The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 1 Review

Courtesy: Hulu

A show with a rather messed up premise expresses a great message on humanity.

So, once again my friends and I found ourselves looking for a show to watch. After making our way through Season 2 of The Path, we decided we would give The Handmaid’s Tale a shot. Frankly, I didn’t know what we were getting in to. I thought The Path was strange, twisted, and rather mind-blowing at some points. Well, I’m now renouncing those descriptions for The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Handmaid’s Tale 1990 Movie with Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Duvall

Courtesy: Hulu

The show is based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. I have not read it, but I may have to now. The show makes me believe the book is just as good. In a future, not so far from now, fertility rates drop for various reasons. A Christian super-group takes over after a civil war, and fertile women are rounded up and labeled “handmaids.” They’re basically used as breeding stock. See, I told you it’s messed up. The idea is that fertile women will serve society by bearing children to keep the population balanced, and the elite will continue their rule.

Okay. You’ve got the idea of what the show is about. What sold me on the show were the actresses, because I went into this knowing nothing. Since you’re reading this far, you at least have some indication as to what you’re getting into. Elisabeth Moss was amazing as Peggy in Mad Men. She was consistently one of my favorite characters in that show. Yvonne Strahovski has been a celebrity crush of mine since she played Sarah Walker in Chuck, and then made random appearances in Dexter and Louie. Those two played the starring role, and a key supporting role in The Handmaid’s Tale. I must say, their work in this series is superb. Moss made me feel so many emotions in her portrayal of Offred, a handmaid. Although, I was rarely upset with her. Yvonne’s character, Serena Joy, was vile, and it’s tough to hate her because of the roles she played previously. However, she is a vindictive, cruel, and heartless woman here. Yet, I still felt sympathy for her in some cases.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Courtesy: Esquire

Maybe this is simply the Hulu narrative? It was the same thing in The Path. I should not feel sympathy for the bad guys. However, there are points when I realized these characters were actually human in the show. I felt sorrow for one of the most evil characters in the show. How is that even possible? One of the Aunt’s (which is explained in the show) does something so vile that it should make me hate her forever. Despite that, on a number of occasions, I found myself feeling compassion for her humanity. She’s a controlling, sadistic human-being, yet I feel a deep human connection with her. It doesn’t make sense, yet makes complete sense all the same. I hate feelings.

Check out Margaret Atwood’s graphic novel Angel Catbird

In essence, that’s what I loved about this show the most. There is a range of emotions. It’s dark throughout the show, there’s no doubt about that. There’s betrayal, lust, and humor, as well, which seems to be all of the things this new regime truly despises (if it doesn’t benefit those in power, that is). There’s also love, hope, and true desire to live, which encompasses the true human spirit. It’s a roller coaster, which to me creates one heck of a show.

Final Score 8.5/10

If you have Hulu I truly suggest watching this if you can handle the dark content and truly psychotic idea that this could happen. It’s completely fiction, but is it based on a potential reality? Deep. Dark. It’s a tale.

+ Great character development

+ Super emotional throughout the show

+ Suspense made me truly fear for some of the characters

– Some episodes seem lacking and drawn out

– Left a little empty on the back story at the end of the season

 

Leave me a comment below.

Brunner 1.0 is a writer, audio and video editor, and social media coordinator for the Geekiverse. Thankfully he has friends that will allow him to watch shows with him.

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