the handmaid's tale first blood review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

This season of The Handmaid’s Tale has been an exercise in dangling hope in front of our eyes, only to wrench it away immediately. But in the explosive “First Blood,” that hope may finally stick around.

The sixth episode of season 2 finally turns the tide on the dour mood (even more than usual) that has overtaken the series for the past few episodes. But despite a riveting final few minutes, the rest of the episode stumbles through some lurid love triangles and a questionably sympathetic portrayal of Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) pre-Gilead.

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the handmaid's tale seeds review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

Misery porn isn’t a term that I like to throw around lightly, but man, does The Handmaid’s Tale make me want to. I’m running out of synonyms for “bleak” at this point. It’s no surprise that the show’s sophomore season doubled down on the Emmy-nominated first season’s brilliantly bleak reflection of society, but there comes a tipping point when the despair starts to feel hollow. “Seeds” is that tipping point.

The episode is an emotionally taxing jaunt into a world where all the women we’re rooting for are utterly broken and find that there is something lower than rock bottom.

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the handmaid's tale other women review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

Thus far this season of Handmaid’s Tale has been bigger in every way — in scope, in world-building, in characters, and in its capacity for torment. But “Other Women” pulls the series back drastically in all of those elements as June gets corralled back to her old life at the Commander’s house — except, of course, in the torment.

The fourth episode of season 2 is an odd duck. No longer is there the sharp fear of the unknown as June attempts to escape Gilead. Instead, we’ve returned to the dull ache of the season 1 status quo — familiar, but no less horrifying. The callbacks to earlier episodes are pervasive, as June goes through the motions of life as a Handmaid, but with a newfound insolence after her brief brush with freedom. This is the rebellious June that we were waiting to emerge for all of season 1, the one who lived up to her sarcastic musings. And “Other Women” spends its entire 54-minute runtime slowly wearing her down until she’s a shadow of the woman we first met.

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New Jordan Peele Movie

Jordan Peele just took to social media to announce his next horror movie: Us, billed as “a new nightmare.” And that’s not all: Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss and Winston Duke are in talks to star.

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(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

The Handmaid’s Tale can get bleak, but never has it been so devastatingly cruel as it was in “Baggage.” That’s because the third episode of season 2 offered a resource that is progressively rare in Hulu’s dystopian series: hope. The Handmaid’s Tale dangled hope in front of us and June (Elisabeth Moss), only to rudely snatch it away at the last minute — in a distressing, infuriating sequence that will burn in my memory for the remainder of the season.

“Baggage” is a potent, powerful episode that briskly moves June’s story along, though it stalls when it comes to other characters. That’s all for the better, as June finds herself at the biggest crossroads of her life since fleeing the Commander’s house.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

the handmaid's tale season 3

Praise be, The Handmaid’s Tale is coming back for another season. Hulu has greenlit The Handmaid’s Tale season 3, renewing the soul-crushing, Emmy-winning series just after the streaming service hit a whopping 20 million U.S. subscribers. Read More »

the seagull review

Put Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, and Corey Stoll in a room, and you’ve got yourself one of the most talented, charismatic rooms in Hollywood. It’s too bad that The SeagullMichael Mayer‘s plodding, histrionic adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play of the same name, puts that talent to waste.

Mayer and screenwriter Stephen Karam enthusiastically try to modernize an 1896 romantic drama that is steeped in the subtext and social environment of Chekov’s Russia. And while the camera swings with lively verve and the lush, picturesque setting lends a dreamy quality to the film, the many colorful characters are still stuck in a story that feels like it’s over 100 years old. At the end of the day, Bening and Ronan can only do so much, and The Seagull becomes a comedy of errors without the comedy.

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the handmaid’s tale review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

Praise be, The Handmaid’s Tale is back. Who’s ready for some soul-crushing entertainment?

The second season of the harrowing Hulu series returned yesterday with a two-episode premiere, “June,” and “Unwoman.” I’ll be recapping the events of both in my first weekly spoiler review of this season (though check out my spoiler-free review of season 2 as well). Season 2 is off to a strong start with the almost sadistically cruel season 2 premiere, featuring two of the strongest actresses on the show flexing their dramatic chops in a series of sadistic narrative twists.

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This is what creative freedom looks like. The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 has the heavy burden of striking out beyond Margaret Atwood’s book upon which it’s based — a book that, with its bleak open ending — didn’t provide much of a path for the Hulu series to follow. And it was unclear whether showrunner Bruce Miller would be capable of guiding the series beyond its Emmy-winning first season, even as the writers planted the seeds of revolution within Atwood’s familiar story beats.

But there’s no reason to be worried. The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 is a laser-focused improvement upon its stunning, if uneven, first season.

Below, read our spoiler-free The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 review.

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The latest The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 trailer is burning with rage, desperation, and unease for the desperate characters in the harrowing Hulu dystopian series. And also literal fire. Lots of fire.

But there’s one area where the latest Handmaid’s Tale trailer can lift your spirits: Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss) looks like she’s going to be fine. The season 1 finale left us uncertain as to what June’s fate was going to be, but this season 2 trailer gives us a glimpse at June’s escape from the Commander’s house and her taste of freedom.  Read More »