Many out there had read the Margaret Atwood novel this series is based upon. Most had been greatly disturbed by it and even more had loved it. It has also been done before as a film starring Faye Dunaway and Natasha Richardson. So a lot of alarms must have gone off. Meaning there was probably some hesitation on the part of the money people as well as the audience. Though looking back now (benefit of hindsight people!) I think this was the perfect time (especially in the history of our neighbour’s to the south) to bring forth this dystopian world series.
The United States has been renamed Gilead and is now basically a religion-based autocracy. Very few women in the U.S. are able to have children. Environmental issues are off the charts. Meaning that most women are barren. As such this religious society has had to readjust. By readjust I mean that the fertile women are forced into lives as reproductive machines for the government officials. You have no choice and you cannot escape or are punished. Severely. Women are pretty much property of the state.
June (played by Elisabeth Moss) tries to escape with her husband (played by O-T Fagbenle) and daughter (played by Jordana Blake) but is captured. She is now a handmaid. Not just a handmaid but for one of the more powerful men in the U.S. She is with Commander Waterford (played by Joseph Fiennes) and his wife Serena Joy (played by Yvonne Strahovski). June is now known as Offred.
Offred is no longer in control of her body or really anything in her life. She is completely under Serena Joy and the Commander’s will. Her life becomes a living hell. Only through mental strength is she going to survive. Others don’t.
I don’t know how anyone could binge watch this show. It is just too heavy. Heavy because the whole time watching it I was thinking that this is exactly the direction that the United States is going in. No jokes. Haunting. But oh so good. So relevant. The acting is marvelous. Elisabeth Moss is amazing as Offred. Really cements herself as one of the best on television today.
-From Script to Screen
-Hope in Gilead