Hello, my name is Sarah and I’m an alco… Wait… Wrong meeting, sorry.
Hello, my name is Sarah and I am a giant nerd. Especially when it comes to the urban fantasy and post-apocalyptic genres. I’ve been so excited to watch and review The Handmaid’s Tale but, as I’ve mentioned before, I always like to wait for the first 3-4 episodes to go by before I really assign an opinion to a TV show. So, let’s do this. Let’s talk about this new Hulu original!
The premise, in case you’re not aware, is that at some point in the not at all distant future, a crazy conservative religious faction manages to overthrow the US government and plunges the whole country into puritan times with a little twist (think 1984 meets The Scarlett Letter). There is a strict code of law enforced, women are property and no one is allowed to be gay, but they DO get to keep cars and machine guns, so that sort of balances the scales for all those poor white, straight men that are always so persecuted in today’s society.
Infertility plagues most women and, even those that can conceive are usually not able to produce a healthy child. The ones that can conceive are forced to become handmaids, which means are assigned to a married couple for whom they conceive a child (in as completely demeaning a way as possible for all parties involved). Once the child is weaned, the handmaid is reassigned to another family.
I was hooked on the premise immediately. The timeframe of the change in the country strikes me as awfully quick and fairly unreasonable, but I suppose it’s necessary to the storyline as a whole.
The main character is meant to be a modern woman of childbearing age that had been a free American at one point in time, so it’s easy to understand the quick progression of events. I also believe it’s stupid to expect everything in post-apocalyptic fiction to be completely reasonable.
The acting is pretty stellar with Elizabeth Moss lending her immense talents in playing the strong, quiet, intelligent characters she is beginning to be known for (ie Peggy Olsen in Mad Men and Sophie in The One I Love) and of course the incomparable Joseph Fines as the Commander. Also, a happy shout out to Samira Wiley as Moira!
I was so sad to know she wouldn’t be on Orange is the New Black anymore, it was delightful to be her face and attitude clearly represented here.
So far so good with the story. It’s definitely enough to keep me interested for at least a season. It isn’t extremely fast paced, but there is a lot of story to cover and I’m looking forward to watching it all unfold. Though it’ll probably just get refolded and put away by a Martha. Don’t worry, you’ll get that joke when you watch the show. It still won’t be all that funny, but at least you’ll get it.