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  • If I may start 'off-topic' for a moment. I am male, mid sixties, and have watched, like many others, all the great (and not-so-great) horror films. After watching the ten episodes of 'The Handmaid's Tale' I can safely say that THIS is a real horror story. It makes the entire horror genre seem like cotton candy. After each episode I find myself shaking, often with tears in my eyes. I'm not going to talk about the story. I am going to tell you that the acting is beyond reproach. In almost every movie, every TV series, there are at least one or two characters that don't fit or are poorly portrayed. Not so here. I simply cannot find fault with the performances of the entire cast. Stellar! The sets, the direction, the camera work, the intensity all fit together seamlessly. This is a story of a good world...gone very wrong. This is a story about faith, twisted by evil intent, then thrust upon the common people. For me it is truly horrifying. I'm sorry I can't find better words to describe how this show affects me. I will say this: My daughter is currently attending university in the U.S. and I can tell you I fear for her safety every hour of every day. Not because this story is happening now...but because it is so close.
  • I've never written a review in my life. After seeing this and then looking for more information about it, I came across IMDb and instead of finding intelligent reviews from intelligent people, I find a few that scream of ignorance.

    It is pretty easy to understand why.

    As the 20th century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more enlightened, civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down of society began to occur. How did this happen? Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest and in which the weakest or not-so-intelligent were culled, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Evolution began not to reward intelligence, but to coddle and save the weakest. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left "Intelligent Man and Woman" to become an endangered species. One need not look far within these comments to see that in effect. It's not that hate which is shown in some of these reviews that is killing the world. I think that up to a certain point all of us possess some level of hate. It is not having the mental acuity or aptitude to recognize it within ourselves, and to not let ourselves be led by it. Some of these so-called reviews are downright scary when you stop to think that is the actual mentality of the person who wrote them. One guy decrying interracial couples and gays to the point of not watching a television program that has them. A woman who says this could not happen and in the next paragraph goes on to detail how it could happen, only not as Christianity. Who cares what it is called, if you admit it could happen?

    As for this series itself, it is relevant. For now. In this time. More than ever.

    Beyond that, it is beautifully filmed and acted.

    Do not fall for the negative reviews of those fanatics and zealots who are purposefully trying to bring down the ratings and who are so lost they cannot even practice the very laws of a god they are trying to defend.

    This series is a masterpiece.
  • For those of us 4 million mothers who lost our children to forced adoption during the Baby Scoop Era this Tale has multiple similarities . While the main difference is that we were not forced into pregnancy, that's where the differences stop. I was taken to a strange state, not even allowed to purchase my own clothes, I cooked, cleaned and babysat for an authoritarian family. I was drugged at birth, tied hand and foot to the labor bed, then not allowed to see or hold my son. A priest took my son to be adopted by his friends who had better pedigree than I, even though I came from a good background. Even now states refuse to open records so mothers and adoptees can be re united.

    So if you think this is a warning tale for the future, it has already occurred. Google Baby Scoop Era. The best kept secret on the wholesale use of women as breeders.
  • To begin, I believe that most people visiting these pages are intelligent enough to tell the difference between those that are reviewing this series with honesty versus the ones who for reasons other than the viewing experience, wish to tear it down. As someone has already mentioned, the negative reviews are fraught with fear and the worst kind of delusion that exists: self delusion (the delusion a person hides behind and convinces themselves of in order not to see the truth).

    The Handmaid's Tale is a series that presents what could happen were women's rights reverted or taken away. There is nothing in my previous sentence that is not true. Let me type it again. The Handmaid's Tale is a series that presents what could happen were women's rights reverted or taken away. Is it an extreme depiction? Let's study that for a moment. In a Puritanical society, the Bible was the sole authority. Puritans believed it applied to every area and level of life. The Salem Witch Trials are one such example of Puritanical beliefs in action. Were it not for historical documentation, you would have people negating those as well. So, as to the question of whether it could or couldn't happen, the people most decrying it and stating that it could not happen, are the ones that most believe it can. Don't let them fool you.

    The Handmaid's Tale takes you into this dystopian future, and it has never felt more real. I had to pause it on a couple of occasions to catch my breath. No, it doesn't hit you over the head every so often with good scenes; the beauty of it is that it is equally haunting, strong and breathtaking in its entirety.

    To grab from another review: "The echoes of resemblance to the United States' current political administration create another layer of exceptionalism. Make no mistake, this is a political work. But it makes its case in a way that, like George Orwell's 1984 reflect our world back at us in a mirror that is both familiar and perverse", and because of it, it is extraordinary.

    Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★★ Excellent
  • Strong is the word for this series, and little, weak people detest strong so be prepared for the fake reviews and thumbs down across the actual reviews for it. Fear is a powerful thing.

    The Handmaid's Tale is perhaps one of the the best Television accomplishments of not only the year (hands down), but of the decade. It is a profound glimpse into a future that could very well happen were it not for people like most of you and me.

    In three unforgettable episodes, so far, women such as Offred ("Of FRED", since she belongs to Fred), played by the inimitable Elisabeth Moss, are coerced through bodily harm to be both concubine and scape/punching goat for well to do families. These women are subjected to physical, emotional and mental abuse in the name of God, or if not so much in the name of God, under the twisted word of god, by man. This is not to say that it is a Christian-bashing show, but it depicts what could happen under a theocratic society.

    What is most outstanding is that the acting is so amazing, that its quietest moments may be its most powerful. In fact, at times, the series can be emotionally overwhelming and draining — but isn't that a characteristic of a superb and masterful viewing experience?

    Don't turn away from it.
  • If you haven't seen it yet or haven't read the book let's try to set the scene without spoilers;

    Mankind is failing, most women are sterile because of industrial pollution (or Mother Nature just having enough of us parasites). Birth rates are plummeting. An ultra religious cult see it as their God given mission to 'save mankind'. They seize power by staging a fake terrorist attack against the US government, impose marshal law and set about rebuilding American society.('War On Terror' anyone?) They use The Old Testament as their blue print, but with some totally wack interpretations and distortions. Fertile women become the property of the state. Brain washed and farmed out to the new ruling elite as baby makers, slavery and subjugation is all they can hope for.

    Margaret Atwood, Canadian hero, social commentator, environmentalist, activist, feminist, tech inventor, business woman and visionary always maintained that this isn't sci-fi, but 'speculative fiction', things that have a chance of happening in the near future. Written in the '80's it's probably more profound now; the Neo Con Christian's have become a powerful force in US politics. Could there be a Tea Party without the ultra religious Republicans? Probably not. Maybe it takes a next door neighbour from Canada to really see what's happening with the totally dysfunctional family next door? It has always been a source of debate about how a country so entrenched in the ideas of freedom and liberal philosophy can also be the home of such obvious bigotry and divide? Surely teaching Creationism instead of proved science in some State's schools is a warning sign? Maggie may well ridicule this dogmatic un-thinking, however it's far from funny when she points out the possible end game and consequences for society and women in particular.

    The book, although heavy going at first, is one of those you can pick up every few years and just dive right in (thanks to Una for making me read it back in '87). I was worried that this TV adaption wouldn't do it justice. How wrong I was. It's slightly different, and relies on a lot of flashbacks like the original narration; however this narration helps to smooth over the cracks nicely. So it still sticks faithfully to the principles and main events of the story, albeit in a roundabout 'more up to date' way. The subtle creep up and takeover of government and power has been well handled so far. I am enthralled, totally impressed and on tenterhooks with Bruce Miller's adaption. The direction is also smart, (the hanging scene seen from the back of a van was powerful stuff). Every image is a perfect composition, nothing is wasted, it's real art in the hands of skilled camera operators.

    The feminism is subtle, not the clumsy and overt 'all men are bad, all women are good little victims' like of some of the more hardcore feminist literature. Maggie recognises that some women can be bad too, and some men will die to do the right thing, as you will see. Her book made a point that this could only happen if most women were willing parties too, and that a 2,000 year old book of moral tales can hold a massive amount of power when deliberately abused in the wrong hands.

    It's also highly commendable that the cast are just 'normal folk', no super skinnies, models, hunks or pretty boys are in sight. This makes it all the more believable, it could happen to you and me. The lead, 'Offred' (Elizabeth Moss) absolutely nails it. No spoilers, but she will impress you with her canny nouse and determination to survive despite many obstacles and traps. I haven't seen one bad actor in here so far, they've obviously got bags of talent and emotional range. The design and resurrection of 'The Shaker Movement', as in the book, harks back to an American and European age of persecution and religious fervor.

    Adhering to Maggie's descriptions of the colour coded dress, the production designer's subtle placement of now highly valuable Shaker furniture here and there helps; the muted drab colours, even in the opulent wealthy homes, take us sub consciously back to the times of Salem, witch trials, mass hysteria and life devoid of 'modern vices' like free speech, self determination, free love and modern relationships.

    I can't wait to see how this progress', although I know how it ends (can't tell you, but get ready for some shocks!). It's been made fresh for me. I hope you will all love it too.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Season one held my interest. It was fresh and unique and painted a great picture of religion gone amuck. I loved the trip to Canada - brilliantly done. I loved how the Mexicans who visited showed no empathy for the handmaids, illustrating just how alone they were. I loved the anger and tension between Offred (June) and Serena, the growing love in Nick, the way June handled so many people and was as helpful as possible to the other handmaids.

    BUT - as dystopian worlds go, enough is enough. In season two, when June gets away and has the baby and then has to go BACK? I felt like I had enough. I know the book ends dysmally and I absolutely hated the ending. I was encouraged to read that the director of this show feels the same way. But my god! Enough is enough. It's become a string of episodes depicting misery - even shot on dark sets. It is depressing, dismal, and feels utterly hopeless. I think it's dragging out too much and would love to see it end in season two.

    As iMDB got rid of the discussion boards (NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!), I can't discuss this with anyone. I would love to say these things and read the opinions of others. I loved that. There are always those rude people who would tell me to grow up or to stick with "unicorns and rainbows." But many more will engage in meaningful discussion and I miss that SO MUCH. I learned tons of things from people who disagreed with my opinion on iMDB. Okay - enough whining.

    Everyone is in their own place in life. I have a career that immerses me in the pain of others. I see much of suffering and have to diagnose and explain absolutely terrible illnesses. So yeah, unicorns and rainbows are nice for me. I do not need "realistic" dystopia for my entertainment. I do enjoy dystopic stories - loved The Hunger Games - but they had HOPE. This thing is just a looooong experience of being stuck in deep, dark, depressing mire.

    I'm weary of it. Knocked my original rating from 10 to 4. Wrap it up already, guys. Or give us more bits of HOPE.
  • "The Handmaid's Tale" is the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel of a right wing religious takeover of the USA that subjugates women. While beautifully produced, the two biggest problems of the series are the tortuously slow pace and the painfully boring performance of Elizabeth Moss in the leading role. Being one of the show's executive producers may account for her casting but she's five to eight years too old for the role which is about a woman being exploited for her fertility. The other major problem is that "The Handmaid's Tale" was a masterpiece of understatement and brevity. In trying to drag the story out over multiple seasons, the producers have been forced to go off on uninteresting tangents that did not exist in the book and slooow the pace of show down to an aggravating crawl. Do we really need to see endless scenes of Offred (Moss) climbing the stairs going into her room, slowly taking of her garb, all the while alternating between her three default expressions, dazed and angry, dazed and stricken and dazed and confused? Relieved by brief sequences of action where the story actually moves forward, insert the above in almost every other scene and that's the gist of the show.

    If you're a fan of the book, the only way to watch this show is on fast forward. A better title for this series would have been "The Handmaid's Snail."
  • Xophianic29 April 2017
    People aren't really falling for the negative reviews, right? As a dude who has watched it with his girlfriend, I need to agree that the negative reviews are ridiculous. I can imagine the same person thumbing down the real reviews. Lol. Pathetic.

    Mine is the only review you will need. j/k

    Watch it. That's it. Don't let some repressed and self-deluded person make your choices for you - they love that. Watch the first episode and decide for yourself. Do I believe it can happen? Maybe. Anything can happen. But the thing is, why are nutjobs taking it so serious if they don't think it could happen? If it's just a show with no basis in reality, why get all up in arms about it?

    I thought it was well done. It is entertaining and compelling. 8 out of 10 stars but my GF made me give it a 9. Heh. Joking aside, I'd recommend it.
  • missyjoy2527 April 2017
    This story is terrifying (especially if you are a female). Imagine what happens when the world goes completely crazy and some new completely sadistic world order emerges who claims their acts of incredible cruelty, murder, control , oppression and slavery are all in the name of some mystical God that no one has seen, spoken to or has any proof exists and yet uses the name of God to justify the most horrific and barbaric atrocities.

    Without spoiling this is the story about this new world where women who are still able to bear children after the most of society is rendered infertile are made to be handmaidens/slaves to wealthy women who want to have babies but can't. Despite their unique baby making abilities they are still treated like the lowest life form on earth and the only reason they even get to live is because of this ability.

    Elizabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel are amazing in their performances along with the rest of the cast. They broadcast the first 3 episodes on Hulu last night and of course I had to binge watch. It made me cry and made me incredibly sad to see how cruel a species humans can be.
  • SockEmperor11 May 2017
    In a nutshell, the story is real.

    It is rooted in historical fact. It includes nothing that has not already happened to women across the world.

    The acting is brilliant, and beyond that, the cast seems determined and devoted to tell this very powerful story for not only women, but men. When people's rights are trod on, it affects everyone.

    Let's hope that if it ever comes to something like this, more people will be strong, rather than weak. Unfortunately, based on just today's society and who holds the office of POTUS, that may not be the case.
  • I have no problem with the 'politics' or plausibility of the storyline, but the stifling pace ruined a lot of good acting and well thought out set designs.

    One can only assume that the legions of reviews that rated this show 8 Stars and above never read the book and were simply stunned by the concept of a dystopian future where a misogynistic, authoritarian political climate might evolve. My guess is they're equally unfamiliar with Sharia law - and likely very resentful of the orange haired guy's election victory.

    As others have pointed out, the main character's appearance is distracting and often jarring as she simply appears too old. After all, she is is supposed to be the epitome of a young fecund woman. That said, I found her acting to be mostly adequate since as the eponymous handmaid she would of necessity had to hide her emotions - so her lack of range is part of the characterization I suppose.

    The roles of the other handmaids are either played by better actresses or perhaps the director allowed them more range, but it's fortunate in my opinion because a host of robotic performances like the lead would have put me to sleep by the end of the second episode. And the highlight of the show for me was the character of Serena Joy; the actress playing her part showed some real flashes of talent I've not seen in her other roles.

    Unfortunately, what could have been a well paced six hour mini-series was milked for a multi-season show. It's not bad, it's simply diluted down to mediocrity. One can only assume that the legions of reviews that rated this show 8 Stars and above never read the book and were simply stunned by the concept of a dystopian future where a misogynistic, authoritarian political climate might evolve.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Main plot without spoilers: During both seasons you will see June getting multiple chances to escape from Gilead (which it's something that she seeks desperately for). And that's it. You won't see more (probably she will finally be free in season 10 or so, you know how the business works), but in contrast with other soap operas, in which the viewer gets more entertaining from the side stories, THT only focuses on June's failed escape attempts and you will see the same over and over again (same gestures, same dialogues' essence, same characters, etc).

    It is so sad that a potentially good storyline gets overshadowed by screenwriters' lack of imagination and the fact that the series has to be profitable.

    Visually, the production is definitely good! So if you have a lot of time to waste... go for some episodes.
  • I found it interesting at first, but, dragged on and became a bit tedious into Season 2. We gave up on it quickly.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first half hour of Season 2s first episode is torture and more torture. The series is now outside the purview of Margaret Atwood's original work. Unbearable to watch and beyond having a point. The point was made, and then some. This is just torture porn.

    Disgusted by the relentless and horrible torture (and I don't usually object to violence in the context of exceptional writing. I don't think I've ever before stopped watching something solely for this reason) I stopped watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I really tried to like this series. Turned out it's really over rated and borderline boring. It takes 10 episodes to tell a story that could easily been told in 3. Everything has to be shown again, and again, and again. We know already that's everybody's suffering. We know that it's dreary, and dark, and that every woman that wears red is slaves. We don't need 10 hours to understand that. I have nothing against slow but when it's done just to be artsy and to fill out the programming time, it gets silly. How about some hope? How about some good plot twists, or at least some interesting things happening? Yes, I know you want to tell a story about religion, refugees, and what happens in a totalitarian state. But... doesn't everybody know that already. Don't you think the people who don't know would get it after... hmmm.... let's say Three hours? Do you really need to rub it in and press it down our throats? I don't get why this has got such a good Reviews. Is it just because it's PC?
  • Like others on here, I too could regale you with moving words that would depict my experience and thoughts while watching this. I thought it best however to simply suggest that those who believe such a thing could not happen, or that we are nowhere near what is depicted in this show, scroll down and read the review by gene0915 from United States (unfortunately it has been deleted or removed now).

    See for yourself how that level of rage, bitterness, hate, misogyny, impotence and homophobia is alive and well.

    Enough said.

    This is a powerful series with a tremendous message and a must-see for every person alive.
  • Dark and drawn out. Depressing. If you want to pound your soul with constant doomsday emotional abuse, this is for you. Feels like the entire series runs in slow-motion. Highly predictable. Over-acting and reacting. Unrealistic plot lines. Watched entire season one hoping for some cleverness or twists. Like fixed election results, I wouldn't be surprised if IMDB was hacked as there's no way an emotionally intelligent group of people would rate this show so highly.
  • Much of the buzz about "The Handmaid's Tale" is that this is what could happen if America turned into a Christian theocracy. I'm not a religious person, but I don't see how anything in the show matches up with any Christian doctrine. Religious people I know don't have practices that match anything in "The Handmaid's Tale". Especially the part about keeping a mopey girl around the house so you can bang her to have kids. Yeah, I know, the women are infertile, but wouldn't a clinical method of getting the mope pregnant be more likely? This dystopian future is highly structured, with plenty of cultural taboos and enforcement infrastructure. How did this all get implemented? All the characters have a recent history, so this societal reboot happened in a span of five years? I can't imagine it in America. Gays have been a political force for 40 years and they just recently got the right to marry.

    As others have mentioned, not much really happens. None of the characters have any charisma or are likable. The viewer is supposed to be sympathetic to the handmaids. They have no freedom and are essentially property. As the show drags on, I start noticing other people. I feel sorry for the guards who have to stand on the sidewalk holding a machine gun all day. That's it, just stand there. At least the handmaids can chat with each other and are in a comfortable house.

    If you love this show, its because you make yourself love it. Or you are politically insecure and like to be frightened. There are many other shows you can watch that are much more engaging.
  • I watched the film version of The Handmaid's Tale several years ago so the storyline was pretty familiar and the film I might give six or seven stars. However, in this adaptation, I had expected a little more than mere filler to justify the extended length. I don't think there was a major plot point which was not in the film. Both film and television versions seemed very two-dimensional, it has to be said, the dystopian world in which it was set seemed to operate without any explanation of what those in this world who do not occupy one of the roles we see actually do. It was a bit like looking at the cardboard set of a cheap sci-fi movie with banks of unconvincing fake spinning tape reels and purposeless flashing lights. The dystopia may have only existed in the lives of the households of the commanders and the lives of the handmaids for all the viewer knew; everything else was hidden from view. In the film, perhaps this was acceptable but in ten hours we learned more about the characters' lives in our near present than we did about the world into which they were forced.

    I don't really know why I watched it. Perhaps I hoped that the dimension missing from the film was going to be furnished but it wasn't.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    To begin, the book it is based on was written in the 80's, before the IVF - however, the reason they use coitus is because of the puritanical system of beliefs they have established in the land and which they base EVERYTHING on. As in the bible which they quote Genesis 16:1 "Now Sarai, Abram's wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, "Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her." Seriously, for people speaking of "IQ's", this shouldn't be hard to grasp.

    Secondly, the more you watch, you see how things transpired to get them to the point they are in Gilead. It is presented through a series of flashbacks, and yes, there are books, and cell phones, and the Internet, and cars and trains and automobiles - imagine that! It even shows who they are trading with, and what they are trading. If people had watched even a bit of it as they said they did before leaving reviews simply to give it a low rating, they would know this.

    Beyond all this, the book and series are rooted in HISTORICAL FACT and in point of fact, things that happen in our world today. 'BUT NO! That can't be!' some say. Yes, hate to burst your bubble, but it is all true.

    Even with all this obvious discrediting and outright attempts at audience manipulation by certain reviewers, I am happy to see that The Handmaid's Tale holds a high rating, as well it should.

    It is an astounding work of television, with a distinct visual bite. Gilead's world is harsh yet the most intelligent and bravest of us cannot look away, nor do we lie to ourselves or others in the hopes that they will look away.

    Simply, in my estimation, it is one of the best shows ever made.

    Watch for yourself and see if you agree.
  • Season one was somewhat ok despite dragging on slightly. However season 2 is diabolical - this show just goes around in circles with no real development. So many scenes and episodes that have been dragged out for no reason. You can actually fast forward entire sections and still miss nothing.
  • The first season was groundbreaking but it had many flaws - it was relentlessly dreary, slow moving, with an obvious agenda and a downright annoying protagonist.

    Why Elisabeth Moss, why? She is so hard to like and so hard to watch.

    However, the first season was compelling, mostly because the alternative reality we were presented with (albeit far-fetched and incongruous, with 1980s sci-fi ideas) was genuinely interesting to learn about AND was based on an excellent novel.

    Season 2, on the other hand, starts out being unbearably tedious and unbelievable. The already ridiculous premise is now stretched to the point where I am rolling my eyes and muttering at the television. Nothing that any of the characters do or say is believable, not even in a fascist dystopia. And none of it is interesting, either! It's just hour after hour of unbelievable misery and dreariness.

    There is some relief from Episode 6 onwards, though, when the pace thankfully starts to pick up and we start to see some action. We also start to see some character development and some much needed solidarity between the women.

    But unless things continue to unravel apace and something unreal happens between now and the end, it would seem the second season might be a fail.

    Side note: as a woman, I want to talk about why the 'feminism' of this show bothers me so much. Firstly, I'm glad that the way women are treated as second-class chattels is being condemned. I'm also glad that the witch trials are being referenced, as they really weren't that long ago and it's important to remember that women (medical doctors, healers, etc - women with intelligence and power and respect) were hunted and slaughtered en masse by men in America.

    Unfortunately, highlighting these issues through an insultingly ridiculous contextual lens - which includes posits like muslims (and black men) are the progressive, brave and rebellious saviours of white women, whereas white Christian men are suddenly oppressing women like it's Saudi Arabia - is never going to be resoundingly successful.

    The fact that the original story was written in the 80s and is based around the reproductive science of the time, doesn't help the feasibility.

    What would have been much better, IMO, is a story revamped for modern times, with test tube babies and third world surrogacy - ie, a story about the rich oppressing the poor - and the current global epidemics of male violence, human trafficking, pedophilia and horrifically violent porn.

    Men around the world right now are terrorising, raping and enslaving millions of women and children. This is happening right now in every country. It is a terrible truth that nobody is tackling properly.

    I applaud what the show is trying to say and do, but the execution is unfortunately a huge fail for me.
  • Adapted from Margaret Atwood's novel by the same name, The Handmaid's Tale is a series of speculative fiction that shows what would happen if women's rights are taken away. A religious cult seizes the US government through a fake terrorist attack and holds power. In a world where most of the women are sterile, they take the fertile ones and assign them to be "handmaids" to provide children for the upper-class, using The Old Testament as their ultimatum. These handmaids are concubines—brainwashed, tortured, and led to believe that they have no other purpose but to serve as the child's vessel for the Commanders and their wives.

    First off, the storytelling is fantastic. It adapts the book very faithfully for about the first three episodes, and goes off tangent in some just to explore other character's subplots and possible narratives. The main focus of the story is the protagonist, Offred, but not only does the show give an interesting character study on the handmaid's rights and feminism, but it also exhibits the perspective of the so-called "antagonists"—the Commanders, their wives, and the other religious fanatics who shaped the world—and why they believe what they believe. The acting is undoubtedly great. Elizabeth Moss is the symbol of hope in this otherwise failing world, and she has a couple of outstanding performances in some of the episodes. Other honorable mentions are Madeline Brewer (Janine) who gives an impeccable amount of sympathy and empathy to her character, and Yvonne Strahovsky (Serena Joy) who for me is the most interesting character in the show because she's the grayest; others may see her as wholly evil but dig a little deep into her character and she turns into one of the most complex personalities I have seen in TV.

    The pacing is done well for the first four to five episodes, gets a little bit rocky in the sixth to eighth ones, but brings it back up again with the final two (and in my opinion) best episodes in the show. It does get tied up in some fillers and red herrings, and I believe that that one episode where it focused on an entirely different subplot for the whole of the hour is unnecessary, but on the moments where the show shines, it shines indeed. I love how the series uses a science fiction concept (industrial pollution leading to infertility) and translates that into a message about mankind (rights and feminism). I appreciated how it didn't need to use fast-paced action and loud and expensive CGI to tell its story. It only needed a realistic concept, a decently written script, a great score, and of course, fantastic performances. Among the episodes of the first season, my personal favorites were Offred (1.1), The Bridge (1.9), and Night (1.10).

    The Handmaid's Tale is brilliant. I was apprehensive at first, but the adaptation from page- to-screen is done well, adhering to the main plot with some minor changes to address some of the more ambiguous subplots in the book. The production is excellent, the muted red of the dress symbolizing the subtle but rising theme of feminism throughout the entire series. This show surpassed my expectations and the release is very timely and relevant. Entertaining and compelling, but terrifying at the same time. A dystopian future that has traces of the historical past. The Handmaid's Tale is not a show to pass on.
  • The show is decent. Story is interesting, acting is pretty good, direction and cinematography are a bottleneck but still acceptable.

    A considerable amount of criticism against this show stems from right-leaning Christians or their apologists, defensive about the portrayal of the USA's favored religion--over 70% of the population is Christian, and basically 100% of our presidents have been also. But it's really only about the conservative Christians--as you'll recall, there was a priest that was executed. These same apologists for authoritarians of the Christian variety say this is implausible in the USA... not for lack of trying. This perception is really only thanks to the U.S. Constitution and the judiciary.

    No doubt, the reply is 'but Islam has burkas, rape marriages, and throws gays off rooftops.' But that isn't true in the USA. Now, if you want to go outside of the USA, let's play that game: In Nigeria, where Christians are the plurality, being gay can be punishable by death. There are several Christian majority countries where being gay is illegal today--by the way, the USA barely got its last anti-sodomy (i.e., gay sex in private) laws struck down in 2003 (Lawrence v Texas). In Jamaica, where there's a Christian majority comparable in size to the USA's, gays still get stoned to death to this day.

    Let's talk about the USA. The majority of Muslim women in the USA do not cover their hair. American Muslims were more supportive of gay marriage than Evangelical Christians--and that was before the Supreme Court struck down the bans enacted by right-wing Christians just 2 years ago. Today, still, in the USA, we have religious laws, of the Christian variety, banning blasphemy (PA teen convicted for posing with a statue), banning alcohol sales on Sunday, banning revealing clothing, forcing women to give birth, etc. That's today, in America. The last one (forced pregnancy/birth) is a doozy, because we don't even force corpses to give up organs to save lives--you need to opt-in while you're alive or the organs go to waste, because we have to respect the dead. But if you're a living breathing woman with a 9-5 job, barely getting by? Your body is property of the state, you have to give it up to save somebody else--carry them for 9 months, and get over the permanent affect on your body.

    'Christianity has reformed,' the right-wingers say, falsely taking credit for the liberal adherents of their faith and the impact of the courts. Sure, in the USA it's not so terrible, but it doesn't count as reform when it's the highest court dragging you kicking and screaming into modernity. And not a single day goes by where American Christians on the right don't work to turn the clock backward.

    Is this plausible in the USA? Absolutely. No question.

    If you want to learn more about how the USA's laws--never mind the acts of ordinary civilians--have treated women, and not that long ago, go search this on Google:

    "Timeline of Major Supreme Court Decisions on Women's Rights."
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