Hello everyone! How has quarantine been treating you? Have you started taking your house plants out for dates on the back patio yet? No? Well good for you! My friend told me she’s only done that once, so leave her alone.
If you are like me, you’ve been spending your long nights scrolling through your phone, reading, and watching every show on Netflix and Hulu. I’m going to sing praise to one show in particular. Now, I am that person that has to read the book before I watch the show, if a show is made off of a book. I have to. I love comparing but also screaming at the screen every single time a stupid detail is changed that had no other purpose but making the readers mad. You can’t just throw a wig on that actress so her hair color is correct for me? Whatever.
One show that I absolutely do not mind that isn’t smack on with the book is The Handmaid’s Tale. You guys, I am in love. I knocked this show out in just weeks, which is ridiculous because I am a single mother of four young children who cannot watch a single scene of that show… yet… one day I will for sure let all of the watch it, maybe even make them, depending on how this country operates for the next few years.
I should mention that I am also one of those people who absolutely hates watching or reading something that is “trendy” at the moment. I didn’t start Game of Thrones until there were already 5 seasons out (of course I read the books first) and I just got into The Handmaid’s Tale when it’s been out since 2017.
I have this very persistent friend (thank you Samantha) who kept bringing it up, conversation after conversation, reminding me and reminding me, until finally I mentioned it to another friend, who happened to have the book and was going to drop it off to me. Well, that settled that. I finished the book in one weekend. I couldn’t put it down. I heard about a sequel to the book. I haven’t read that yet, but it’s on my list.
Okay, so now I’ve read the book, I’m ready to start the show. I knew it was going to be brutal, graphic, sad, gross, all of it, from my friend and of course reading the book. I was mentally prepared. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil a single thing.
The first episode was kind of in line with the book. It was close enough for me. I noticed some huge differences, but there was one book and so far three seasons. I knew some things would have to be modified. Just a bit into the second episode and they took that book and chucked it out of the window into a shredder. But, guys… I did not care! I, of course, was internally screaming and furiously texting my friend letting her know every detail they changed. But I just kept on watching.
It is so good. It’s hard to watch, makes you cringe, makes you cry, makes you hate men, makes you question religion, makes you want to scream, to throw things. It makes you feel. If you can watch that show dead-on with a straight face, you need to seek professional help. And stay far away from me.
Okay, so not giving anything away but still trying to make sense… the twists and turns and leaps and jumps and betrayals and alliances and relationships are all beautifully done. Even though the show is dark and horrible, there are still moments of hope, moments of love and joy. They give you just enough innocence here and there before they kick you back down again. And I just kept on watching. It’s an emotionally draining show for sure, especially if you are a woman, and double so if you are a mother.
Now that is not to say this is a show just for women. In fact, I think this country would be benefitted by men watching it. If they cringe and cry at the correct parts, they can stay. If they don’t, well, ladies, we know what we should do right?
Also, yes, it is a little scary to watch. Why? Welp, if you haven’t been paying attention to the world right now, some of this stuff has already happened. Some of it right in our own backyard in the “good ole” U.S. of A.. Some of it we are way too close to letting happen as well.
Okay, okay, let’s stop with that because I’m too close to giving a plot line away. Let’s talk about the actors. If you didn’t want to watch it for the details, watch it for the actors. Elisabeth Moss is amazing as the main character June. I admit that I had no idea who she was, as Mad Men is still in my queue. At first I didn’t like how she played “handmaid June” (again, thanks book) but after awhile I got used to it. Also, how did I forget she was married to Fred Armisen for a minute? Anyway. Although I haven’t watched Gilmore Girls, I recognized Alexis Bledel the moment I saw her as Emily. Unknown to me, Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski continues to blow me away as the main wife Serena Joy. She’s in a new show on Netflix, Stateless, that I will make sure to watch. Then there is my eye candy Max Minghella as the driver Nick. I haven’t heard of him before either, but I’ll be watching to see what he does next. A fun surprise for me, later in the show, was to see Bradley Whitford pop up. He’s been acting for decades, but whenever I see him in a show or movie I always love whatever he does. Another unexpected but not unappreciated surprise was the appearance of Joel from Parenthood, Sam Jaeger.
So there’s my take on The Handmaid’s Tale. Go watch it. Read the book. Watch it then read the book. I honestly don’t care what order you do it, it’s all worth it. Any order, any way, just do it. Blessed be the fruit.
“Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.” ~ Margaret Atwood (b. November 18, 1939- ). The Handmaid’s Tale (published 1985).