The second season of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale dropped last week, roughly a year since the show made its debut last spring; to which I say, finally, as The Handmaid's Tale is my favorite drama series as of lately (Especially since the bulk of the shows I watch these days are comedies such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine). The Handmaid's Tale follows the struggles of a woman named Offred as she tries to navigate - and ultimately escape from - Gilead, a country organized from within the ruins of American society. Gilead is a nauseatingly patriarchal society that is fraught with statutes based on Christian fundamentalism. Though men fare significantly better than women, they are still subject to the harsh rules that have created a socially rigid civilization. This equates to a fun time for everyone and here are the reasons why you should begin to invest some serious time into this show:
1. It Preys On Our Worst Fear
The prospect of a dystopian society is always lingering in the corners of our imagination; or the idea that somehow our current society will become increasingly tyrannical. Interestingly enough, since The Handmaid's Tale is set in the present day, there is a lack of sophisticated technology attributed to some despotic societies (where technology is utilized by the government to control civilians). By contrast, most of this dirty work is dished out by civilians - specifically those who are benefiting from the new order. This adds a special touch of paranoia about people that have been found in totalitarian governments throughout history.
2. The Source Material
The Handmaid's Tale is based off of the eponymous novel by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood. Penned in 1985, the novel has a definite conclusion - giving off the impression that the narrative may work better as a film or mini-series. However, the fact that its television counterpart is an ongoing series has created limitations and possibilities for how the show will go down. If done right, the plot may completely diverge from the original source material.
3. The Themes
The Handmaid's Tale contains many themes relevant to today's culture (e.g., the glass ceiling, distrust of the powerful) and one of its most potent themes is that of sisterhood. The women on the bottom of the totem pole, known as handmaids, are frequently exploited due to their fertility. As a result, the women within this social niche are tight-knit and have shown to be there for each other when it matters most. I won't reveal any spoilers, but let's just say you'll want friends like Offred's if you were to suddenly be displaced in Gilead.
The Handmaid's Tale is currently streaming on Hulu with new episodes streaming on Wednesdays.