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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Top of the Lake season 2 trailer

In the Peak TV era, it would be completely understandable if Jane Campion’s New Zealand-set detective series Top of the Lake might have slipped through the cracks for some of you. But after hearing that the upcoming second season features returning star Elisabeth Moss and a new supporting cast that includes Game of ThronesGwendoline Christie and Big Little LiesNicole Kidman, I’m guessing you’ll want to catch up as soon as possible.

A trailer has just dropped – branded with a new name: Top of the Lake: China Girl – and this looks like fantastic television. Peak TV ain’t over yet. Watch the Top of the Lake season 2 trailer below.
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Chuck Liev Schreiber

I’ve seen all of the Rocky movies a handful of times, but I’ve somehow never thought to do any research into writer/star Sylvester Stallone’s inspiration for his underdog boxing story. Sly apparently wrote the script in three and a half days after watching an unknown fighter named Chuck Wepner beat the odds and miraculously go 15 rounds against one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali, and now IFC Films is telling Wepner’s story in a new biopic starring Liev Schreiber. Check out the Chuck trailer below.
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Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale

Although Hulu’s been in the original programming game for a few years now, they don’t seem to draw quite as much buzz as competitors like Amazon and Netflix. But they may have a chance to change that this spring, when The Handmaid’s Tale arrives on the streaming service.

Based on the classic novel by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale envisions a not-so-distant future in which the United States has been overthrown and refashioned as the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic dictatorship guided by “traditionalist values.” Moss is Offred, a “handmaid” given to a powerful government official (Joseph Fiennes) to bear his children. Watch the new The Handmaid’s Tale teaser below.  Read More »

The Free World trailer

Following a Sundance premiere back in January, Jason Lew‘s The Free World is now headed to theaters. Boyd Holbrook and Elisabeth Moss lead the downbeat romantic drama. He plays Mo, fresh out of prison after spending two decades locked away for a crime he didn’t commit. Nowadays he spends his days working at an animal shelter, which is where he meets Doris (Moss), the abused wife of a police officer.

She’s desperate for help and he’s helpless to turn her away, and the two strike up an intensely emotional bond that blossoms into a romance. Octavia Spencer and Sung Kang also star. Watch The Free World trailer below.  Read More »

Elisabeth Moss

Since AMC’s Mad Men came to a satisfying conclusion, actress Elisabeth Moss has continued to work with very promising and very talented directors. She was most recently seen in Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, an abrasive and dense piece of filmmaking, and before that she collaborated twice with writer/director Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up PhillipQueen of the Earth). Next, Moss will appear in Ruben Östlund‘s The Square. It’s the director’s follow-up to the fantastic Force Majeure, one of the best films of 2014 that was snubbed by the Academy Awards.

Learn more about The Square cast below.

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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 »

Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones

The first season of Jane Campion‘s Top of the Lake was a master class in tension and dread, a meticulously crafted mystery powered by pain and fury. Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss proved to be perfectly cast as the brittle detective at the heart of the action, trying to solve a puzzle in a hometown full of traumatic memories.

All of which means the second season has a pretty high bar to clear if it wants to live up to the first, let alone surpass it. But hiring Gwendoline Christie is probably a good first step. The Game of Thrones and Star Wars: The Force Awakens actress is set for a “major” role in the drama, and a bunch of new plot details have just been revealed to go along with that casting announcement.  Read More »

High-Rise trailer

Tom Hiddleston is one of the few Marvel stars sitting out this summer’s Captain America: Civil War, but he might have something even better up his sleeve. This spring brings the release of Ben Wheatley‘s High-Rise, in which he plays a doctor named Robert Laing who moves into a high-end apartment building. He’s seduced by the easy luxury of life in the tower, which seemingly has everything a young man could need.

But tension and unease are brewing between the classes, and a charismatic provocateur named Wilder (Luke Evans) is fanning the flames of revolution. Full-fledged chaos breaks out, and Laing finds himself swept up as well. Watch the latest High-Rise trailer after the jump.  Read More »

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Truth trailer

Prepare to relive very recent history with Truth, James Vanderbilt‘s drama about the “Rathergate” scandal. Robert Redford plays CBS News anchor Dan Rather, and Cate Blanchett his producer Mary Mapes. Toper Grace, Elisabeth Moss, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood, and Stacy Keach also star. Watch the Truth trailer after the jump. Read More »