"The Handmaid's Tale," a novel by Margret Atwood turned into a full-fledged streaming series, has been kicking butt and taking names since it first premiered on Hulu on April 26th, 2017.
Since its release, it has taken home numerous awards from programs such as the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes. With such success, it's more than the truth that this series has taken the world by storm.
Now you are probably saying, what in the world is "The Handmaid's Tale" even about? Well, I will tell you and take immense pride while doing so. "The Handmaid's Tale" is a future dystopia in which fertile women are a rare gem. It is a world in which an extremist religious group abolishes the United States government in an attempt to further their agenda: give the fertile women to the rich within the new government of Gilead in order to conceive children for the Commanders and their barren wives.
After all rights away from the women of the United States, such as a owning property and having a bank account, the newfound nation takes over and basically enslaves all fertile women, while sending those who are ungodly to the colonies to die.
In the series, we follow Offred (previously known as June in her life before) and her journey through this world. Once a month, Offred must become one flesh with her commander's wife and give her body up for the commander's use in hopes for fertilization.
Now I understand how it sounds. It's absolutely awful, but we also get to watch Offred as she subtly defines the patriarchy and fights to survive in this new, horrid world, which sets us all up for a truly emotional ride.
So after becoming obsessed with this brilliant tv show, I have formed my opinions on the characters at hand. The ones who I would fight to the death for and those who literally make me cringe when they appear on my laptop screen.
1. Offred (June)
Obviously, Offred is number one, but it isn't only due to the face she is the protagonist of the show. I continually found myself saying "yes girl!" as I watched this series because Offred refused to give up even when she found herself in such a submissive position.
Her boldness and subtle defiance were for sure a strong point to the character. She took matters into her own hands and gives a huge middle finger to the patriarchy even if it is sneaking into Nick's room, retrieving packages for Mayday, or dropping her stone in the refusal of stoning Janine. She endures every ceremony, every beating, every torturous act, both mentally and physically. She becomes stronger because of this, and it makes her fight even harder to survive.
Of course, she has her weaknesses, her breakdowns, but she always fights back. She asks why. She stands with bravery. She never lets Gilead or the commanders take who she is, and for that, she will always be the top character in 'The Handmaid's Tale'.
2. Ofwarren (Janine)
Oh, Janine. My heart will forever go out to this woman who just seems like she can't catch a break. Since the Red Center, where her eye was removed for refusing to be meek in nature, Janine had a rough ride, which increased my sympathy and love for this woman.
My heart shattered for her when she gave birth and the child was handed off to her commander's wife, who had the audacity to pretend that she was also in labor as Janine gave birth. It's no wonder that Janine suffered a mental breakdown after she was taken from her child and the man who promised her the world and posted at a new location to repeat the cycle.
There were definitely tears as she stood on the ledge with her child before handing the baby over to Offred and attempting to take her life. Even then, it didn't end. The suffering continued when she survived jumping from the bridge and was sentenced to death for the endangerment of a child's life.
Thankfully, Offred refused to stone her friend, resulting in her sparing for the time being, which I was thanking God for. She is definitely an icon for persisting through tragedy.
3. Ofglen (Emily)
Despite the fact she is only in the first five episodes, Ofglen made a huge impact on the show. She introduced us to Mayday, informed us that an Eye lived in the Waterford house, and encouraged defiance in Offred.
The things that happened to her after she was captured being a "gender traitor" had me staring at my laptop, mouth a gap, and in shock. Her best moment in the show, in my opinion, is the scene when she feels as though she has nothing left to lose, jumping into a car and doing laps around the market. This ends badly for her (and the eye that she ran over), ending in presumably death.
This direct act of defiance set a fire within the women whether they knew it or not. It was this that would later give them the courage to drop their rocks and refuse to stone Janine. This is where they knew Gilead could not take every part of them. This was due to Emily's act of rebellion.
4. Nick Blaine
My love, oh dear Lord. I love Nick so flipping much. More specifically, I love his relationship with Offred. Every scene that they were together, I was definitely internally (and probably externally) screaming.
The hallway scene before she speaks to the Mexican ambassadors, in which they secretly touch hands because they just want to feel one another. I was dead! I've never shipped a couple as hard as them, and I will never ship another tv couple as much again.
Yet, Nick is much more than Offred's lover. He is an Eye who watches the Commander rather every move Offred makes and, hopefully, has a hand in Offred's capture in the finale.
5. MoiraMoira as a character is all over the place, and her storyline from before to her final escape is complex. It made my heart happy when she sneaks into a barn and discovers that she had actually made it to Ontario.
Though I want to be frustrated with her for leaving Offred and getting on the train without her, I can't. I understand that it was really the only choice, and I feel like she made up for this when she sneaks the package out of Jezebels, sending it through the butcher in order to land in Offred's hands.
There isn't much to say about Rita. She is the Martha assigned to the Waterford household, and she seems to do her duties diligently. She seems genuinely annoyed by anything that requires an interruption of her work, including the ceremony.
I think she is an example of many people in the world, however. People who can just readjust to your surroundings and ignore everything that doesn't directly involve you.
Do your duties and keep your eyes forward. However, as the series goes on, I enjoyed her increasing acceptance of Offred, especially when she retrieves the letters that Moira sent Offred for Mayday once Offred is taken by the eyes.
I just don't like Luke, plain and simple. I understand that he's Offred's husband from before and that he still holds a place in her heart, but he holds no place within my own.
He's not a bad character, nothing like those below him, for sure. I just don't have a love for him. However, he does have some redeeming moments, such as the reunion between him and Moira in Canada. I even shed a tear, but that's about it.
I think he's kind of a flat character, and I truly believe that his personal episode (episode seven) was the least entertaining episode throughout the entire series.
8. Aunt Lydia
Moira was completely right when she wrote "Aunt Lydia Sux" in the bathroom stall at the Red Center. I couldn't agree more, Aunt Lydia truly sucks. She full-heartedly believes that the things that she does to these women, the torture, the mutilation, the mental terror, is for the greater good and for God, himself.
The fact that she made the handmaids circle Janine and blame her for her own gang-rape by leading the men on is reason enough to despise this woman. Though there are some moments where she acts as if she cares for the women, she is completely delusional in her mission, making her appearances in the show strike anxiety in viewers.
9. Serena Joy
I would just like to say that I cannot stand this woman. Whether it's the fact that she wrote the law for this awful society, that she kept Offred locked in her room for two weeks for something that she couldn't control, or that she made Janine and the other "damaged" women sit outside in the van while the healthy handmaids were allowed to attend the party for the Mexican ambassadors, it doesn't matter.
She is an overall selfish woman. It truly makes me disgusted that she thought that she would be the one exception in the case of women being domestic. She fought so hard for this society to form, to suppress women, but she never truly thought it would apply to her.
The only time she truly cares for Offred is when she has hope that she is with child, and even then, her love is not for Offred, it is for the unborn child growing within her.
10. The Commander
I literally cannot stand this man. In the beginning, when he just wanted to sit and play Scrabble with Offred, he was a stand-able man, just doing his 'duties' like everyone else.
I'm not saying that I loved what he was or what he stood for, but I'm saying that I could manage to look at the screen without cringing when he came on. Now, I feel dirty every time I look at him. The exact second that he shows up in Offred's bathroom with makeup and provocative clothes for his pleasure, there was no coming back.
He is a nasty man, who I truly hope gets hit with every force of karma in season two.