I wasn’t going to write a review until the Hulu series was over, but since they’ve been renewed for season 2 in 2018, I’ve decided not to wait.
Like many others, I was intrigued by the Superbowl ad for The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and decided to read the book before the show aired. Not my usual genre, but hey, why not. I’m not going to do a ‘review’ as this book is a classic, but I want to talk about it, and the show.
First of all, I was shocked by how accurately Atwood portrayed the pre-Gilean society. This book was written in 1986, before I was born, and yet it felt like today. From banks freezing all credit cards to martial law due to terrorist attacks, these predictions are the fears we all have – today. The TV show took it one step further and showed us the technology too, but what’s crazy is it didn’t feel like it strayed from the book. It felt right. And terrifying.
Of course, today this gender-apocalypse wouldn’t be a possibility in the US. Not in the same way. Why, you ask? We are already on the same path! I’ll tell you why. Because America is a nation of guns. And when shit hits the fan, and some militia comes in and shoots at protesters, we can shoot back. We will shoot back. If the government, or a government, says we need to give up our guns, there would be no one to enforce it because those who can, also own guns. I think, in a lot of movies and books, we forget that every thug and soldier is a human being. They have mothers, lovers, daughters. And guns. Our God-given right to protect ourselves from this very thing. No religious rhetoric would work on this belief. It simply would not fly.
Anyway, I enjoyed the book, and I’m currently enjoying the show. Some of the scenes are downright haunting, like the one where Moira asked if they would be having actual intercourse with the men. Her face was just…it hit me hard. There’s rape in the book, but it’s so much worse in the show because you see it happening over and over again, and no one cares, and you just want to scream THIS IS RAPE YOU ARE RAPING HER RAPE RAPE RAPE but it won’t matter. It’s nauseating.
To be honest, I didn’t really like the show at first. I thought the narration was forced, jarring even, like reading random lines from the book. But I got used to it. I love the memory sequences the most, learning about their lives before the regime. I do hope we get more than the book, since the ending was so abrupt. I hope we get to see the regime fall and June reunited with her daughter.
One can only hope.