A 10 Episode Tale: The Handmaid’s Tale

“Blessed Be the Fruit”, says a Handmaid's to another. The traditional reply is “May the Lord open”. This is the correct way to greet everyone they encounter amongst Gilead residents.

Picture by Cosmopolitan

A Hulu’s spectacular, The Handmaid's Tale is an American television series based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood. With only 10 episodes (we already want more!), as the title already suggests, we accompany the story of a handmaid named Offred.

The story takes place in a dystopian future and is set in a republic where newspapers, magazines, books and films have been burned. Lawyers and universities no longer exist. WOMEN DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS. Criminals are killed and hanged on the wall in a public square to serve as an example.

In this theocratic and totalitarian state, women are divided into categories, each with a function. There are wives, marthas, saviors and... HANDMAIDS.

The name of this republic is Gilead.

To be a handmaid means to belong to the government and to exist solely to procreate. Against her will, she is assigned to a couple to serve until the owner (Commander) of the house – played by Joseph Fiennes – succeeds in getting her pregnant. After the child is born, the handmaid is taken to the residence of another family and never sees the baby again.

Offred – played by Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) – is the protagonist. She had another name, June. That name was part of the “world of before”. Before her husband was killed and her daughter taken by the state. Before the United States was taken over by the totalitarian government of the Republic of Gilead. And (of course!) before fertility rates fall worldwide because of pollution and sexually transmitted diseases and she is forced to become a handmaid, as she is one of the few women still fertile. Her new name means that she is a property of the Commander's family. While Offred lives in a world of slavery, rape and submission to women, she tries to find a way to survive, hoping to one day find her daughter.

Picture by Cosmopolitan

Fundamentalism and sexism  are the main targets that the series will criticize. While you watch the episodes it is almost impossible not to feel uncomfortable with what we see. The terrifying situations portrayed, such as the rape ritual and the closed scenarios, giving a strong sense of claustrophobia, will drive you crazy! Everything was greatly interpreted by Elisabeth Moss, that even in the moments when the character does not have to speak, we can feel Offred’s misery only by the look.

The show has a lot to say in 10 episodes!

It’s  – at same time – a cautionary tale and scary as hell. A faithful adaptation of the book, The Handmaid’s Tale is something unique, a somber story about the lives and fears of women. Isn't just the best original show Hulu has ever done. It's one of the most impressive series of the year.