The Handmaid's Tale



When the new Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale—based on the beloved 1985 Margaret Atwood novel of the same namedebuted in April 2017, it was quickly cast by the pop-media as a cautionary tale of great relevance to the Donald Trump era. The story centers on "handmaid" Offred (Elisabeth Moss), a baby-bearing slave in the new fascist and patriarchal Republic of Gilead.

In this society, women are forcibly cast as wives, housekeepers, or handmaids; homosexuality is outlawed; surveillance is standard; God is the justification; and once-powerful women like Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) are now barred from intellectual and practically all public life. Thankfully, the series, created by Bruce Miller, avoids heavy-handed attempts at contemporary political allegory and lets the artfully shot, star-studded, chillingly dystopian story speak for itself.

If only the commentators were as restrained.