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The Handmaid's Tale (The One On Hulu, Not on CSPAN)
#1



First thoughts: It looks visually very great (although slightly reminiscent of V for Vendetta), and it seems like they've thought through the world. It seems very grounded and, dare I say it, Middle America, which I think will make the parallels really chilling. I'm also excited by the idea that we may get flashbacks to the world as it was changing into the theocracy that makes up the bulk of the storyline. And Elisabeth Moss can do no wrong in my eyes.

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#2

Boone: you created the thread so you can edit the title.



Loved the book when I read it many, many years ago, and I recall that the movie version of it was pretty good.  Making this into a longform show is a solid idea and Moss seems perfectly cast for this.

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#3

Agreed that this is a novel with lots of longform TV series expansion-potential -- getting a 50/50 split between "present-day" Gilead and "flashback" pre-theocracy America is what I'm most hoping for, too. If they can pull a Hannibal with this and really drill deep down into the novel's meat, it should be frighteningly-chilling television.

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#4

The reviews for this have been uniformly stellar, calling it visually stunning and claiming Moss is now the frontrunner for Best Actress - Drama at the Emmys this year.



Can't wait.

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#5

Looks extremely timely and excellent.



Consider me intrigued.

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#6

OMG IT'S HERE GUIES.

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#7

Glad to hear this is good. Hulu's adaptation of 11/22/63 (save for a few bright spots) made me a sad panda.

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#8

Fair warning.



This is set in Boston and they're not shying away from the fact that Moss's character is from there. There's an accent. Not full Damon, but it does take some getting used to.

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#9
Quote:

Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

The reviews for this have been uniformly stellar, calling it visually stunning and claiming Moss is now the frontrunner for Best Actress - Drama at the Emmys this year.



Can't wait.



Great to hear.  It'll be hard to top Jessica Lange (FEUD) for best actress, though.

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#10

FEUD is one of those RyRy Murphy limited series, so I'm betting it competes in miniseries.

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#11
AGreat first episode. Will continue watching later.

Suicide Squad's really ruined "You Don't Own Me".
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#12

There were at least two or three times I had to stop and do something else for a little bit during the pilot.



This thing is fucking gorgeous to look at, though. Every frame a painting, indeed.

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#13

Like I said. Fucking gorgeous: 


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#14
AThis one's sticking with me:

[Image: 410]

[quote name="Boone Daniels" url="/community/t/156225/the-handmaids-tale-the-one-on-hulu-not-on-cspan#post_4277080"]Fair warning. 

This is set in Boston and they're not shying away from the fact that Moss's character is from there. There's an accent. Not full Damon, but it does take some getting used to. 
[/quote]

I hardly noticed it.
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#15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Henry D View Post

I hardly noticed it.


It's more audible to me in the internal narration, probably because I've been watching Moss on TV since 2004 and haven't heard her use that voice, so when she's like "No, Nick, I'm gonna go to the Oyastah Bah," I hear it.

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#16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Henry D View Post

Suicide Squad's really ruined "You Don't Own Me".


Their choice to close out episode two is everything.

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#17

Probably not gonna binge this cause shit is bleak.



But that was a fantastic first episode. World building is incredibly well done which is vital for any good dystopian setting. Barely recognized Yvonne Strahovski and Alexis Biedel here (and that moment on the street between her and Moss was incredibly touching). And yup, this show is fucking beautiful to look at. Cinematography is top notch, through and through.



Definitely all in.

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#18
Quote:

Originally Posted by Codename View Post
 

World building is incredibly well done which is vital for any good dystopian setting. .



What's great about is that they're really leaning into the New England Puritan aesthetic that feels both dystopic, familiar, and timeless all at once. There's a sequence in the second episode that, if it weren't for the color-coded costumes, could take place today, or fifty years ago.



The shot from the first episode that most affected me was



The line of little girls in pink; i'd just watched Prophet's Prey, where women are treated similar in the FLDS, and it just sent a chill up my spine with the similiarities.
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#19

What hit me the hardest was:



The gunshots as her (admittedly black) husband is killed.


I'm not sure if the book is exactly the same as I've never read it. But goddamn that was the perfect way to get me in the right mindset for this show.



I need a screengrab of June/Offrid in the Aquarium with her daughter. Fuck me, that shot kind of took my breath away. 

So, my headcanon after one episode is this is set in the same world as Children of Men. And it's just how you crazy Americans chose to deal with the infertility crisis.

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#20
Quote:

Originally Posted by Codename View Post
 

I need a screengrab of June/Offrid in the Aquarium with her daughter. Fuck me, that shot kind of took my breath away.




I can't figure out how to remove the caption, but:

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#21

So effing good.



I've got a five-day weekend ahead of me so this is definitely going to feature prominently.

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#22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename View Post
 

So effing good.



I've got a five-day weekend ahead of me so this is definitely going to feature prominently.



Well, just a heads up - they released three episodes today, but they're going to the standard Hulu release of airing one episode a week starting next week, on Wednesdays.



Which might actually pay off in the long-run, since the buzz about this show is the biggest for anything Hulu's done, and they get to keep it going through the run of the show.



That being said, the book is short and uncomplicated enough (at least in its use of language) that you could probably knock it out in five days. I'm re-reading it in concurrence with the start of the show, and this is a great adaptation - it expands and enhances the novel, rather than supercedes it. (For example, in the novel, you only get bits and pieces of what happened.)



One final thing - there's a great quote by bell hooks who said "patriarchy has no gender," and I think one of the great things about Yvonne Stravohski's performance is how she illustrates that - she's as much a prisoner of this fucked-up world as Offred.

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#23

Oh, sweet. While watching I was actually thinking that this would benefit most from a weekly airing. Thought they were releasing episodes in blocks but glad that's not the case now.



I'll get to the book eventually but I've still got The Expanse books and IT on my plate along with a few of my 40k HH paperbacks I need to finish before I'll have a gap in my reading schedule.

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#24

Heads up:



The third one is the toughest one of the three. There's a scene near the end which is easily one of the most fucked up things I've seen on television.

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#25

Literally just finished the second episode (where Moss opens the front gate after the Scrabble game, and Simple Minds blasts on the soundtrack).



The "UP NEXT IN [29] SECONDS" next-episode link shows Alexis Bledel gagged and looking terrified in some sort of Hannibal Lecter-looking apparatus. Based on what Alan Sepinwall and some folks here are saying, I'm almost afraid to hit "play," now.

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#26

This show is fucking scary.   That third episode is particularily tough to watch.



The "trial" which lasts a minute



The matter of fact way that Martha was dragged out of the car and hung.



The post-surgery scene



But I think what was most heartbreaking was Ofglen trying to escape by seducing a guard.   It was crushing.

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#27
This interview with the head writer/showrunner is fascinating for a number of reasons because it gets into some of the creative decisions: 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-fe...ned-995751
 
One of the things I came away from with this interview was that they're really trying to stay true to the idea of pulling atrocities from things that are actually happening (the hanging which they based on footage of hangings in Iran; the FGM).


And yeah, Emily (Ofglen) seducing or trying to seduce the guard was just rough. Bledel is doing career best work here.


One of the things I'm interested in seeing is how critics decide to talk about this show. It's easy to refer to these characters as their handmaid names (Offred, Ofwarren, etc.), and in the book, you never learn Offred's real name.  But you learn all those characters' real names over the course of the show, and it's clear that the handmaid names are the names of slaves, or of ownership. So I'm interested in seeing the debate about how to refer to these characters.



Also, good interview with Elisabeth Moss about this show/her career, where she talks in some detail about how she wanted to be involved with the production side, and advocated for a more composed style (no shakey-cam): 

http://www.vulture.com/2017/04/elisabeth...ak-tv.html

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#28

I think the gorgeous cinematography makes the show (and the horrors it shows) relatively palatable.   Or in some ways, the cinematography one would associate with a Masterpiece Theater production only heightens the horror by making it look so clinical and banal.   In any case, it was a correct choice for this kind of series.

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#29
AJust finished episode 4. Lighter (relatively speaking) than the first three episodes even with nice rapey doctor in the mix. There is definitely a pitch black sense of humor in this show. The ceremony training, the Commander not being able to get it up, and that last line (especially that last line) were hilarious.
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#30

This show gives me the heebie jeebies.  I'd like to know the timeline between the massacre and Moss bailing to Canada.  I'll have a hard time believing that they waited more than a week or two to split - especially since it was clearly stated that she has 4 grand in savings and her husband has access the money.  I'd also like to see how America is divided up (Chicago and Florida are in play, Cold War with Europe) - this is the kind of thing that man In The High Castle put out front to avoid confusion, but I think the geography mystery adds a lot of suspense.



I'll go out on a limb and say I think this show is better than the book.  It's kinda kooky because it's such an iconic novel, but after the first movie shit the bed, I guess nobody thought of this as a hot property for adaptation.  The book is up there with Dune and Jurassic Park in terms of cultural saturation, and it has has the same type of meticulous world-building that everyone loves.  Between this and American Gods, that's two amazing pilots back to back.

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#31
Quote:

Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post
 

1) I'd like to know the timeline between the massacre and Moss bailing to Canada.  I'll have a hard time believing that they waited more than a week or two to split - especially since it was clearly stated that she has 4 grand in savings and her husband has access the money.



2) I'd also like to see how America is divided up (Chicago and Florida are in play, Cold War with Europe) - this is the kind of thing that man In The High Castle put out front to avoid confusion, but I think the geography mystery adds a lot of suspense.



1. It wouldn't surprise me if we learn that it was longer than that - one of the recurring themes of the flashbacks seems to be people not waking up to the fact of how bad things are until it's too late. So it's quite possible they could have fled after it was far too late to flee. There's also a passing reference in one of the first episodes that fertile women's medical records were marked with red or a red dot, which is not something we'd heard talked about in the flashbacks yet. That could be the inciting incident, especially since it seems Red Centers are up and running when June is captured, and who knows how long those are in operation.



2. In the book or the show, don't they say that the new capital is in Alaska? I also have a distinct memory of Gilead's power basically being concentrated New England/Mid-Atlantic.

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#32

Yeah, I'm getting the impression that we are seeing a very small cult/enclave type situation fighting for it's existence in the New England/mid-Atlantic region - I told my wife it reminded me of the horror stories coming out of the region controlled by ISIL where captured populations are violently forced and terrorized into conforming to the religious laws.

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#33

That being said, there are references throughout the book - and I think the show as well - to various regions resisting and factions of rebel control - they mention Gilead eventually overtaking the Baptists in the Blue Hills of Kentucky.

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#34
AIn Episode 2 she mentions that the American flag only has two stars now. And yup, Anchorage in Alaska is the capital.

So if the two states not under Gilead control are Alaska and (I'm guessing) Hawaii then the entire mainland US is either under their control, the toxic colonies that have also been mentioned. Or war zones.
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#35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename View Post

In Episode 2 she mentions that the American flag only has two stars now. And yup, Anchorage in Alaska is the capital.

So if the two states not under Gilead control are Alaska and (I'm guessing) Hawaii then the entire mainland US is either under their control, the toxic colonies that have also been mentioned. Or war zones.


Reminds me of this up to a point.



The actual map in the comic (Give Me Liberty) of what was left of the US (Pax) had less stars than the 50 star US flag and was the number of remaining states, though.



I wonder if reducing the number of stars on the US flag if states were lost was a tacit admission of defeat. I would have figured any successor state to the US would keep those stars in place to signify that the plan was to one day take them back if lost in conflict. If nothing else, it would at least be a statement of future intent.



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