The Handmaid's Tale Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: the first season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.)

There’s no denying that The Handmaid’s Tale is powerful. Its story of a distinctly American dystopia in which women’s rights are oppressed and their bodily autonomy is stolen by a totalitarian government is gripping and timely, with more real-world implications by the minute. But it is a TV show, and “powerful” can only take a series so far.

The Hulu show inevitably had to make some deviations from the Margaret Atwood novel upon which its based, transforming The Handmaid’s Tale from a dismal cautionary tale into a more conventional, hopeful sci-fi thriller. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it presents a whole new host of problems for the show to deal with in its confirmed second season.

Spoilers ahead for the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

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the handmaid's tale premiere

The first three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale are harrowing to watch. Not because they contain the systematic rape of women, nor is it the violent realization of misogyny and the patriarchy that is the dystopic Republic of Gilead. It’s because the story by Margaret Atwood — originally written in 1985 — is so alarmingly prescient and timely in its reflection of today’s political climate.

That’s right, we’re going political with this article. But The Handmaid’s Tale — with its depiction of a totalitarian theocracy that actively represses women and minorities’ rights — demands a political reading, especially after that fateful November 8, 2016 Election Day that pushed America one step closer to the terrifying not-too-distant future of The Handmaid’s Tale.

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Top Of The Lake

Elisabeth Moss is entering the brave new world of streaming television. The Mad Men and Top of the Lake actress is set to star in an adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale, which has already received a straight-to-series order at Hulu.  Read More »