‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Hulu’s Take on a Dystopian Hell


Based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood classic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu has created its own original series which is taking the world by storm. The television network, Hulu, announced that they would be releasing a full season of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26, 2017, which surprised and excited many fans of the book. While people were ready to see which route Hulu would take with the show, many were skeptical that it would live up to the original story. However, I think that it’s safe to say that even just after the first episode, watchers are thoroughly impressed and craving more.   
The story takes place in a dystopian America where the democratic government has been overthrown by a totalitarian, theocratic one. This new America is completely based on the Bible and what the patriarchy deems ‘God-like’ (and yes, the United States is now completely run by men). This means that gay people, non-Christians, feminists or anyone who has ‘sinned’ are severely punished or killed. The only people who can truly escape death are all of the fertile women because in this new world, there are dangerously low birth rates and many barren women. The women who can bare children are sent to the houses of the elite families as a handmaid, or someone who is forced to have children for people who can’t conceive. The story of The Handmaid’s Tale is about the life of the handmaid Offred (Elizabeth Moss), who is sent to the Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena Joy Waterford’s (Yvonne Strahovski) house to have their child.
We watch Offred’s life through a series of flashbacks and reality. We see her life before she was forced into becoming a handmaid for the Waterfords. She was a writer for a publishing company in Boston with her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle) and daughter, Hannah (Jordana Blake). Now she buys groceries and does house chores for the Waterfords, dreading the day of the month where she is raped by Commander Fred and his wife.
Hulu has done a fantastic job portraying the loneliness and fear of the handmaids in this new nation. We can feel the tension in their surroundings and the resistance in their faces as they are forced to act and live as a new person, owned by others. Elizabeth Moss completely captures the role as Offred, by both showing the audience the self vs self struggle and the hatred and confusion that the original Offred felt in Atwood’s novel. This TV show shows the world what women had and have to deal with in this patriarchal environment and what the consequences are. Hulu has done everyone a favor by making The Handmaid’s Tale, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it next.