BRB, Preparing to Watch The Handmaid's Tale on Loop
|Amy Widdowson||Apr 25, 2017|
Happiest of Tuesdays, my darlings. In case you have been living under a digital rock, you’ve probably heard that the Hulu adaption of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale will be dropping tomorrow (!!!) The series, starring Elizabeth Moss, is conjuring a plethora of emotions for reviewers right now, who’ve discovered how frighteningly timely Atwood’s story of reactionary theocracy and female suppression is.
The New York Times calls it "unflinching, vital and scary as hell.” Another choice quote from that review, in regards to how eerily beautiful the scene is set, says "It’s a ruthless dictatorship, but it would make a lovely Pinterest board.” And another piece on the series leads with just that - a gorgeous yet discomforting portrait of a cape and bonnet.
Variety also calls attention to the visual tone of the series, saying "The nostalgic, reliably beautiful aesthetics, from the Martha making bread every morning to the boat neck on Mrs. Waterford’s teal dress, are themselves a form of brainwashing.”
Vanity Fair hits it hard in the headline: The Handmaid’s Tale Is Horrifying Because It Seems So Possible, leading right into a quote from the series that speaks right to the work on authoritarianism that Amy Siskind is doing right now: “This may not seem ordinary to you right now, but after a time, it will. This will become ordinary.”
As y'all know, the book has been my favorite since high school, so you’d best believe I’ll be watching the shit out of this series with clenched teeth, especially since certain values may now be on the on the chopping block of progressivism. Naturally, reviewers are finding a bit of 2017 America in their opinions of the Gilead that Hulu has created.
But if there’s one person I ask you to read before you embark on this show, it’s Atwood herself. If you can’t get through the novel before tomorrow, at least read her essay in the New York Times on what her novel means now. And take heed of how she wrote the book itself:
One of my rules was that I would not put any events into the book that had not already happened in what James Joyce called the “nightmare” of history, nor any technology not already available. No imaginary gizmos, no imaginary laws, no imaginary atrocities. God is in the details, they say. So is the Devil.