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Thread: The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Default The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu


    The Handmaid's Tale

    : Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values'. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.

    Hulu Original Series
    https://www.hulu.com/the-handmaids-t...FQmzTwodXrIOCw

    Anyone else watching this? I watched the first episode when I got home from work and I think it's really well done so far. That said, it's incredibly hard for me to watch, because the book made me feel like I was suffocating, and the show is doing the same, but I guess that means it's effective storytelling. I just wish it weren't so possible in real life, and that's a sentiment that seems to be echoed through just about every review headline I've seen from CNN, NPR, EW, etc.
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    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    This is one of my favorite books of all time and I have been SO excited since they announced the series because it seemed from the start they really wanted to do good with the story (unlike that TERRIBLE movie, lol).

    I watched the first 3 episodes this morning and I am incredibly happy with it. They are definitely shuffling things around, changing details a little, but whatever. It seems like all the changes were designed to make it more easily adapted to a series than just the telling of Offred's story-and I'm OK with it. I think Elisabeth Moss is amazing, as she always is and I really like the inner voice they gave to her character. It's brilliantly filmed, it's uncomfortable to watch at times, but feels so real and possible at the same time. I love that because we aren't limited to Offred's point of view we are able to see more of the world and more of the characters outside of what she has been told or seen. I especially love that Margaret Atwood has thrown her full support behind the series-it's so much more likely to be right if she's involved.

    Also, anyone else catch Margaret Atwood's cameo in the first episode?
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    Gold Member VeraGemini's Avatar
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    I don't remember where I heard this quote, but it's apt. "The Handmaid's Tale is not an instruction manual."

    I've read the book and seen the movie, I don't know if I'll watch the series because I don't have Hulu.
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    Elizabeth Moss is rocking this role. The series is terrifying. Women are losing their rights more and more each day and this show is wake-up call.

    Margaret Atwood was the one who slapped her in the first episode, right?

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I am really loving this. I am rereading the book to see what's changed and what's the same.

    I did not notice Margaret, so I will have to go back and look for her. That is really cool she made an appearance. I agree with what you guys are saying - it's terrifying, uncomfortable, and definitely not an instruction manual, but if some people had their way, I think they would use it as an instructional manual. And Elisabeth Moss is great. I've seen her in Mad Men and Top of the Lake, but never realized how expressive her face is. She has to communicate so much without speaking.
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterslide View Post
    I am really loving this. I am rereading the book to see what's changed and what's the same.

    I did not notice Margaret, so I will have to go back and look for her. That is really cool she made an appearance. I agree with what you guys are saying - it's terrifying, uncomfortable, and definitely not an instruction manual, but if some people had their way, I think they would use it as an instructional manual. And Elisabeth Moss is great. I've seen her in Mad Men and Top of the Lake, but never realized how expressive her face is. She has to communicate so much without speaking.
    I don't have hulu but watched the first episode of this on a visit to my in-laws this weekend. Now I have to figure out how to watch this for free, since I am not paying for hulu on top of Amazon and Netflix.

    But I'm totally with you on how the book and entire premise is emotionally terrifying and gives that suffocating feeling. The desperation for emotional survival is palpable. And Elisabeth Moss continues to impress with her acting skills (shame about the Scientology.) I agree it really is fascinating how much she communicates with her face, largely because I wouldn't say her face overall is overtly expressive with the usual eyebrow action, but she's a master at micro-expressions with her eyes.

    On a totally superficial note, I noticed that Alexis Bledel is aging horribly. She's like 35 but her face looks all dried out, wrinkled and at least 10 years older than she really is.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    ^I agree w/everything you said. It pains me greatly that I pay for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, but I need my fix (I have problems). And there's STILL things that I randomly want to watch that aren't streaming. How is that even possible? LOL

    But, about the show...yes, it's definitely micro-expressions with her eyes. It's very subtle to describe, but you're never confused about what she's thinking. It's always at the back of my mind that Elisabeth is doing such a great job with this role, yet she's a lifetime Scientologist. Obviously, Scientology's control issues aren't quite the same as what's depicted in THM, but still. It's creepy control.

    As for Alexis Bledel, I totally agree. I couldn't believe how scraggly and wrinkled she looks without makeup and then wondered if that was somehow makeup to make her look older and like she hadn't taken care of her skin in years. I don't know, but it's really hard for me to look at her as a middle aged woman (which she's not really, but looks like it on the show) and not a perpetual 17 year old. Her eyes are really beautiful, though.
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Elite Member emkat's Avatar
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    It's very disturbing. I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice Alexis Bledel--she looks freeze dried. Surely they put aging makeup on her??
    I saw DEATH, an anorexic penguin, an overcooked Gollum, Mr. Burns in need of a haircut and a methed-up Riff Raff.--Michael K. on Phil Spector

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alysheba View Post
    Margaret Atwood was the one who slapped her in the first episode, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Waterslide View Post
    I did not notice Margaret, so I will have to go back and look for her. That is really cool she made an appearance. I agree with what you guys are saying - it's terrifying, uncomfortable, and definitely not an instruction manual, but if some people had their way, I think they would use it as an instructional manual. And Elisabeth Moss is great. I've seen her in Mad Men and Top of the Lake, but never realized how expressive her face is. She has to communicate so much without speaking.
    Yep, that was her! She isn't totally in focus (IIRC), but she's the Aunt who slaps Offred. Her gray curls are unmistakable.
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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    Alexis does look old in this. I just saw her premier pics (in fashion thread) and she looked great, other than being a sparkly pear. So, I'm assuming that it's makeup to make her look worse than she actually is.

    I've never read this book or seen the original movie so I'm going in with no ideas. So far I find it fascinating and terrifying. So apt for what is happening in the world right now. Will be watching ep 3 tonight. We just subscribed to Hulu to watch this, 1 month free. I can't continue paying for cable, netflix, amazon and hulu. That's crazy.
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    I'm fascinated by this show. It's been a long time since I read the book so I'll have to go back to that after the show's over to compare.

    What I'm wondering the most is if everyone is playing their role (as Offred does) and secretly resenting it? That "birth" scene with the wives all cooing and soothing the "pregnant" wife was ridiculous. I felt like Serena Joy's eyes just wanted to roll out of her head. Yet, she knows that wives with babies have higher status so she desperately wants a baby (or does she?). And she's enjoying the power she holds over Offred (the only power she has left), resents her and sees her as a whore, but at the same time maybe feels a little sorry for her. Serena Joy is as trapped as Offred is, but in different ways, and I think deep down she resents her loss of freedom just as much.
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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelbug View Post
    I'm fascinated by this show. It's been a long time since I read the book so I'll have to go back to that after the show's over to compare.

    What I'm wondering the most is if everyone is playing their role (as Offred does) and secretly resenting it? That "birth" scene with the wives all cooing and soothing the "pregnant" wife was ridiculous. I felt like Serena Joy's eyes just wanted to roll out of her head. Yet, she knows that wives with babies have higher status so she desperately wants a baby (or does she?). And she's enjoying the power she holds over Offred (the only power she has left), resents her and sees her as a whore, but at the same time maybe feels a little sorry for her. Serena Joy is as trapped as Offred is, but in different ways, and I think deep down she resents her loss of freedom just as much.
    Exactly! I was telling my husband this exact thing last night as we watched ep 3. Serena Joy doesn't have any more freedom than Offred. She has as trapped by the circumstances as everyone other woman only she ranks higher so it appears that she has more power.

    The flashback scenes are terrifying to watch. They disturb me more than watching the strange 3 people sex scenes.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I agree that Serena Joy is as trapped as the Handmaids. I'd imagine some of the men even feel trapped, though I know that's not what the story is about really. It reminds me of when the Taliban was in control of Afghanistan and fathers were risking death to send their daughters to school. When you alienate or enslave one group of people, eventually the whole society suffers, yet it never ends.

    The "sex" scene was very well done, all things considered. They did an incredible job with making that ordeal as sexless and passionless as possible, which makes it even more traumatic to watch.

    I can barely wait until tomorrow when the next episodes are up. If I didn't have to work, I'd be waiting til midnight to see them. lol
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    There's this line that Serena Joy says...a slip of the tongue, perhaps revealing her true feelings?

    “What you do, what we do together is so terrible. It’s terribly hard, and we must remain strong.”

    I'd like to think Serena Joy isn't a true believer, and that at some point she would begin to help Offred. But unfortunately, that's not how these things go. If the women all got together they could be a force. But they have been divided against each other. This echoes the situation we are in right now, where a conservative women wouldn't spit on a liberal/Muslim/black woman if she were on fire. And it's scary as hell. As much as I loved the spirit and the energy of the women's marches, I was so afraid for all of us. Millions of women against the regime gathered together like sitting ducks. For now, they patronized us. How long before the guns come out?
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    They disturb me more than watching the strange 3 people sex scenes.
    I was thinking about how this would play out in America today. I think if women were forced into 3-ways, it wouldn't be so puritanical or respectful. If men were in charge, they'd make us wax our pussies and wear lingerie and we'd be forced to perform sex acts on other women while men watched and then participated. They'd play out every porn fantasy they ever had if they had that kind of power over women. I think they'd separate us based on youth and beauty for those roles, as well. The richest men would get the younger and more beautiful women. I imagine they'd buy and sell us like slaves.
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