What is most disturbing about the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s landmark novel The Handmaid’s Tale – and there’s a lot (a lot) – is the horrifyingly beauty of this misogynistic, dystopian future world. You cannot quite look away from the awfully familiar-feeling new America. And, thanks to Margaret Atwood’s gifted prose, the skilled actors, and the talented adaptation of showrunner Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale is outstanding television.
Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men and The West Wing portrays Offred (literally “of Fred”), a fertile woman who is sexually enslaved to a Commander (Fred) and his infertile wife (Mrs Waterford) to bear them a child. Moss has always been one who reveals everything in her eyes so it’s troubling to watch as her new “ordinary” unfolds among flashbacks to her old life. Much has been made of the timely questions The Handmaid’s Tale raises about sexual freedoms and the role of women in a feminist-hating society. If you never had to read the book for an Intro to Women’s Studies class in college, now’s the time for an introduction to the what might be… Full credit though to the choice of “You Don’t Own Me” as the closing credits song.
Really, really short review: Sobering look into a stunning darkness.