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The Handmaid's Tale (1 Viewer)

Josh Dial

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Adapted from arguably one of Canada's most famous novels, the series premiere for The Handmaid's Tale premiered this past week with the first three episodes (ironically the premiere in Canada was delayed).

It's hard for me to critique a show based off of one of my country's most beloved works of art, but I found the first three episodes to be utterly fascinating. Terrific performances from leads Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski, with great support from Alexis Bledel and Ann Dowd.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.
 

joshEH

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This show is fucking scary. That third episode is particularly tough to watch.

- The "trial," which lasts a minute.

- The matter-of-fact way that Martha was dragged out of the car and hanged.

- The post-surgery scene.

- But I think what was most heartbreaking was Ofglen trying to escape by seducing a guard. It was crushing.

One of the things I'm interested in seeing is how critics decide to talk about this show. It's easy to refer to these characters as their handmaid-names (Offred, Ofwarren, etc.), and in the book, you never learn Offred's real name. But you learn all those characters' real names over the course of the show, and it's clear that the handmaid names are the names of slaves, or of ownership. So I'm interested in seeing the debate about how to refer to these characters.
 
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mattCR

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Wow, Josh, that's a pretty deep thought on how we refer to characters. I hadn't considered that.

This show really drew me in, and I do like that Hulu does it week by week to give you something to talk about and anticipate. Moss is fantastic in this.
 

DaveHof3

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There is a message being sent by this series and by the book that inspired it, and it is a message that I find both inaccurate and offensive. At a time when a series like "13 Reasons Why" generates so much controversy for its treatment of suicide, I am deeply saddened by the lack of discussion over what 'The Handmaid's Tale' is really saying. Of course such a discussion would not be allowed in this particular forum, so I'll let it go at that.
 

Josh Dial

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Moss is fantastic in this.

Agreed. I especially like her internal monologue delivery.

Yvonne Strahovski is chilling--especially compared to her role on Chuck.

Great music so far, too; not quite as inventive as on Legion or The Leftovers or Westworld, but still very good.
 

mattCR

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Yeah, the music is quite good; this is going to be a show that gets a lot of social heat and I think gets into the public mindset, hopefully in a way that is both challenging and effective. Seeing Atwood's novel realized is I think pretty effective. Watching the protests using this meme is probably a sign of how wide spread and internalized this book and series have become, and certainly make for a great pitch to Hulu.
 

GlennF

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Enjoying it very much so far.
Did anyone else notice what I think was a quick, blurry shot of Margaret Atwood in episode 1 (when the girls were in the circle and E Moss was hit - I'd recognize that grey, curly Atwood perm anywhere.)
I was kind of surprised to read today that they have greenlit a season 2. That means, unlike the book, it will not have a definite end. That kind of takes a little of the momentum out of the whole thing for me, but I will definitely keep watching.
 

joshEH

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^ Yup, that was Atwood in a cameo -- she confirmed this in a NYT interview-piece last week (I think it was).

I think the gorgeous cinematography makes the show (and the horrors it shows) relatively palatable. Or in some ways, the cinematography one would associate with a Masterpiece Theater production only heightens the horror by making it look so clinical and banal (in the best way possible). In any case, it was absolutely the correct choice for this kind of series.
 

joshEH

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Renewed for a second season:

http://www.variety.com/2017/tv/news/the-handmaids-tale-renewed-season-2-hulu-1202407505/

The plan is for it to be an ongoing series. Maybe ultimately what might happen is that they fill in the blanks between the end of Offred's story and the final chapter by showing what actually transpired between the two. Atwood's definitely involved in a consulting producer-capaciiy, so maybe they'll use what she suggests as at least an outline or framework for future seasons.
 

Hanson

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The show is absolutely chilling and terrifying because it feels like the country is just a hairsbreadth away from sliding into the abyss. When the coffee shop clerk called Moss and Wiley "a couple of sluts" so openly and without any fear of reprisal, I was shaken by the realization that is more or less happening right now. The hatred of science and learning and the justification of tyranny through religion -- that's right now. I almost can't bear to watch the show not just because it's depressing, but because it's so fucking close. The fictional dystopia they're living in is nipping at my actual heels, and the effect is gut wrenching.
 
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GlennF

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Part three sure gave me a chill. Moss is amazing - especially since so much is done through small looks and her eyes due to the situation she is in.
They have been talking about this up here in Toronto on the radio and television. One commentator mentioned that everything that happens to people in the book is based on things that are happening somewhere in the world today or in the past. Atwood didn't make anything up except for the actual plot. Certainly makes you think.
 

DaveHof3

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Hanson - I don't know what country you're living in, but it sounds nothing like this one.
 

DaveHof3

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Unfortunately there is no way to continue this conversation in this forum, but I stand by my response.
 

mattCR

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Having watched state houses for the last few years, I sometimes think we don't realize exactly how terrifying and close we are to this in the way we treat people. But, on the non-political front, this series is really killing it with the way the characters are fleshed out. Moss is fantastic in this role, and holds it up very, very well.
 

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