The Handmaid's Tale Thread: I thought someone had punched me in the stomach, but then it was just a tv show?


#1

Spoilers allowed, and probably a given due to the book being published 25 years ago.

I mean holy shit what a show. It’s not often that something so jawdroppingly beautiful can be so jawdroppingly horrific. This show punches hard.

Three episodes so far, what do you think?


#2

For the first two episodes I thought I was ok. But then I watched the third episode and realized that I wasn’t ok at all.


#3

Harlots and Handmaid’s tale are two of my favorite shows right now and they’re both on Hulu


#4

I lost some remaining part of innocense already in the first episode, everything was just so harsh and normalized. I haven’t read the book, but I understand that this is an important point there as well.


#5

The normalization aspect was so surreal! I found it relatively easy to go along with it at first, but then all of those flashbacks, the interrogation, and the van scene in the third episode just ruined me.


#6

I haven’t watched the show, and I don’t think I will because of how brutal the book was. Its one of only a few fictional book I’ve ever not finished because of emotional distress.

From the previews I’ve seen, it looks like they’ve done a great job with it.


#7

“So typical, I was gonna do some shopping, but there was no time because of that patriarchal pastime - the institutional nationwide ceremonial rape. Oh well, shopping tomorrow, I guess.”


#8

I mostly like the show but actually think it would benefit from running at a usual 42-3 mins instead of the 50+ it is running for, there’s been at least one very long slow-mo heavy scene in each episode which has made me want to fast forward, and the music selection seems really bizarre and jarring and has taken me out at least 3 times.

Looking forward to seeing where it goes, if it doesn’t end with her murdering everyone in that house I’m going to be pissed


#9

i think the show (and most other shows made by/for streaming services) could really be improved by A GOOD EDITOR like fuck most if not all of the shots are like, 3-5 seconds too long, you could cut a good 15 minutes off every episode and it would be so much cleaner and more precise. everything feels so stretched out and not in a good, aching way but in a “i am waiting for the next scene to happen” way. i like a lot of the show, the aesthetic is great, the changes from the book are great but fuck get an editor


#10

Well fancy seeing you here


#11

Welp. Only now do I realise the hot take tweets I’ve seen about this are entirely unrelated to The Handmaiden, a film about a handmaiden in Korea under colonial Japanese rule.


#12

I did the same thing, until I tried googling why Elizabeth Moss was in a Park Chan Wook movie.


#13

Each episode is more horrifying than the last. This is a show that I would recommend to people, but it’s one of those ones where I’m not sure how to describe the quality. Words like good and entertaining seem very inappropriate. Even something like riveting doesn’t sound right.


#14

While not quite as hard-hitting as the initial batch, I really enjoyed (?) this latest episode. I found that doctor’s office scene especially discomforting. (It was beautifully shot though!)


#15

Just watched episode 5. And I have a prediction about where the show’s going to go.

I’ve actually had thin in mind since I heard the book was being adapted, and I want it to happen. I didn’t think there’s much chance though, until I saw that the show’s already been renewed for a 2nd season.

I think the show’s gonna explore “the resistance” in Handmaid’s Tale, like it’s gonna become a major plot point. If done right, it could be better than what little source material (because the book isn’t exactly long or anything). Not saying the source material is bad, or anything close to that. What I am saying is that…just that it’s not representative of how people would really act in this situation. Granted, maybe the average Canadian women in the 80’s wouldn’t have fought back in a violent or militaristic way. I’m only 20, I can’t speak for people back then, but I think most women (and people in general) now, would violently fight back against their oppressors, by any means necessary. I think it’s been so ingrained in our popular culture at this point, it’s a cultural meme now. Which isn’t to say that in the past people didn’t violently oppose their oppressors, only that when you’ve seen guerrilla uprisings in media all you’re life; you’re probably gonna learn a thing or two, for better and for worse.

I’m not saying I want Offred to become a Call of Duty protagonist. I’m saying that I want her to become militant, and I think that’s what the show is building up to, or at least it could go that way, and it would make sense given the trajectory the story is taking. I mean, Offred’s already got most if not all of the other Handmaid’s organized and operating in broad daylight. They eve have codes and signals and shit already.How dope would it be if Moira comes back, has joined “The Resistance”, see’s what Offred’s done with the other Handmaid’s; and smuggles them guns or something. And the season finale of season 2 is this 2-3 Part (episode) operation where the Handmaid’s fuck shit up in Boston; knowing Gilead’s soldiers will try everything before resorting to shooting back at the Handmaid’s (this has already been established by episode 5, in case it wasn’t already clear how high-priority they all are). Meanwhile, Moira’s Resistance cell enters Boston, and Gilead’s soldiers won’t know until they’re being mowed down from behind (it’s too late).

And the season 2 finale either ends with this unclear “fog of war” hovering over everyone (especially Offred), and it’s left unclear whether or not the operation was successful (season 3 cliffhanger). Or the season finale ends with a clear victory for the guerrilla’s, and Boston is liberated(still sets up for season 3; because let’s be honest, hulu is gonna milk this for all it’s worth. And if can be worth a LOT more if the new/original material is written well).

And if any of that ends up happening. at all. there NEEDS to be a call back to the quote from the book and episode 5; “Better never means better for everyone.” In the context of Offred either killing or ordering someone else to kill (or detaining I guess, no need to kill her, just prevent her from telling someone and ruining the plan) taht one Handmaid who was a drug addict and prostitute who likes how things are now. Because that quote is powerful, and using it both ways like this can only emphasize just how powerful and real that quote is.

Sorry for how long this is, really hoping for something like this. Also, anyone who thinks this is in anyway “unrealistic”; please look up the YPG, YPJ, PKK and International Freedom Battalion and get back to me.


#16

not watching the show but adore the book –

– which is about one person’s domestic life, systematic oppression getting normalised and rationalised, and in which the actual acts of rebellion stem from offred’s ~owner~ thinking he’s being kind while participating in the same power structures he shrugs and says he can’t do anything more about

rojava’s one thing, but it’s also been produced by the violence of the conflict surrounding it; gilead is the result of a relatively smooth, bloodless transition from the usa (w/ the same reactionary beliefs propping up both systems)

turning it into a generic post-apocalyptic-adjacent show about war and militant rebellion is a natural instinct, i think, because it basically just absolves us and allows us to forget about our passivity because it’ll all work out for her in the end, right? whereas i may be an anarchist but that doesn’t mean i’ll ever actually do anything about all the garbage that late-stage capitalism is & will instead almost certainly get the job my parents want me to have, settle down, maintain the status quo and die alone. the handmaid’s tale says: that won’t save you

so what does that mean if we give offred the easy way out and tell the audience: hey this is just fiction i guess it’ll all work out in the end

and what if instead we made it deeply uncomfortable to watch, didn’t provide a neat solution, and through this actually made people question their / our passivity

because i’m taking the second one of those every time, even though i don’t like it

tl;dr: “lol normies” - margaret atwood


#17

Even in the context of fiction, I don’t think many would consider violent revolution “the easy way out.” In fact, I feel like most would consider passivity to be the easy way out, not easy because of something inherent like instincts, but easy because it requires the least effort possible.

Violence can’t solve problems, but it’s still necessary, if only because others will always use violence against you, and if you’re not willing to fight back, you might as well be dead already.

I also don’t think most people got “Maybe I should question my passivity” out of the original novel. I think most people understood the themes and the messages throughout it though. And if I had to guess, most people were unsatisfied by it. The same way The Road is extremely unsatisfying (to me at least). I hate gloom and doom. I hat nihilism; because people find hope, they find something to fight for, something they’d kill and die for. And I think that’s most people, because if it wasn’t, this species would’ve died out a long time ago.

But maybe I’m just too passionate, I can’t stand the idea of being docile or passive or just simply not trying to build in horrible situations (or “good” situations). Is that “normie”? Sure, and I’ll always take the fighting spirit over “I’m just gonna not do anything, and contemplate whether or not doing nothing is good or bad.” Because that second option might as well be death to me.