"Riveting". "Horrifyingly beautiful". "Unflinching, vital and scary as hell". The Handmaid’s tale has gone down very well since it premiered on Hulu in the US and this weekend it’s coming to the UK on Channel 4, and here’s why you need to watch it.
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Dystopian stories have proved successful over the years, and this one is no different.
The TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel takes place in Gilead, a near-future dystopia that was formerly the United States.
A Civil War means that the birth rate is incredibly low and a fundamentalist group has a way of repopulating the world through the Handmaids, the few remaining fertile women. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is the central character, and she must perform her bodily duties under the Commander (Joesph Fiennes) and his wife. Offred meets Oflgen (Alexis Bledel), another handmaid who is planning a rebellion.
It’s been renewed for a second series
Just one week after its debut, Hulu announced it would be doing a second series of The Handmaid’s Tale. According to Hulu, which did not release numbers, “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been watched by more Hulu viewers than any other series premiere on the platform, considering both original and acquired series.
It’s not all dark
Director Reed Morano admits that whilst the story is dark and chilling, the entire show isn’t like that. He says that there was some satire and irony within the book that they were able to play with on the show. And he says there are a lot more funny moments than you would probably imagine there to be.
Created on a relatable human level
Star Elisabeth Moss explains that it was important that they created a show that was relatable in some aspects. Even though it's a dystopian future that will hopefully never happen, she says that ultimately the show is about morality, with political undertones too. She says the show focuses on the human aspect, so it's real and truthful.
It builds on the book
Hulu’s version of the story is faithful enough to the book to be extremely satisfying to fans (Atwood was a consulting producer,) and fresh enough to stand alone in its own right.
If you've already read the book, there's still going to be plenty of new things that you'll see in the series.
If the story isn't enough to make you want to watch this show, then the incredible cast surely will. Mad Men's Elisabeth moss leads the series, and she's joined on screen by Alexis Bledel, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, and Ann Dowd in supporting roles.
Supporting roles that stand out
In the excellent cast, the supporting roles are just as much as a draw to the series as the main character.
Alexis Bledel reveals that this is the most intense material she's ever worked on, and her character is so complex with so much substance.
An inspiring story
It’s not all doom and gloom with series, Moss says that she can't wait for people to see how positive and inspiring the story actually is. She says her character is a heroine, she's an everyday person. Moss says that if Gilead happened now she would be a Handmaid, and that's what stuck with her most as she created the series that you have to watch.