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Atwood's 'The Handmaid’s Tale' on Hulu

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UK aired the finale on Sunday so I'm finally caught up. All in all an excellent yet chilling series that is frighteningly relevant to today's climate. There is much to praise about the show - the acting, the score, the colour palate, the cinematography/production. But the writing really feels too notch*. I loved this series and cannot wait to see where they go with a second.

I do think Moss' acting was overpraised by others - she was good but I don't feel it was some kind of revelation/acting masterclass from her.

My biggest critique is that I think I would have preferred more variety, with more focus on the other Handmaids too. I wanted more Moira, more Janine...the episodes involving the other Handmaid's lives were significantly better than those focusing solely on June, imo. 

*have not read the book, so no comparisons from me on that front.

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8 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

UK aired the finale on Sunday so I'm finally caught up. All in all an excellent yet chilling series that is frighteningly relevant to today's climate. There is much to praise about the show - the acting, the score, the colour palate, the cinematography/production. But the writing really feels too notch*. I loved this series and cannot wait to see where they go with a second.

I do think Moss' acting was overpraised by others - she was good but I don't feel it was some kind of revelation/acting masterclass from her.

My biggest critique is that I think I would have preferred more variety, with more focus on the other Handmaids too. I wanted more Moira, more Janine...the episodes involving the other Handmaid's lives were significantly better than those focusing solely on June, imo. 

*have not read the book, so no comparisons from me on that front.

As regards the limited scope, the book is a first person narrative, so to expand the scope would have meant deviating from the source material quite a bit. This could be done of course, but when the source material is the creation of Margaret Atwood and the deviations would presumably be the creation of some hack staff writer, it might not work out so well.

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5 hours ago, Myshkin said:

As regards the limited scope, the book is a first person narrative, so to expand the scope would have meant deviating from the source material quite a bit. This could be done of course, but when the source material is the creation of Margaret Atwood and the deviations would presumably be the creation of some hack staff writer, it might not work out so well.

They had already planned to expand the scope of the narrative quite significantly.  Indeed, they incorporated that plan within this first season.  Atwood seemed to have worked closely with production to assist in this expanded scope.  

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My sister and I started the show a few days ago and will be watching the last two episodes tonight. Neither of us had read the book, so we didn't know what to expect going in. (We decided to watch based on the clips Hulu shows, which are actually really vague, I thought it was going to be a period piece)

Late comer bonus: only one month wait until Season 2!

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Watching the first 2 episodes of season two tonight. 

As I understand it, season 1 concluded all the book material right? 

So from here on out it's stuff that Hulu came up with on its own?

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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1 hour ago, A True Kaniggit said:

Watching the first 2 episodes of season two tonight. 

As I understand it, season 1 concluded all the book material right? 

So from here on out it's stuff that Hulu came up with on its own?

Yes, but as I understood, Atwood was also involved in making sure to logically continue the story.

I have just watched Episode 1 and boy, was that difficult one. This will be my "TV series so good I will never watch it again". It goes anywhere between harshest imaginable thriller and wickedest horror. It is frightening and I feel as every second of it is a punch to the stomach. That said, it remains of the best TV products of this decade. Yes, Breaking Bad was visceral, Game of Thrones has fireworks, The Americans the intricate storytelling. But this one... It's all that and more...

Simply, this series has not been made for enjoyment. And yet, it is so captivating. I am truly happy to see this series back. 

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So thoughts on first 2 episodes:

 

Damn Emily. That was ruthless. I don't blame you for doing it in the least, but still ruthless. And Janine's still alive. I half thought they would've just shot her when the rest of the handmaids refused to stone her to death.

I'm glad we finally got to see more of Emily's past. Maybe this season they'll do the same with some of the other Handmaids from the first season we don't know much about.

I wonder how depopulated the former U.S. must be by this point. What with the civil war, the common executions and the mass exodus to leave the country.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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Hearth-wrenching end to episode three, but I guess it wouldn't make sense to the story if June escaped to Canada this early. 

Do you think we will see the British-Canadian invasion of the US east during this season? 

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On 7/4/2018 at 7:14 AM, A True Kaniggit said:

Ugh. That last episode.

  Reveal hidden contents

Poor Eden. That is one brutal way to execute someone.

 

It was so tragic... I had to hold my tears back.

Quote
Spoiler

The way she accepted her fate... I mean, you just have to give it to this girl. She fell in love, she knew what she was doing and how wrong it is. When it came to suffering consequences, she didn't plead for mercy, she welcomed her death while everyone were so horrified. She accepted what's going to happen and she would never do it otherwise. Love endures all things. The unsaid line perhaps is also the truest. 

 

 

Edited by Risto

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Only up to S2E7 in the UK, but there's an interesting moment when Serena gives the sheaf of orders to June and the camera pans across the date. There's some blurriness to the image, but it does look like the date given is 11 November 2027, which I believe is the first time the show has committed to a date. That also makes sense with the pre-Gilead world basically being ours, with Twitter and so on, and then the fall taking place and than roughly five years passing (based on June's daughter's age).

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

Only up to S2E7 in the UK, but there's an interesting moment when Serena gives the sheaf of orders to June and the camera pans across the date. There's some blurriness to the image, but it does look like the date given is 11 November 2027, which I believe is the first time the show has committed to a date. That also makes sense with the pre-Gilead world basically being ours, with Twitter and so on, and then the fall taking place and than roughly five years passing (based on June's daughter's age).

That was an amazing catch... I never took much interest in timeline, but the show would be sending a very powerful message about this time being the time when we allowed certain things to go unnoticed. As June said, we woke up too late.

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Season finale...

Spoiler

While not fully unexpected, the finale brought emotional gravitas one could have expected. Elizabeth Moss shines in this role and the rest of the cast did absolutely superb work. Not my favorite finale of the year ("The Americans" simply finished on such a high note that I can't imagine anything else coming close this year) but it did checked all the right boxes. 

I am not sure how they plan to continue the story but nonetheless it is exciting. The book gave such amazing first season. Season 2 wasn't as good, but it went deeper and pushed many characters, most notably June and Serena to their breaking point.

I hope they will address the "political crisis" Serena started. Yes, she was punished, but what of others? We see Marthas being organized to the amazing degree. I really hope we'll continue to explore that. 

 

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6 hours ago, Risto said:

Season finale...

I did think it was weird that June decided to call the baby Nichole instead of Holly in the end.

Super glad Emily might finally be free of Gilead. Hopefully we'll see her with her wife and son in Canada.

Not sure if Aunt Lydia is going to end up dead. I think there's a good chance she'll be back in Season 3. 

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7 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

 

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I did think it was weird that June decided to call the baby Nichole instead of Holly in the end.

Super glad Emily might finally be free of Gilead. Hopefully we'll see her with her wife and son in Canada.

Not sure if Aunt Lydia is going to end up dead. I think there's a good chance she'll be back in Season 3. 

 

 

 

Spoiler

I think it was obvious she wanted Serena to be remembered somehow. And here we go. As much as we speak about Moss, Strahovski was perfect in this episode. This entire season went back and forth with Serena and June, but when things went to breaking point, she did the right thing. And as evil and bitter her character was this season, that one moment of love made me feel terribly bad for her. 

It will be interesting to see the followup of June's escape in Waterford household. I sincerely doubt Fred will easily dispose of Nick. 

As for Emily, I only wish the entire new household was better fleshed out. I doubt Lydia is dead. Again, Bledel was amazing this season. After kicking Aunt Lydia, when she looked herself into mirror, it's just overwhelming.  

 

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13 hours ago, Risto said:

 

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I think it was obvious she wanted Serena to be remembered somehow.

 

Spoiler

I think it was less about Serena and more about Nick.  She's leaving the baby with "memories" of who her family is.   She has a picture of Hannah, Emily knows June's name, and now she carries Nick's name in feminine form.  It's just coincidence that Serena used the name to shade Fred.

 

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While I've heard good things about this show, every time I go to watch it the premise is the sticking point keeping me from doing so.  Do they ever explain how a country with actual constitutional provisions against becoming a Theocracy, and a large, religiously diverse military sworn to protect said constitution first and foremost, becomes the state of Gilead?  Or do we just accept it at face value because Dystopia?

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Yes they explain it through bits and pieces in the series and book

 

after a period of severely declining birth rate and environmental disasters, a Christian fundamentalist group called the Sons of Jacob secretly train a paramilitary organization and place people in various government positions, they slowly start to implement some of their policies in a milder form, then they stage a terrorist attack and kill congress blaming it on a Muslim terrorist group, then they take over in a coup and implement their dystopian ideals by force. Also they don't control the entire former US.

Edited by dornishpen

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