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timp
Sep 19, 2007

Everything is in my control
Lipstick Apathy
If June would have wormed her way out of going to Canada in this episode I probably would have put this show down for good finally, and I'll be damned if they didn't ring that bell for the entire episode. But she finally went. Thank you for having the backbone to do that writers.

My wife doesn't watch a ton of these "prestige drama" type shows like I do, but after watching a bit of season 1 over my shoulder, she got hooked.
Season 2 came along and she rolled her eyes a bit at the end, but was still on board.
Season 3 she pretty much hate-watched by the end,
And I had to talk her into checking back in for Season 4. And I was pretty much right there with her, but maybe erring a little more on the side of giving the show the benefit of the doubt and ultimately sticking with it.

So far we've been sort of MST3K'ing our way through this season, but I'll admit it's at least been more engaging this season. People rightfully are complaining about how unrelatable June has become, but I'll still watch those scenes before I look forward to another Fred and/or Serena Joy scene. What are they even still doing here??

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Dolphin
Dec 5, 2008

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS

DasNeonLicht posted:

June repeatedly trying to turn around on the shores of Lake Michigan to go back to get the daughter that recoiled at the sight of her own mother from a theocratic garrison state and volunteering to get turned in like it ain't no thing when in fact it was incredibly easy to hide or disguise her from boat cops were breaking points for me. Maybe I'm a psycho or maybe it's because I've never been a mother but June's inability to judge what is realistic and compartmentalize and accept loss — especially in a world as cruel as Gilead and in moments where she is inches away from realizing hope — is truly wild and I find it deeply unrelatable and possibly even a sign of bad writing!
She has a TBI, years of mental trauma, she's disoriented and confused, her single remaining source of emotional comfort for god knows how long just disappeared. I give her some slack personally.

Exodor
Oct 1, 2004

Escobarbarian posted:

This episode was completely pointless. It told us nothing we didnít already know and had no reason to exist. Pretty good to see June get bitched out for being a jackass, though.

I mean other than June escaping to Canada I guess

Honestly I'd be satisfied if that was the series finale. Or at least the end of June's arc so we can focus on far more interesting characters.

flashy_mcflash
Feb 7, 2011

mcmagic posted:

The idea that every coast guard troop in Gilead doesn't know what she looks like is LOL. She's like the foremost enemy of the state.

Yeah I don't need detailed TED talks about the economics of Gilead or schematics of the wind-powered military installations but it's beyond unbelievable that a person so valuable to Gilead that she's caused multiple international and domestic terror incidents wouldn't be like the one face burned into the brains of every single person in charge of inspecting outgoing travel from the country. They had her rear end locked up for weeks torturing her and no one thought to take a photo just in case she escapes like she's done 400 times?

What's more jarring to me is that they chose to use flashbacks in this episode to play up Luke as a character who left his previous wife due to infertility. This causes June to be afraid enough to return to him without Hanna that she's willing to basically commit suicide by trying to go back for her (with no plan). Is this supposed to be equivocating him with a Gilead commander/patriarch? Is the show making a statement that all marriages are inherently patriarchal, and if not, then what were we supposed to read from those flashbacks being juxtaposed with this specific part of the story?

timp
Sep 19, 2007

Everything is in my control
Lipstick Apathy

flashy_mcflash posted:

Yeah I don't need detailed TED talks about the economics of Gilead or schematics of the wind-powered military installations but it's beyond unbelievable that a person so valuable to Gilead that she's caused multiple international and domestic terror incidents wouldn't be like the one face burned into the brains of every single person in charge of inspecting outgoing travel from the country. They had her rear end locked up for weeks torturing her and no one thought to take a photo just in case she escapes like she's done 400 times?

You're so right. Rule #1 of a fascist state is to paint pictures of Public Enemy Number One absolutely everywhere so your stinking proletariat class can throw bottles at their face during the Two Minute Hate. No way they wouldn't have elevated June to that status at this point.

But poo poo, man. The plot writing on this show is so hosed at this point anyways. Not an authentic beat in sight at this point :sigh:

fart simpson
Jul 2, 2005

DEATH TO AMERICA
:xickos:

Dolphin posted:

She has a TBI, years of mental trauma, she's disoriented and confused, her single remaining source of emotional comfort for god knows how long just disappeared. I give her some slack personally.

i mean sure, but the show hasnít focused on stuff like tbi as a theme so if they were deliberately trying to make her act erratically with the idea that her concussion and brain injuries are major contributors to that, they really screwed it up. it doesnít feel like it fits thematically

like what if in the next episode they reveal that some of her recent behavior was because of an infection or parasite she picked up in the sealed milk car. im sure they could make that make sense in a way but it would be bad storytelling

DasNeonLicht
Dec 25, 2005

"...and the light is on and burning brightly for the masses."
Fallen Rib

fart simpson posted:

like what if in the next episode they reveal that some of her recent behavior was because of an infection or parasite she picked up in the sealed milk car. im sure they could make that make sense in a way but it would be bad storytelling

all I could think about that episode was how foul they both must have smelled afterward and how no one was talking about it, not even a throwaway line

timp
Sep 19, 2007

Everything is in my control
Lipstick Apathy

DasNeonLicht posted:

all I could think about that episode was how foul they both must have smelled afterward and how no one was talking about it, not even a throwaway line

My immediate first thought was that the choice of milk must have had some sort of thematic implication. My second thought was how nasty it is/was that they were in there for probably like 12 hours straight and what exactly they were doing about that. Neither one of those really seemed to factor in or pay off.

Like I said earlier, the why doesn't seem to matter this year when compared to the what, so whatever.

flashy_mcflash
Feb 7, 2011

timp posted:

My immediate first thought was that the choice of milk must have had some sort of thematic implication.

I thought (mother's) milk was a pretty heavy handed element even for this show. It wasn't explored in any meaningful way but I figured the writers really thought they were doing something clever there.

timp posted:

Like I said earlier, the why doesn't seem to matter this year when compared to the what, so whatever.

This is disappointing but extremely true.

SirPablo
May 1, 2004

Pillbug
Still seemed like a huge plot blunder for Gilead to catch June and the rest of the handmaids on the farm, then just but them all right back to work. Pack them into a van with ONE guard.

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003

SirPablo posted:

Still seemed like a huge plot blunder for Gilead to catch June and the rest of the handmaids on the farm, then just but them all right back to work. Pack them into a van with ONE guard.

Hey now, they also had a crippled old woman helping to guard them.

Vorgen
Mar 5, 2006

Party Membership is a Democracy, The Weave is Not.

A fledgling vampire? How about a dragon, or some half-kobold druids? Perhaps a spontaneous sex change? Anything that can happen, will happen the results will be beyond entertaining.

Y'all remember the Super Hardcore Metal Handmaidens that June saw in D.C. when she went to visit? How some of them had metal friggin' rings sewing their mouths shut? It was almost transhumanist in its babymaking utilitarianism. In contrast to that, what had already happened to lesser naughty handmaidens in the interest of discipline, June has gotten off practically scott free even though she is the most naughtiest of handmaids. She got, what, waterboarded once and they made her daughter scared of her?

What I'm trying to say is that this show is bad because it has no internal consistency and it should feel bad.

SirPablo
May 1, 2004

Pillbug
Chicago is home of The Resistance, which consist of small groups of survivors with small arms. Impressive how they stand up to Gilead, especially being (presumably) landlocked/surrounded.

I hate this show now. I will hate watch the rest of the season.

Cranappleberry
Jan 27, 2009
the only justification I can think of is that June has several "allies" among the commanders and all the smart commanders except the one economics dude are dead. So Nick and the rest of the commanders know who she is but they don't disseminate the information out of fear she could become a symbol or martyr or it's always someone else's problem, like the aunts or Nick and his crack team of henchmen.

Do they know for a fact it was her who did the plane of kids?

Also, it's outright said the working class of Gilead doesn't buy into Gilead as a country or their crazy beliefs at all but goes along with it because of the potential consequences if they don't.

If I have to invent head canon like this it is terrible writing because absolutely they'd be passing out pictures of her just saying she is a criminal and keep on the look out. like wtf

wtf is up with Chicago? none of it makes sense.

Cranappleberry
Jan 27, 2009

flashy_mcflash posted:

Yeah I don't need detailed TED talks about the economics of Gilead or schematics of the wind-powered military installations ]

I just want some flow charts. the barest explanation on how the economy works. Even star citizen has that.

SirPablo
May 1, 2004

Pillbug
Do we ever even see any of the "working" class? Seems like everyone is a commander, house wife, Martha, handmaid, military, aunt, or a unique player like a one off doctor. Maybe that is all there is, the place feels totally empty. No one lives there except the crazies?

Cranappleberry
Jan 27, 2009
There was one episode where they show the working class for a bit. I assume doctors are among it, if maybe more important or "wealthy." The working class live in apartments, mostly, and do all the actual work, including the laundry.

June hides in the apartment of one guy (who may know who she is but def knows she's a handmaiden) and she discovers he is Muslim. He protects her but then he and his family go to church and don't return so she bails.

Ironically, only the little people are required to go to church. The commanders and their wives and children don't have to. Handmaidens and aunts have their own thing, obviously. Idk about marthas.

SirPablo
May 1, 2004

Pillbug
Oh right, wasn't that early S1? They've long abandoned any of that.

fart simpson
Jul 2, 2005

DEATH TO AMERICA
:xickos:

what happened with the colonies? also remember in season 1 where handmaids got executed for talking to each other in the store? but now somehow they keep telling inventing reasons for not putting june on the wall?

flashy_mcflash
Feb 7, 2011

fart simpson posted:

what happened with the colonies? also remember in season 1 where handmaids got executed for talking to each other in the store? but now somehow they keep telling inventing reasons for not putting june on the wall?

They've (badly) explained that away by saying that fertile women are so scarce that they can't kill any of them. Despite having a scene where a commander threw 3-4 of them off the roof just prior.

fart simpson
Jul 2, 2005

DEATH TO AMERICA
:xickos:

flashy_mcflash posted:

They've (badly) explained that away by saying that fertile women are so scarce that they can't kill any of them. Despite having a scene where a commander threw 3-4 of them off the roof just prior.

surely you just make an exception for terrorist enemy of the state #1 most wanted who keeps getting people (even some fertile women!) killed constantly

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

SirPablo posted:

Chicago is...(presumably) landlocked/surrounded.

You presume wrongly. Chicago is on Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, and the Chicago and Calumet Rivers link to both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin. These water connections are what made the city so important as a trade and industrial center in the first place. I assume smugglers from Canada ply the Great Lakes and supply the Chicago rebels.

Don't get me wrong, the show's still bad.

Cheesus
Oct 17, 2002

Let us retract the foreskin of ignorance and apply the wirebrush of enlightenment.
Yam Slacker
What were people's impressions of the first season? Had you read the book before hand?

I really liked the idea of the Handmaid's Tale world, wanted to get into the series, and so I read the book for the first time this week. I thought it was amazing from start to finish.

Then I tried to watch S1E1 and only made it through about 20 minutes.

First, Luke being African American was a hard pill to swallow given book-Gilead's racism. I misgivings when I saw some youtube videos showing Samira Wiley as Moira but seeing a mulato handmaiden at the initial Loaves and Fishes was a really tough pill to swallow.

But it was Offred/June that took me out of it. For the first 1/3 of the book, she acts brainwashed/PTSD by her experience, not daring to even think any kind of resistance thought until her first evening session with the Commander. Up until that point in the book, she established Moira and her mother as the ones likely to have those kind of thoughts and she seems never up to their level of power. Then in those first 20 minutes (and I guess more like 5 if you eliminate the flashback with the attempted escape Luke and her daughter), she's thinking Ofglen a "pious little poo poo" and in the Loaves and Fishes, thinking about firing a machinegun at one of the guardians.

Thinking that Atwood's follow up would be more of what I was expecting, The Testaments is unravelling for me there as well. A lot of the power of original book comes the vague ideas of how Gilead came to be, leaving it up to your imagination which is somewhat easy to hand off to my suspension of disbelief. I'm halfway through and Atwood's detailing of the fall and how Lydia formed the basis of how women were to be handled in Gilead tweaks my disbelief in a major way (along with the second story of "Sending baby Nicole back to Gilead might be just the thing to bring them down! " is striking me as a very Arrested Development Tobias "open marriage" moment).

Normy
Jul 1, 2004

Do I Krushchev?


Yikes

Zane
Nov 14, 2007

Cheesus posted:

What were people's impressions of the first season? Had you read the book before hand?

I really liked the idea of the Handmaid's Tale world, wanted to get into the series, and so I read the book for the first time this week. I thought it was amazing from start to finish.

Then I tried to watch S1E1 and only made it through about 20 minutes.

First, Luke being African American was a hard pill to swallow given book-Gilead's racism. I misgivings when I saw some youtube videos showing Samira Wiley as Moira but seeing a mulato handmaiden at the initial Loaves and Fishes was a really tough pill to swallow.

But it was Offred/June that took me out of it. For the first 1/3 of the book, she acts brainwashed/PTSD by her experience, not daring to even think any kind of resistance thought until her first evening session with the Commander. Up until that point in the book, she established Moira and her mother as the ones likely to have those kind of thoughts and she seems never up to their level of power. Then in those first 20 minutes (and I guess more like 5 if you eliminate the flashback with the attempted escape Luke and her daughter), she's thinking Ofglen a "pious little poo poo" and in the Loaves and Fishes, thinking about firing a machinegun at one of the guardians.

Thinking that Atwood's follow up would be more of what I was expecting, The Testaments is unravelling for me there as well. A lot of the power of original book comes the vague ideas of how Gilead came to be, leaving it up to your imagination which is somewhat easy to hand off to my suspension of disbelief. I'm halfway through and Atwood's detailing of the fall and how Lydia formed the basis of how women were to be handled in Gilead tweaks my disbelief in a major way (along with the second story of "Sending baby Nicole back to Gilead might be just the thing to bring them down! " is striking me as a very Arrested Development Tobias "open marriage" moment).
yes. the original novel was always best at capturing the lived experience of totalitarian oppression: an experience of privation, repetition, trammeled thinking, bad compromises, and small victories. there was never much thought given to the broader structural plausibility of the setting -- let alone how to narrate the collective rise and fall of such a society through the lens, perhaps even the agency, of a single person. i was never much impressed by this tv adaptation. too significantly driven by the cheap conventions of commercial screenwriting from the start: where each season has to have a dramatic arc, where the waterfords have to be hot, where the stakes have to always be raised with more and more brutality and control while the protagonist simultaneously always has to survive and be moving forward, etc.

but atwood herself seems to arbitrarily alternate between two modes: serious literary fiction mode and commercial hack fiction mode. for example: oryx and crake is almost a masterpiece of dystopian science fiction. while the year of the flood, the sequel, is kind of a hacky cash in. this is fine if it works for her but it can also obviously create a mess of things.

Zane fucked around with this message at 21:01 on May 21, 2021

SirPablo
May 1, 2004

Pillbug

Pththya-lyi posted:

You presume wrongly. Chicago is on Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, and the Chicago and Calumet Rivers link to both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin. These water connections are what made the city so important as a trade and industrial center in the first place. I assume smugglers from Canada ply the Great Lakes and supply the Chicago rebels.

Don't get me wrong, the show's still bad.

Emphasis on surrounded.

Zwabu
Aug 7, 2006

Skimming this thread has validated my decision to experience the new season vicariously through reading the thread rather than actually watching the show.

June staying in Gilead after the sympathetic professor/Commander got her a ticket out pretty much caused me to nope out of further investment in the series. Maybe I can skim through it or hatewatch it while folding laundry but eh.

Cheesus
Oct 17, 2002

Let us retract the foreskin of ignorance and apply the wirebrush of enlightenment.
Yam Slacker

Zane posted:

but atwood herself seems to arbitrarily alternate between two modes: serious literary fiction mode and commercial hack fiction mode.
After finishing up The Testaments just now, yeah fanficing her own work is a thing.

On one hand...woof. Like following up your amazing homemade meal with a stale donut from 7-11.

On the other hand, good way to not feel your work is too precious?

Wafflecopper
Nov 27, 2004

I am a mouth, and I must scream

Cheesus posted:

First, Luke being African American was a hard pill to swallow given book-Gilead's racism. I misgivings when I saw some youtube videos showing Samira Wiley as Moira but seeing a mulato handmaiden at the initial Loaves and Fishes was a really tough pill to swallow.

Black people in MY Handmaidís Tale!?

Cheesus
Oct 17, 2002

Let us retract the foreskin of ignorance and apply the wirebrush of enlightenment.
Yam Slacker

Wafflecopper posted:

Black people in MY Handmaid’s Tale!?
In the novel the very racist state of Gilead either relocated or "relocated" all African Americans ("Sons of Ham") to the Midwest.

They also relocated all Jews back to Israel with at least one shipload being sunk at sea.

Wafflecopper
Nov 27, 2004

I am a mouth, and I must scream

This may come as a surprise to you but adaptations donít always stick strictly to the source material and the existence of black people is a weird detail to get hung up on

fart simpson
Jul 2, 2005

DEATH TO AMERICA
:xickos:

Wafflecopper posted:

This may come as a surprise to you but adaptations donít always stick strictly to the source material and the existence of black people is a weird detail to get hung up on

canít you just let the guy get upset about uh, the presence of minority actors, in a tv show he doesnít like?

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020
It is, however, deeply weird that the horrifyingly-misogynistic police state doesn't have any problems with racism. IIRC Aunt Lydia mentions one Commander who refuses to take a Handmaid of color because he wants his baby to be white, but that's it for racial animus in Gilead.

I mean, I understand why the show didn't want to tackle the problem of racism, and it's good that PoC actors are getting non-stereotyped roles, but it's weird, right? I know I'm not the only one who thinks that.

Sardonik
Jul 1, 2005

if you like my dumb posts, you'll love my dumb youtube channel

Pththya-lyi posted:

It is, however, deeply weird that the horrifyingly-misogynistic police state doesn't have any problems with racism. IIRC Aunt Lydia mentions one Commander who refuses to take a Handmaid of color because he wants his baby to be white, but that's it for racial animus in Gilead.

I mean, I understand why the show didn't want to tackle the problem of racism, and it's good that PoC actors are getting non-stereotyped roles, but it's weird, right? I know I'm not the only one who thinks that.

Defintiely agree with this. Pretty clear the intent was to keep the focus firmly on the axis of gender, but of all the unrealistic things in the series the lack of racism tops the list.

flashy_mcflash
Feb 7, 2011

I really did think that one of the (many) scary things about the book version of Gilead was that they were so racist that even in a fertility crisis they still weren't willing to consider bearing children with/from minorities. That is an, um, impressive commitment to racism.

The show is definitely better for having Black/POC characters but it necessarily means they have to soften that image of Gilead, which is also a little problematic. It's a tough needle to thread and I think the show could do more to emphasize or explore Gilead's begrudging acceptance of minorities for the sake of breeding but I can also understand why they don't do so.

fart simpson
Jul 2, 2005

DEATH TO AMERICA
:xickos:

flashy_mcflash posted:

I really did think that one of the (many) scary things about the book version of Gilead was that they were so racist that even in a fertility crisis they still weren't willing to consider bearing children with/from minorities. That is an, um, impressive commitment to racism.

The show is definitely better for having Black/POC characters but it necessarily means they have to soften that image of Gilead, which is also a little problematic. It's a tough needle to thread and I think the show could do more to emphasize or explore Gilead's begrudging acceptance of minorities for the sake of breeding but I can also understand why they don't do so.

i dont know about this. i don't think gilead being too soft and likeable is very high up on the list of problems with the show

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003

Raping your black slaves is like racism 101 anyway, it is not surprising they use them as handmaids.

Zane
Nov 14, 2007

socialsecurity posted:

Raping your black slaves is like racism 101 anyway, it is not surprising they use them as handmaids.
it gets pretty complicated. if we're talking about the antebellum south: masters had a prerogative to dominate their black slaves but also an expectation to preserve the christian respectability of their family more narrowly as well as the purity of the white race more broadly. the coherence of the racial dividing line--the security of white power and black subordination, the conceptual distinction between white civilization and black primitivism--was an explicit social imperative that whites of all classes generally took heed of. the legal status--or legitimacy--of mixed race children was therefore an extremely difficult and contentious issue. many masters took advantage of their slave women; but this was also one of the most dangerous threats to the image of responsible gentility that they cultivated. the children that issued would often be enslaved; sometimes they would be freed. it's not a dynamic that the show--inasmuch as there is aspirational historical reference to past racial oppression in the americas--is really capable of grappling with.

Zane fucked around with this message at 02:38 on May 24, 2021

flashy_mcflash
Feb 7, 2011

fart simpson posted:

i dont know about this. i don't think gilead being too soft and likeable is very high up on the list of problems with the show

I guess it's more of downplaying the racism in favour of other (often more cartoonish and easier or more comfortable for the audience to condemn) aspects of fascism. Again, I get why they wouldn't really emphasize the marginalization of other groups than women but it's also kind of interesting that a decades-old book captures at least part of the idea of intersectionality better than a modern project.

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Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004


Grimey Drawer

Cheesus posted:

In the novel the very racist state of Gilead either relocated or "relocated" all African Americans ("Sons of Ham") to the Midwest.

They also relocated all Jews back to Israel with at least one shipload being sunk at sea.

Luke is a dude who escaped to Canada when Gilead took over and doesnít live there. Why would him being black bother you?

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