By: Diamond Braxton
Short disclaimer before I begin- I’ve never read ‘The Handmaids Tale’, so I won’t be able to say if the show follows the text exactly or if it goes down a completely different route. However, I can say that there’s a reason this show has won multiple awards. I’ve previously delved into some Hulu originals and none of them were impressive, however, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ made me want to give Hulu another chance.
The first ten minutes start off intense, and if you’ve never read the book then know that you’re being thrown into a world you would have never guessed could come to exist- at least not again. We start off with Elizabeth Moss fleeing from an unknown danger with her husband and their daughter. At first glance, I thought they might’ve lived in a world where interracial relationships weren’t allowed, but within the following scenes I realized just how wrong I was.
The story takes place in a time when women have become infertile, and only a select few are capable of producing healthy children that don’t die minutes after being born. You get a glimpse of this when Moss gives birth, and her baby is the only child born in the hospital in days. The next thing we know is that Moss is being captured for an unknown reason, and the next time we see her she’s in a fully clothed red robe with a white cap covering her face.
We are now in Gilead. America has been reduced to only two states, and taken over by a large amount of people who “want to save the human race” by returning it back to Biblical times where committing crimes can lead you to being stoned to death or hanged.
However despite all of this, the craziest part to me is the handmaid concept. Elizabeth Moss is now referred to as “Offred”, a simple handmaid name that can be passed on to another girl if Moss were to act up, and her duty is to provide “wives” and “husbands” with a child. She does this by partaking in a “ceremony”, which takes place when Moss is ovulating and she then has sex with the husband while the wife is present so it cannot be compared to cheating. Handmaids are women that are taken advantage of once every month because they have two good ovaries, and they’ll be able to provide the world with children again. Their job is to keep the human race going. It especially hurts to watch the handmaids produce children for a couple that takes advantage of them and abuses them. Then after the baby is weened off its mother, the couple sends the handmaid away to do the exact same thing for the next couple. Talk about cringy.
Nobody is allowed to go against the system because if they do speak out, they could get their eye scooped out, sent to the “colonies”, or inhumanely murdered. Also, don’t forget that there are “Eyes” everywhere, people whose sole purpose is to monitor what you say & who will turn you in to authorities if you say anything you shouldn’t.
The show was successful at creeping me out at every step of the way. The idea that women are being forced to go back to the days when they cannot work, cannot have a say in anything, and are solely being used for their reproductive system was horrifying. It’s even more devastating when we see the men in power cheating on their wives at “Jezebels”, a place where no woman can go unless they are the ones “working” there. Not only are the men corrupted by lust and power, but they also try to make it seem as though they are men of God & that this was necessary for America’s survival.
No matter how uncomfortable this show will make you, it is a must see. If you love Samira Wiley, Elizabeth Moss, and Joseph Fiennes then do yourself a favor & watch this binge-worthy show! Let’s just hope stories like these can stay as entertaining TV and never become our reality especially in America’s current tug-of-war between the lefts and the rights.
I give the show 4 out 5 stars.