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 Post subject: The Handmaid's Tale
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany
Curious to see that there is no thread for this, considering its acclaim. For the most part I found this gripping and well done, though I could have done without the pop song montages, more appropriate for a teen show.

Maybe the most interesting aspects were how current America changes into Gillead in flashbacks.

I haven’t read the novel, but from a Wikipedia synopsis this appears to be fairly faithful. Only one thing jars. I get that there was criticism of the novel that it writes out African Americans by apparently having them relocated to the Midwest. The TV series takes a color blind approach, casting central roles with black actors and then it never addresses race. I found it hard to believe that a patriarchal, ultra-conservative society who enslaves fertile women and publicly executes gay people and Catholics, would not also be racist.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:11 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:50 pm
Lost Highway wrote:
I found it hard to believe ... a patriarchal, ultra-conservative society who enslaves fertile women and publicly executes gay people and Catholics

Agreed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Handmaid's Tale
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:45 am 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
The show does a bit too much of trying to have it both ways for my taste. The showrunners want to make it more divisive along gender lines than class ones, attempting to make us feel empathetic toward Yvonne Strahovski's character in a way that feels disingenuous, and almost certainly in an effort to make sure not to alienate some of the target audience for the show (upper class women who have more in common with this character than they'd care to think about). That rang a bit false, as did some of the cutesy music cues at the end of episodes that have a bit too much cheeky fun with a very grim concept that would be well served by being treated maybe 10% more seriously than it is.

And yes, the glaring, terrible flaw with the show is what's mentioned above - a completely unrealistic sort of whitewashing of the concept of racism - absolutely feels like something that was conceptualized pre-Trump administration. We see now that the way that Atwood handled this in the book is far more realistic, and I would not have minded orienting the show as bifurcated between stories going on in the northeast US and the midwest US in order to achieve more diversity in casting and storytelling. There's surely a rich mine that could have been tapped there that is just made intellectually soggy by the decision to completely ignore any racial unrest that the far right is very much in the business of stoking.

Beyond all that, it's well acted, well executed, and enjoyable. Will be interested to see what happens in Season 2 since

[Reveal] Spoiler:
From what I understand, we're pretty much at the end of the book (minus the postscript set years in the future)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany
MongooseCmr wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:
I found it hard to believe ... a patriarchal, ultra-conservative society who enslaves fertile women and publicly executes gay people and Catholics

Agreed.


Mike Pence’s wet dream, actually.


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 Post subject: Re: The Handmaid's Tale
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
I must admit that I have been most familiar with the 1990 film version starring Natasha Richardson (and of course Stuart Gordon's ultraviolent Verhoeven-esque 1992 film Fortress is kind of the male-centric version of the same kind of story!), so it was interesting to see how a more necessarily contained story there (down to having to create a Blade Runner-style 'happy ending' for closure) compares to the relatively more faithful TV series.
mfunk9786 wrote:
Will be interested to see what happens in Season 2 since

[Reveal] Spoiler:
From what I understand, we're pretty much at the end of the book (minus the postscript set years in the future)

[Reveal] Spoiler:
There was an recent episode of The Business featuring an interview with Margaret Atwood and Bruce Miller that suggested in line with the coda the idea that Offred's story was just one 'generation' of this society in its prime, and that there might be room for further stories from beyond that specific character detailing the evolution of the dystopian society.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Handmaid's Tale
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany
Looks like they’ve listened to what I think is the main problem with the series:

http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/the-handma ... e-problem/


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