the handmaids tale

Imagine being torn away from your family and friends and YOUR life as you know it. Things will never be the same. You will never be able to read or make your own decisions again and you will be told what to do with YOUR body. That’s what this story is about.

The Handmaid’s Tale is an eerie show that premiered on Hulu back in April that is based on the book of the same name by Margaret Atwood. This is a story about a woman named June, portrayed by Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) who was taken, along with many other women whose rights were stripped from them after an attack on the White House left the president and most of congress dead to what is now the Republic of Gilead. The government has been overturned and The Constitution has been suspended. There has been a decline in live births in the country due to pollution which has left most men and women sterile. The women who are still able to bear children are taken and used for reproductive purposes by being made to serve as handmaids to the wealthy men and their wives in the society. June is given to Commander Fred Waterford portrayed by Joseph Fiennes and his wife, Serena Joy, portrayed by Yvonne Strahovski, and given the name Offred, which means Of-Fred since she belongs to him. Once a month, the handmaids are forced to take part in what is called The Ceremony, where they are attempted to be impregnated by their Commanders. The handmaids are forced to wear red uniforms and are not even allowed to shave their legs. There are many different groups of women with color coded uniforms. Blue for the wives, green for the Martha’s, and brown for the Aunts.

We meet many of the other handmaids who Offred interacts with on a daily basis by going grocery shopping with them. She befriends a girl named Ofglen who is portrayed by Alexis Bledel and the two quickly become friends and share many secrets. The story is told from Offred’s point of view and we see many flashbacks throughout the season of how she was captured and separated from her husband Luke, played by O-T Fagbenle, and their daughter Hannah which is all very heartbreaking. Offred also befriends handmaid Janine, portrayed by Madeline Brewer, and goes to many lengths to protect her. Throughout the season Offred developes a dark and scary relationship with her Commander Waterford, and a special relationship with Nick, who works for the Commander and is portrayed by Max Minghella, who may not be who you think he is. Offred is torn between trying to obey the rules so she won’t get hurt, and also wanting to be part of the resistance. We get to see her relationship with her best friend Moira, portrayed by Samira Wiley, who was also captured.

This show puts you through so many emotions: Terror, sadness, heartbreak, fear, but also a bit of happiness as hope and a satisfying feeling from seeing women come together and fight back. I’ve seen some men saying that they don’t want to watch it because it’s about all women, or that it’s only something women would like and can relate to, but it will strike fear and anxiety in any man too, I guarantee it. In light of recent events, it makes you wonder if something like this could happen one day, because it has in other countries. This was one of the rare shows that never left me bored and wanting to check my phone while watching. I was hooked every second. Just imagining giving birth to a child who you will never have any rights to while watching other people raise it is heartbreaking and Elisabeth Moss’s performance is Emmy-worthy. She definitely makes you feel like you’re right there with her. I’m rooting for you, June! This show is utterly terrifying and fantastic. I’m giving it an A+. The season ended the same way the book ended so it will be very interesting to see where they take it next season since it ended on a pretty major cliffhanger. Look for season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale in 2018. In the words of June: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.”

Continue the conversation with me about this show with spoilers on Twitter @sarahstweets85

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