So, if you are not already watching these, you should be. I am a huge TV buff. I love anything from Game of Thrones to Grey’s Anatomy and the list doesn’t stop there. A lot of my favorite shows are slowly ending with their series finales. I cried for the last episode of Vampire Diaries that just aired about two weeks ago. I also found myself feeling really bummed with not having too many shows to watch.
A few weeks ago, dear old Netflix decided that they were going to get rid of the old Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes and I found myself scrambling for a way to watch them again. That’s when I found myself purchasing a subscription to Hulu. I thought at first it could be a mistake, since I only wanted to watch one show on there, but it ended up being a complete and total god-send. With Hulu, I found two new shows to replace the ones that I was losing.
The Handmaid’s Tale
If you are missing Pousey (Samira Wiley) from Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black or Rory from Gilmore Girls (Alexis Bledel), then don’t worry because I found them! They jumped ship from Netflix and joined Hulu’s team for the new thrilling show The Handmaid’s Tale.
Based on the original dystopian novel by Canadian author Margret Atwood, the show follows the novel pretty closely. It is set in the not-so-distant future, in a totalitarian theocracy that has overthrown the United States government. The show and the book follow its main character, Offred, who is a handmaid in the republic known as Gilead. In the future, reproduction rates have decreased drastically and in this new world, handmaids are assigned to bear the children for elite couples that are having trouble conceiving. Offred serves the Commander Waterford and his wife Serena Joy, both advocates for “traditional values” — these values being that the wife is a husband’s property and that she herself is not allowed to work, have money, or property, and that they are only there to bear and take care of children.
While I found this show very difficult to follow in the beginning, I found it intricately interesting. I have not read the book, but after watching the first three episodes that are now available I found myself hooked. While the first episode is a little raunchy, it gets better. This is one of those shows you should hold out for. Offred, played by Elisabeth Moss is also beautifully executed. She truly fits the part for her character.
You can catch The Handmaid’s Tale streaming Wednesday’s on Hulu.
In Hulu’s other new spring arrival, we get the show Harlots. This show features the wonderfully constructed ensemble cast of Samantha Morton, Jessica Brown Findlay, Eloise Smyth, and Lesley Manville.
Set in 1763’s England, you meet Margaret Wells, a brothel owner who struggles to raise her two daughters in a chaotic household. The series was widely inspired by the novel The Covenant Garden Ladies, written by Hallie Rubenhold. In 1763, London is booming and one in five women are selling sex. A woman’s only way to make any kind of economic advancement is to either marry rich or be a harlot. The city’s most well-known brothels are run by Margaret Wells and Lydia Quigley, who are rivals in the business. The show mostly revolves around Margaret and her daughters. Trying to improve their lives and fortune, the women move their brothel to a more uptown spot on Greek Street in Soho, which allows them to serve a better class of “Georgian” society. To help finance the move, Margaret auctions off her youngest daughter, Lucy’s, virginity — as she had done previously with her oldest daughter, Charlotte, when she was only 12.
Again, this show could be a little raunchy and maybe a little hard for some to follow, but I found the plotline very interesting. The characters all play very compelling roles and the show has an alluring air about it with its mistresses of the underground. You develop a love for Lucy’s character as she struggles to find a place in this world that her mother and sister have built for themselves. It is really hard to not have sympathy for her as she slowly tries to navigate the rough waters of this dysfunctional lifestyle. Her sister Charlotte is also in a bind with her “keeper,” Sir George Howard, that she is desperately trying to leave. There’s also a funny quip in the first episode where you can see some of the brothel girls reading Hallie Ruben’s The Covenant Garden Ladies. With this show’s comedy and drama, it is something you are sure to love.
You can catch Harlots streaming on Wednesday’s on Hulu.
*All images courtesy of Hulu