‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ TV series – A Review

I know I’m running a tiny bit behind; but I finally just watched the final episode of series one (I still can’t believe they’re spinning it out to a series two – though I must admit I am excited for it).

Spoiler warning – if you’re even further behind than me

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I have a lot of feelings about the series as a whole. For the most part: wow. Visually impressive with wonderful actors conveying to the viewer and making them feel all of those emotions shared by readers of Atwood’s novel.

Just occasionally though, I felt like the way it looked was put ahead of the actual content. One example is the scene after the stoning-that-wasn’t. The defiant march is one thing, I was semi-on board with that, but using ‘Feelin’ Good’ in that context was just odd. It sounded and looked good, but just didn’t fit in with the tone of the previous scene. I’m pretty sure none of the handmaids were feelin’ very good at all. Defiant and powerful maybe; but not good. It was a simplistic and easy choice, when for the most part the rest of the series felt so technical and is if thought had been put into every little detail.

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Speaking of detail, what was that amputation scene all about? Unnecessary in every single way. Unnecessary to show it in such graphic detail, and unnecessary to have it, and the previous scene, in there at all. What was it even trying to say? To me, it was throwing a little ‘men suffer in this too’ line, and I’m just not buying it. If anyone else can shed a little light on the purpose of the scene and the one previous to it,  I would be grateful.

Another grumble I have is some of the content that wasn’t from Offred/June’s point of view was boring. Some of the flashbacks were well-placed and enhanced the storyline; but others, particularly Luke’s episode, were just holding up the action. That episode, for me, could have been cut all together, or made into a short section and squeezed into another episode as an extra side. I actually skipped through a lot of it and don’t feel my experience of the series as a whole has been affected having missed it.

The relationship between June/Offred and Nick the driver was probably my favourite of all the relationships in the series. Their interactions and the frequency of them were just right. Also Janine was incredible. All of the handmaids were incredible, but Janine’s character could have so easily been taken too far, but the actor did an amazing job.

On the whole, the acting made this series a masterpiece more than any other aspect. I can’t wait for the next series, despite myself, considering we’ve run out of novel. My hopes are high, if slightly wary.

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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