked.

 

 

 

What you have to understand going in is it's not a traumatic sort of hard-hitting. It's not especially violent or vulgar or anything like that, it's not an in-your-face sort of fucked up. It's about how disgustingly normal and dull evil can be, there are moments of conflict but mostly it's about people who have lost everything they could ever dream of just dealing with the day to day boredom of their nightmarish new existence. It draws on basically every major human atrocity committed in the last couple centuries from slavery and later the Jim Crowe south, to Nazi germany, Iran after the Ayatollah took over, Communist China, Stalin's Russia, you name it. It's about people who have already lost trying to deal with their impotent horror at a world that does nothing but hurts them. It. Is. Unpleasant.

 

Even more intrigued now. How many episodes before the season wraps?

Edited by alive she cried
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