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The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu


MargaretElliott

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lilwriter85

I watched episodes 1-4 today. I'm liking it so far. I read the book three for the first time three years ago. I still have a copy. I have read some good things about the audiobook version that is read by Claire Danes. I'm tempted to buy that version to listen to while cleaning and doing things around the house.

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I just keep think things like "what would I do if I couldn't work?" And "Can you imagine not being able to do anything without the permission of your husband?" And then it hits me - that is already th

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BackseatMom

I just keep think things like "what would I do if I couldn't work?" And "Can you imagine not being able to do anything without the permission of your husband?" And then it hits me - that is already the reality for so many of the families we discuss here. Not only could this happen , some of it is already happening here on a smaller scale. Margret Atwood said she didn't include anything in the book that hadn't happened somewhere in the real world. Think about that. Give me nightmares.

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Destiny

That's what makes it so chilling. It's not fiction, it's fact that has happened somewhere in the world in our lifetimes! *horror

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JesSky03

I'm hooked on this series so far. I just listened to the book for the first time the other day. So far I'm impressed with how well Hulu has adapted the book to this platform. I'm usually pretty critical and a book loyalist (don't even get me started on the Harry Potter movies) but so far I can see why they made changes where they did and how they make sense to explaining the story on screen. 

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BackseatMom

I read an interview with the show runner that said that one thing they changed was making the flashbacks more robust, and as relatable to our present day as possible. And they did a great job. Minus the fertility crisis, the flash backs look and feel just like life today. It makes it so much scarier.

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JesSky03

Ehhh, I wasn't as impressed with this last episode. There were several deviations from the book but I am willing to see what happens in the next episode before judging them good/bad. 

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SilverBeach

Did anybody notice that the lady warden also played the crazy leader of the crazy cigarette smoking cult on the crazy Left Behind series?

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frugaldreams
On 5/9/2017 at 0:05 PM, BackseatMom said:

I just keep think things like "what would I do if I couldn't work?" And "Can you imagine not being able to do anything without the permission of your husband?" And then it hits me - that is already the reality for so many of the families we discuss here. Not only could this happen , some of it is already happening here on a smaller scale. Margret Atwood said she didn't include anything in the book that hadn't happened somewhere in the real world. Think about that. Give me nightmares.

They'd kill me. I'd never cope. My combination of useless womb and big mouth would have me hanging off the wall in no time.

Mr. Frugal and I have been using a single car for the last year and since I work short shifts he drives to his work, I go to my job, get off, take public transit back to his work, he gets off and we go home. This means he drives every where and if I want to stop some place I have to ask him to stop.

He always does, of course, but he also always asks me why and for what. I lost it in the car the other night and started hollering about how I am a grown ass woman and I don't need to justify to him why I want to go to the damn store every single time before he gives me agreement. Poor Mr. Frugal. I frightened him and he said "I am just interested in what you want. You don't have to tell me." And..... I feel like a dick. Sigh. I think it's time to get my own car again.

Edited by frugaldreams
errant 't'
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SilverBeach
2 hours ago, SilverBeach said:

Did anybody notice that the lady warden also played the crazy leader of the crazy cigarette smoking cult on the crazy Left Behind series?

Actually, it was the crazy The Leftovers series.

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PennySycamore

I just saw an ad for the series while I was watching Criminal Minds.  My daughter has Hulu and was watching it and we listened to the Audible recording in the car on Saturday.  She's reading the novel on her Kindle and the Audible recording picks up right where she left off.

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lawlifelgbt

I would basically be Ofglen/Ofsteven. My womb is useful, but like her, I am government-registered (through my marriage) as being a "gender traitor."

Of course, I live about 4.5 hours from Canada by car, so I would hope to be smart enough to see the writing on the wall and cross the border as soon as I could.

i didn't leave the country when 45 was elected, because as a lawyer I can make change and protest; but, if the laws start creating an immediate threat to my safety or independence (i.e. women can't have own money), I would have to hope I had still enough gas in my efficient car to be able to cross.

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AmericanRose
22 hours ago, lawlifelgbt said:

I would basically be Ofglen/Ofsteven. My womb is useful, but like her, I am government-registered (through my marriage) as being a "gender traitor."

Of course, I live about 4.5 hours from Canada by car, so I would hope to be smart enough to see the writing on the wall and cross the border as soon as I could.

i didn't leave the country when 45 was elected, because as a lawyer I can make change and protest; but, if the laws start creating an immediate threat to my safety or independence (i.e. women can't have own money), I would have to hope I had still enough gas in my efficient car to be able to cross.

What stood out to me was that no one knew about these changes until they already happened. June went to work and was fired, she went to a coffeeshop and her card was declined -- everyone seemed to be taken by surprise by these events. No one was shown watching / reading about anything... that could have been lazy writing, or we were meant to infer that newspapers / TV / Internet had been restricted.

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Jucifer
36 minutes ago, AmericanRose said:

What stood out to me was that no one knew about these changes until they already happened. June went to work and was fired, she went to a coffeeshop and her card was declined -- everyone seemed to be taken by surprise by these events. No one was shown watching / reading about anything... that could have been lazy writing, or we were meant to infer that newspapers / TV / Internet had been restricted.

The flashback scenes are the scariest part of the show to me. 

In times past I could have read the book or watched this show and felt safe that this could never happen IRL. 

These days I'm not so certain.  Look who is in the White House.  If that can happen who knows what TF else can...

 

Edited by Jucifer
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EmiGirl

Thoughts from today's epiaode: 

Spoiler

Seei my flashbacks if Serena and Fred nearly killed me. You could see her pain as she saw her identity stripped away and Fred wasn't thrilled about it either and even promised to keep fighting for her. I'm not sure that he's 100% on board with this while uber-patriarchy deal. I know for sure Serena isn't. 

OMG I want to strangle the Mexican ambassador. Her assistant has to be a part of Mayday though.  

I'm hoping beyond hope they don't leave an ambiguous ending like the book did. I really like to imagine that June gets away and in this one might be reunited with Luke. 

One question, I don't remember if it was addressed in the book, but will the daughters born go on to be Handmaids? 

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SilverBeach
On 4/29/2017 at 8:46 PM, MamaJunebug said:

 I just watched this, was coming here to post a link but it's already here! 

The author was raised Quiverfull but was in a dance troupe. Interesting. Quiver and Gothardism do have differences, I guess.

https://theestablishment.co/the-handmaids-tale-a-white-feminist-s-dystopia-80da75a40dc5

Now this is a really thought-provoking read that I totally agree with. The hellish conditions depicted through the eyes of what had been a privileged white woman were normal conditions long before, for black female victims of chattel slavery. Interesting how racism is ignored in the series. No way such a dystopian society would not be racist and misogynistic.

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CelticGoddess
On May 16, 2017 at 7:39 PM, AmericanRose said:

What stood out to me was that no one knew about these changes until they already happened. June went to work and was fired, she went to a coffeeshop and her card was declined -- everyone seemed to be taken by surprise by these events. No one was shown watching / reading about anything... that could have been lazy writing, or we were meant to infer that newspapers / TV / Internet had been restricted.

It was supposed to happen so fast that people really didn't have time to react.  If I remember correctly, in the book, there were protests but many waiting to find out what was going to happen.  I do believe it was a case of information being curtailed.  I got that impression from the book.

 

17 hours ago, EmiGirl said:

Thoughts from today's epiaode: 

  Hide contents

Seei my flashbacks if Serena and Fred nearly killed me. You could see her pain as she saw her identity stripped away and Fred wasn't thrilled about it either and even promised to keep fighting for her. I'm not sure that he's 100% on board with this while uber-patriarchy deal. I know for sure Serena isn't. 

OMG I want to strangle the Mexican ambassador. Her assistant has to be a part of Mayday though.  

I'm hoping beyond hope they don't leave an ambiguous ending like the book did. I really like to imagine that June gets away and in this one might be reunited with Luke. 

One question, I don't remember if it was addressed in the book, but will the daughters born go on to be Handmaids? 

There was a scene in the book, the 'prayvaganza', where the daughters were given to the Angels (soldiers) to be married and that the mothers arranged the marriages.  It's going to be interesting to see how this is addressed in the movie.

 

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Jucifer

The art direction in this show is interesting.  I like the way they use color, especially the color red.

In flashback scenes it's used as a kind of foreshadowing device.

It reminds me of the movie 'The Sixth Sense'.  Every time the color red shows up, something scary happens. ;)

In the latest HT episode there were a lot of scenes with mirrors and reflections.  There was a scene in Offred's room where it looked like at one time a mirror was hung over her bathroom sink but it had been removed.

Earlier there was a scene where Mrs. Waterford was looking into a mirror and Offred was reflected in the same mirror with her.

Sorry to bore anyone-   I'm a huge movie and TV nerd and I just can't help myself.  ;p

 

Edited by Jucifer
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Imaginary_Wonderland

Up to now, I have been reading this thread wishing Hulu was available here, and really jealous I couldn't see it too. But I saw on advert on tv earlier saying it is coming to Channel 4, I think it starts next week. I didn't notice which day though I was too busy freaking delighted. It's been more than 10 years since I read it in uni, so  it's a bit hazy now - I'm gonna dust it down and try speed read before it starts.

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Markie

I'm not sure. Do we know where they put Offred's daughter? With a childless government couple? In an indoctrination orphanage? 

 

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Hane
5 hours ago, Markie said:

I'm not sure. Do we know where they put Offred's daughter? With a childless government couple? In an indoctrination orphanage? 

 

I get the impression that all children, born of Handmaids or those taken away from women like June, are given to the Commanders and their wives. Remember Offred's scene in the doctor's office? On the walls are pictures of Commanders and their wives, holding babies--the obvious fruit of the Handmaids.

As mentioned above, in the book, the daughters of the Commanders and their wives got married off to sons of the elite, in marriages the wives arranged.

There's a class of women in the book not yet mentioned or shown in the series: the Econowives, who are married to lower-class men. In the book, June's marriage was deemed invalid because her husband had been divorced previously, making the marriage "adulterous." The implication was that "approved" marriages were left intact, and that such couples who managed to have their own kids could keep them.

There's been some conversation about the fact that the Gilead of the series isn't white supremacist. The executive producer decided to show an interracial Gilead for two reasons: he believed that fertility would be of paramount importance (trumping racism) and that excluding people of color would immediately raise the question, "Hey, what about the POC? What's happening to them?"--and necessitating a parallel narrative.  (Which could generate a great new series, in my opinion.)

This interracial Gilead feels a bit "off" to me. The kind of people who would want a fascist theocracy would be just comfy with white supremacy, even if it meant vanishingly small birth rates. (The final chapter of the book, in which scholars are studying Offred's diaries, mentions that Gilead lasted nowhere near as long as its founders had hoped.)

The same goes for the Commander's announcement (in the series) of the drastically decreasing carbon levels, as the government of Gilead is working hard to remediate pollution and environmental disasters. I don't see these issues as important to such a society, as long as the rich and powerful manage to get everything they need.

The plentifully stocked grocery store in the series surprised me, given the state of the Gileadean world.

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Markie
26 minutes ago, Hane said:

 

The plentifully stocked grocery store in the series surprised me, given the state of the Gileadean world.

I rewatched the first episode this afternoon and noticed the food had no labels. I take it that that was because Handmaids and Martha's weren't supposed to read.

It's been so long since I've read the book, so to recap, the levels of women were - government wives, econowives, Martha's (unmarried barren women convicted of no "crimes", Handmaids, prostitutes, colony slaves... what would you call "Aunt Lydia" (besides a sadistic bi$?h?) 

How about the different levels for men in Gilead? Government, military, all other occupations since women cannot work, colony slaves... 

 

 

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EmiGirl
34 minutes ago, Hane said:

There's been some conversation about the fact that the Gilead of the series isn't white supremacist. The executive producer decided to show an interracial Gilead for two reasons: he believed that fertility would be of paramount importance (trumping racism) and that excluding people of color would immediately raise the question, "Hey, what about the POC? What's happening to them?"--and necessitating a parallel narrative.  (Which could generate a great new series, in my opinion.)

This interracial Gilead feels a bit "off" to me. The kind of people who would want a fascist theocracy would be just comfy with white supremacy, even if it meant vanishingly small birth rates.

I vaguely remember one of the black Handmaids saying something about being accepting of their babies, but a black person is lower class or doesn't have rights or something to that effect. 

37 minutes ago, Hane said:

The same goes for the Commander's announcement (in the series) of the drastically decreasing carbon levels, as the government of Gilead is working hard to remediate pollution and environmental disasters. I don't see these issues as important to such a society, as long as the rich and powerful manage to get everything they need.

I think this is for the Mexican ambassador' s benefit to show her how well they are doing and maybe why their crops are flourishing. He's trying to build their brand.

One thing I find interesting is how obvious it is that Fred is so obviously missing having a true relationship with a woman. I think he had that with Serena Joy at one point and really misses it.

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Jucifer

In lieu of doing housework, I'm posting a couple of thoughts. ;)

The scene in the last episode where Mrs. Waterford was looking in the mirror and Offred was reflected in the same mirror was interesting.  

It seemed to say Mrs. Waterford could see herself as Offred if her circumstances were different.  I think this is at least part of where her hatred of Offred comes from. 

I just remembered another movie where the color red preceded horrifying events:  The Omen, the original movie from 1976.  Just one example: when the reporter is attacked by birds she is wearing a red coat. 

The scene where June and her daughter were hiding from the police, soldiers (?) reminded me of the scene from LOTR when the hobbits were hiding from the ring wraiths. 

Edited by Jucifer
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moriah

On the subject of seeming like it could happen today vs being "straight by the book"...  well, since Ms. Atwood is helping with the production, my hope is that she approves of the direction they are taking in expanding on the world of Gilead.  Since the "post-script history" in the book suggests that the tapes were found but the story might not have been fully told, or that Offred's tapes were likely changed to protect people, etc, gives some canon wiggle room.  So far I haven't disapproved of much of the changes.

I  curious how many people have wondered if.ATI's "ALERT" graduates would be the perfect type of original force of "Guardians" -- I doubt producers have looked deeply enough into contemporary Christian fundamentalism to see there are already essentially "boot camps" to train up a small force within the fundamentalist movement.

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SilverBeach

The scene in the elevator at the sex club in Ep. 8 bothered me. I won't describe it, but they could have left it out.

The hypocrisy of it all was right on point though. The male pillars of Gilead, supposed Godly men, engaging in all manner of pervesion when nobody is looking. 

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