The Handmaid’s Tale (TV Tuesday)

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6IRQQOLe8TeFg4ZBzwjqP3QEuEtYesterday, I reviewed the 1990 film, The Handmaid’s Tale, which at its best, introduced us to a very intriguing question revolving around society and how we treat women in a potential future world where fertility is dropping exponentially. At worst, it was 1990, and everything was light, innocent, and even maybe too focused on romance. I mean, have you even seen that movie poster? It looks like a romance novel. Anyways, this TV show was much more the speed of what I was looking forward to. It’s 2017 now, and no one is afraid of being too blunt or dark anymore – which is what this story should contain. So, I’ll borrow my plot outline from my review yesterday, since it is the same story.

The Handmaid’s Tale is ultimately about the fertile women left in the world…which isn’t many. Throughout the years, sexually active women went from relationship to relationship, causing their fertility to slowly die out. Only a handful of women still has the ability to reproduce, which causes the nation to take the future of the human race into their own hands. The government falls apart and what they have left is a systematic process of forcing fertile women to become pregnant…whether they like it or not. We’re not talking about in vitro here. These people hate everything unnatural, as that was “part of the problem” in the first place, so we’re talking about rape while they attempt to say it’s the lord’s purpose for them, and what they are doing isn’t a sin, but god’s work.

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I watched the movie first before watching the show, which was probably a good call, because the general consensus is to save the best for last, and the Hulu series is most definitely “the best”. As I said before, it is now 2017, and no one really feels the urge to censor everything anymore. The writers of this TV show knew exactly how to make this show feel the way it should – and how should it feel? Modern, relevant, dark and disturbing. While a bunch of other adjectives could probably work as well, I think those four are probably the most prominent for The Handmaid’s Tale. 

While this show holds the same story intact, it decided to take some creative liberties as well. Most obvious is the constant flashbacks to modern day. The flashbacks go through how society crumbles and what that means for everyone, but most importantly, women. I’m sorry to the folks that like ignorance and bliss, but this rings true for a lot of topics going on right now for the downfall of some basic women’s rights under the Trump administration. Imagine if we really had a major problem with fertility and someone told Trump to watch this show that basically gives men the opportunity to be legal serial rapists in order to further the population of this “great” country. Trump would try to make it sound like it was his idea. Not only that, but in the show, the congress was attacked and people outside of the government took over. You know, like radical Trump supporters that he still hasn’t spoken against? Yes, the show is way over the top, but politically speaking, it is believable…well, as believable as The Hunger Games is when it comes to the push for edgier media as media becomes more important in people’s lives.

It’s a clear commentary on the direction society is headed, and the mere idea that something like this could happen should absolutely be dark and disturbing. Hearing a concept like this, you almost immediately think of it as a thought-provoking psychological thriller…and that’s how the TV series operates as. The whole show has an eery, dark tone that follows the girls wherever they go. The more you wish them well, the more ridiculous the turmoil they go through, and a lot of that has to do with hardcore religious belief. You can just see it in these people’s heads that they don’t necessarily like what they are doing, but they used desperation and religion to try to fool themselves to the point that they’re actually doing something good, something helpful.

It’s definitely a pretty good show that took a while to perfect and write. This isn’t episodic as everything is pertinent to the rest of the story. I do know what’ll happen next, based off of the film, but you never know how many liberties a show will take, and I’m ready to see where this show goes, as it is not done airing yet. So far, I’d consider this show one of Hulu’s best shows, and they’ve had some decent ones, like 11.22.63. The next Hulu show I’m really gearing up for is the only Marvel comic series that I read religiously – Runaways. I’m insanely ready to see that one, but that’s not the point. The point is, this is a very intriguing show that you should take the time to watch!

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