The Handmaid’s Tale
For the next episode in our TGE Watches series, Isabela and I discuss the Hulu Original series: The Handmaid’s Tale. We discussed the series several times as it was airing, and had differing thoughts and opinions about it. These differences make for a pretty lively and engaging discussion.
Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birth rate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values’. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the castes of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
We touch on three major topics during this discussion which all focus on our differing perspectives as viewers. First, we discuss how the show stays true to the source material and how it differs. The impact this has on the story told is pretty profound. We touch on the different emotional responses we had to the themes of motherhood. I found some of the scenes that involved June’s daughter to be particularly difficult, not because of the content but because I can so imagine my own emotional response as a mother. Lastly, we analyze how race is represented in Gilead in this modern, visual medium and how that is also a significant departure from the book.
Did you watch The Handmaid’s Tale? What drew you to the story and kept you watching? If not, have you avoided it for a specific reason? We love hearing your comments! Let us know your thoughts below.
Until next time, get your geek on!
Regina & Isabela
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Regina is a gamer, writer, teacher, and podcaster living in the Pacific Northwest. She completed her Ph.D. in 2011 from Washington State University in Vancouver and continues to teach there part time. Regina’s research interests focus on women and technology, and her dissertation discusses female gamers and identity in digital role playing games. A lifelong geek and technology enthusiast, Regina recently started a Girls Who Code club in support of their mission to close the gender gap in technology.
To continue the conversations about gender and gaming that Regina started during her research, she started a podcast called Game on Girl. Called the “NPR of game podcasts” by Chris Brown of The Married Gamers, the podcast features women involved in the game industry, and tackles some of the complicated issues in the gaming community. Season 2 began in the spring of 2018 and will premiere new episodes monthly.