The Handmaid’s Tale: The Show to Watch

The Handmaid's Tale: The Show to Watch

Based on a Margaret Atwood novel from 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale is an adaption by Hulu. In the UK, you can catch up on episodes with 4OD online, and catch upcoming episodes of the show every Sunday night on Channel 4.

Atwood herself stars in the show. Her cameo is only brief, but Atwood fans will be delighted by her appearance (hint, she’s in the Red Centre….). The plot of the show centres around Offred, A Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Gilead is not dissimilar to our world, and the social commentary found in the novel (and show) are poignant even today. Spoilers ahead…

We find Offred after the change. When society clamped down on women’s rights and placed religion before all else, things got hard for women. They were fired from their jobs, had their incomes moved into their husband’s accounts, and that was just the beginning…

Soon, the women of Gilead are hoarded for their ability to procreate. Their children are taken from them, and their husbands either killed or repurposed to “The Colonies”, where they are to clean toxic waste until they die from┬ádisease.

Women like Offred are turned into “Handmaidens”, who must produce children for the Commanders and their wives. In a bid to break the women, they are placed in “red centres” in order to break their spirit and teach them how to become a true handmaiden. Here they are also taught how rape is “their fault” and that they are there for a reason. Their bodies are no longer their own.

In a reaction to a bill passed in Texas recently, women dressed up as Handmaidens from the famous novel in order to show their disdain. What is this bill about, you say? To prevent women from obtaining abortions, even in cases of rape. Who put forward this bill, you ask? Rich white men.

It’s really hard to make a distinction between issues such as this, and the issues we see on Women’s Rights in The Handmaiden’s Tale.

Playing Offred in this adaptation is Elizabeth Moss, famous for her roles in Mad Men and Girl, Interrupted. Joining her on set is the amazing Alexis Bledel, known for her famous role as Rory Gilmore in The Gilmore Girls, and Samira Wiley from Orange is the New Black fame. The two women are also plagued by the changes to Gilead, facing horror as LGBTQ+ women.

If you’re already a fan of the show, you’ll be pleased to learn that it has already been granted a second season by Hulu, and by the looks of things, the world of Gilead is set for some more hard times…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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