Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«18 »
  • Locked thread
Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


The Handmaids Tale is a Hulu exclusive adaptation of Margaret Atwood's phenomenal 1984 novel ( and how fitting that it was released in 1984).




Wait.. no that's not it:




Nope.. sorry ...




Ah Ha!!!


Okay , so what is The Handmaids Tale A Primer for why all men should be kept in kennels and only let out for breeding purposes. It's a Dystopian Science Fiction / Speculative Fiction set now about how a religious order takes over control over the United States and institutes a policy of using Handmaidens after a disease/virus/the internet makes a majority of the population infertile.

For biblical reference: Gensisis 16 or so

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

6“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

7The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

9Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”


Basically a mans wife can't get pregnant so that dudes wife is obviously infertile and totally not his fault for having weak sperm or a narrow urethra so they use a Hand Maid. Which has nothing to do with Hand Jobs which would defeat the purpose of getting pregnant but would also maybe prevent some calamities? I am unsure.


Okay so discuss the show and how it has emotionally devastated you.

edit:

Dammit , you use to be able to change the tag. Whatever. Mods please change tag to Anime

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ballz
Dec 16, 2003

it's mario time



https://twitter.com/abcinematk/stat...671506851241985

This poster is succinct and accurate.

Show is intense as hell, and all of the actors are great, Peggy and Rory especially. The end of that third episode

Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

and if it's a lie, terrorists made me say it

So when it says "new episodes every Wednesday", does that mean we'll get three more eps next week?

And yeah, show is intense as hell - parts of it are as disturbing as any horror movie. The hanging by crane in episode three was just brutal.

Only book complaint so far is that the Commander and his wife are WAY too young and pretty, but that probably can't be helped.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

I just started watching this. I read the first, I dunno, chapter or two of the book a decade ago, and I'm familiar with Margaret Atwood, so I have​ a little bit of an idea what to expect.

But, holy poo poo they aren't allowed to read. That makes sense, but I didn't predict it...

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


Snak posted:

I just started watching this. I read the first, I dunno, chapter or two of the book a decade ago, and I'm familiar with Margaret Atwood, so I have​ a little bit of an idea what to expect.

But, holy poo poo they aren't allowed to read. That makes sense, but I didn't predict it...

The show is a little different than the book . In the book we never learn her name

Big Bug Hug
Nov 19, 2002
I'm with stupid*

I thought that we did, but it wasn't until way late in the book(?) It's been a while since I read it.

I really like the show, my daughter and I are 2 episodes in.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

It's rough seeing Elizabeth Moss in this role. Not because she's bad. The opposite. I spent all of Mad Men hoping for her to find happiness, and this is the next role I see her in. It's like back to square one against the patriarchy.

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


Big Bug Hug posted:

I thought that we did, but it wasn't until way late in the book(?) It's been a while since I read it.

I really like the show, my daughter and I are 2 episodes in.

In a round about way you learn her name but I don't think it's something that's outright stated.

mcmagic
Jul 1, 2004


This thing is the darkest show I've ever seen on Television. It's very good but a rough watch. Episode three had a great Children of Men vibe in the way it was shot.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012



College Slice

Is Yvonne Strahovski actually good in this? I'm not a huge Atwood fan, but wanted to give this show a shot, however Strahovski is terrible

Le Saboteur
Dec 5, 2007

pink wasn't even a thing why is t#RXT REVOLUTION~!
and i'm so fucking excited for #SCOOPS#SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS

he knows..


Professor Shark posted:

Is Yvonne Strahovski actually good in this? I'm not a huge Atwood fan, but wanted to give this show a shot, however Strahovski is terrible

She plays the role of Serena Joy very well imho.

SamuraiFoochs
Jan 16, 2007



Grimey Drawer

So I get why people say this is thematically poignant and timely but isn't saying "We're 3/4 of the way there" (a sentiment I saw in one review) a bit much?

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

It depends

It's important to remember that the setting is not "post apocalyptic". There is a perfectly functional societ and government.

If by 3/4 of the way there, someone means "of the events that need to happen to set this in motion, 3/4 have happened", yeah, that's pretty wrong.

On the other hand, if someone means "most of the additudes, ideologies and strategies portrayed here already exist" then, yeah, that's completely right.

The things that don't exist in the US right now certainly exist other places in the world.

And also, revolution and cultural cleansings can happen pretty quickly.

The loving tinderbox that the world would turn into if people were afraid there would be no more babies. If it suddenly came out that birth control had doomed humanity, pro choice people would be lynched in the streets.

business hammocks
Aug 20, 2006



Total Clam

Look at what has happened to access to contraception and abortion in the us since the 70s and the belief systems that drive that change, as well as how various nations have selectively removed or ignored the human rights of women to raise or lower birth rates. No abortion at all any more in South Dakota, but mandatory abortion in China.

Women can become objects in the political imagination pretty fast, not least of all because they're still severely underrepresented in most western-style democracies--to say nothing of places with other systems in place.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

Chechnya is putting homosexuals in death camps right now.

Reeducation camps have always been a thing. Putting "delinquent women" in religious reeducation camps that double as 'job placement' programs doesn't sound that far fetched.

business hammocks
Aug 20, 2006



Total Clam

The Vice President of the United States finds the mere existence of women outside of marriage so threatening that he refuses to have dinner with any woman who isn't married to him. What would he do if he suddenly had real authority over women (he did, and he tried to make them have burial plots and headstones for miscarriages)?

Ballz
Dec 16, 2003

it's mario time



Popular Human posted:

So when it says "new episodes every Wednesday", does that mean we'll get three more eps next week?

Probably be one episode per week for the next seven weeks. 10 episodes total.

Le Saboteur
Dec 5, 2007

pink wasn't even a thing why is t#RXT REVOLUTION~!
and i'm so fucking excited for #SCOOPS#SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS

he knows..


The one thing I find totally unbelievable is how quickly they make the modern world fall in this show. Goes from like 0 to religious militia they've never heard of once locking women out of their jobs. I know why they do it because of a lack of time it's just really weird how they chose to do it.

Pinwiz11
Jan 26, 2009

"I think you'll find that when it comes to Sandwich Montoya, the sky is the limit!"

- Too Much Mustard


This show is loving terrifying, partially because as a gay man I know I'd be dead at this point in the story. Episode 3 was brutal.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

Le Saboteur posted:

The one thing I find totally unbelievable is how quickly they make the modern world fall in this show. Goes from like 0 to religious militia they've never heard of once locking women out of their jobs. I know why they do it because of a lack of time it's just really weird how they chose to do it.

I agree that it's stretching it. But maybe we can assume that the religion already existed at the time of the flash backs, and was just more fringe.

The whole kind of reminds me of the rise of ISIL/ISIS

Le Saboteur
Dec 5, 2007

pink wasn't even a thing why is t#RXT REVOLUTION~!
and i'm so fucking excited for #SCOOPS#SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS

he knows..


Also the interrogator in episode 3 is a godawful actor. It's really jarring in a show with such a solid cast.

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



Le Saboteur posted:

The one thing I find totally unbelievable is how quickly they make the modern world fall in this show. Goes from like 0 to religious militia they've never heard of once locking women out of their jobs. I know why they do it because of a lack of time it's just really weird how they chose to do it.

Margaret Atwood is not a political scientist. An explanation for how the Sons of Jacob pulled off their coup d'etat is also missing from the book. But then politics beyond gender politics isn't the focus, so it's not a big deal.

I can only wonder how this thread will react when the series gets to the particicution.

Le Saboteur
Dec 5, 2007

pink wasn't even a thing why is t#RXT REVOLUTION~!
and i'm so fucking excited for #SCOOPS#SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS #SCOOPS#SCOOPS

he knows..


First particicution happens in the second episode. Or was it in the pilot? I forget. It's been probably a decade or more since I read handmaids tale so I can't say how closely this is keeping to the book.

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



Le Saboteur posted:

First particicution happens in the second episode. Or was it in the pilot? I forget. It's been probably a decade or more since I read handmaids tale so I can't say how closely this is keeping to the book.

The particicution is the second to last thing to happen in the book. All Offred describes before then are the results of "salvagings."

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

Yeah, I think the realism of how the world got from the world we know to how it is isn't really important. She could have set it farther in the future if she wanted it to be more realistic, but it's better to have characters that remember what it was like "before".

Ballz
Dec 16, 2003

it's mario time



Did they explain why Offred's best friend was also designated a hand maid when she clearly never had a child? Or do they indoctrinate the Marthas alongside the hand maids?

Loomer
Dec 19, 2007

A Very Special Hell

Presumably they did fertility testing, rather than solely relying on the metric of 'has previously had children'.

Catalina
May 20, 2008

It all makes sense in context.


I got a text message from my sister today that consisted only of "I NEED THERAPY!!!". Apparently she had forgotten to cancel her Hulu subscription, and decided that she'd check out that new post-apocolyptic series on Hulu everyone was saying was good, going into it completely blind.

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



Ballz posted:

Did they explain why Offred's best friend was also designated a hand maid when she clearly never had a child? Or do they indoctrinate the Marthas alongside the hand maids?

Handmaids are selected from just about every unmarried woman (including those in voided second marriages) of childbearing age. Proof of fertility is a bonus, but not a requirement. Marthas tend to be women who are for some reason known to be infertile or those past menopause who are still able enough to serve as household servants.

Aside from Wife, there are two other roles women can play, but I'm here because I recently read the book and I don't have Hulu, so I don't know how much more I should say.

Ballz
Dec 16, 2003

it's mario time



Given how valuable a fertile handmaid is, maybe The only reason Offglenn was not executed was because she was proven to have previously given birth to a healthy child?

As opposed to Offred's friend (her name was Moira I think?) who had no such history of childbirth and was then sent off to die instead of getting a second chance, so to speak.

Although honestly I'm hoping one-eye's story was incorrect and Moira did not meet such a fate. Not sure if that'd be better or worse for her, however...

Edit:

Le Saboteur posted:

Also the interrogator in episode 3 is a godawful actor. It's really jarring in a show with such a solid cast.

I actually liked it. He sounded uncomfortable and awkward, because the subject matter made him feel that way, especially addressing it to a room with nothing but women.

Ballz fucked around with this message at Apr 29, 2017 around 03:37

SamuraiFoochs
Jan 16, 2007



Grimey Drawer

Yeah I dunno. I don't want to be a contrarian, because this show is unbelievably well done and thematically it's extremely pertinent, and I acknowledge similar things happen a lot more in other parts of the world, but I've been seeing reviews with titles like "The Handmaid's Tale Could Happen To Us" and that seems rather clickbait-y to me.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

I mean, sure. Could it literally haopen to us the way it happened im the show? No. Should people be constantly vigilant that this sort of thing could be happening? Yes.

3 months ago, I never would have expected that I would have to worry about mainstream white supremacists and neonazis in the United States. Like, these were ideologies that were still very much alive, but they didn't have mainstream acceptance, and now they do.

mundane haircut
May 3, 2007

"I am a couch. I am a couch. I am a couch."


Ultra Carp

Bobbin Threadbare posted:

Margaret Atwood is not a political scientist. An explanation for how the Sons of Jacob pulled off their coup d'etat is also missing from the book. But then politics beyond gender politics isn't the focus, so it's not a big deal.

It's super annoying that "Sons of Jacob" is both the name of the fundamentalist group who established Gilead AND the name they give to Jewish people, at least from what I could see on the internet (my copy of the book is in storage). I keep getting caught by it

Ballz posted:

I actually liked it. He sounded uncomfortable and awkward, because the subject matter made him feel that way, especially addressing it to a room with nothing but women.

Yeah, he sounded like every smarmy and insecure guy I've ever met. That fake masculine voice and condescension was just right to me.

Anyway, I am absolutely loving this adaptation. It was way too easy when reading it, and knowing that it was published in '85, to distance myself from the horror of it. It's much harder to constantly remind the audience that this is happening in a near-contemporary time period when it's the written word, but it's unavoidable when you're watching it. The musical cues and visuals - particularly in scenes like the Handmaids in the supermarket, or the tower of trendy macarons - have made it really compelling and in a different way to the book.

JayMax
Jun 14, 2007

Hard-nosed gentleman


Alexis Bledel's performance in Episode 3 blew me away.

SamuraiFoochs
Jan 16, 2007



Grimey Drawer

Snak posted:

I mean, sure. Could it literally haopen to us the way it happened im the show? No. Should people be constantly vigilant that this sort of thing could be happening? Yes.

3 months ago, I never would have expected that I would have to worry about mainstream white supremacists and neonazis in the United States. Like, these were ideologies that were still very much alive, but they didn't have mainstream acceptance, and now they do.

I'll give you that and I'm probably being pedantic, to be entirely fair. I just get frustrated by people who panic and, in far too many cases, don't do anything about it. That's largely how we loving got here.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It will always be about people.


Bobbin Threadbare posted:

Margaret Atwood is not a political scientist. An explanation for how the Sons of Jacob pulled off their coup d'etat is also missing from the book. But then politics beyond gender politics isn't the focus, so it's not a big deal.


Granted, I think one of the interesting things about totalitarian societies be they fictional or historical is how they got there in the first place. In Children of Men you can see how the UK has slowly slide into authoritarianism through its world building.

Well it is clear infertility was increasing rapidly along with religiosity in the years leading up to the take over. I assume people started freaking out again much like Children of Men (which seems to really influenced the 3rd episode) and a movement starts to "rectify" the situation gets pull with some of the elite of the country.

They do give you some bits and pieces to work with: like the fact that martial law was already declared before it started (after what I assume was a staged terrorist attack to knock out the pre-existing civilian government). The Sons of Jacob (backed up opportunists like Commander Fred) made a sudden move to consolidate power in DC after martial law is declared and then started building their own militia by recruiting from the US military to give themselves a monopoly of force. Most of the military remains bound by their oaths, so they largely stayed loyal until most of the US military was replaced by the "angels." The Sons of Jacob then shock the system by passing a bunch of laws at once (which corporate America readily accepts) and makes a show of force by showing up in major cities to immediately put it into effect. There are protests but they get shut down with force and the country soon after falls into civil war (including Baptist areas of the country). I guess Alaska/Hawaii refuse to go a long with it (or the Pacific fleet openly revolts) and forms more or less what is left of the US.

The only weird thing is there didn't see it coming, but I guess that is more for our benefit. I guess they might have known things were getting worse, but not how powerful the Sons of Jacob had gotten or they literally had their own military. (Admitted, those uniforms kind of look a bit thrown together).

Granted, the timeline isn't as important as the message that there is both a hard line puritanical/authoritarian streak in American culture that could metastasize in the right situation.

Ardennes fucked around with this message at Apr 29, 2017 around 08:51

Skyweir
Apr 29, 2013


It has alwasy seemed weird to me that people easily by into post-nucelar war dystopias but struggle with post-revolution ones, even though those are the only ones we have ever seen happen in history.

Iran went to misogynistic theocracy basically overnight. Erdogan is doing a slower version of it in Turkey, but give him 5 more years and who knows.

Unlike what many Chiristians would like to claim, their religion is no more inherently anti-authoritarian than Islam "It could not happen here" is usually a self-delusion.

There are already more than enough fundamental Christian fanatics and mysoginists of every stripe in the US to potentially do a coup, if they thought they could get enough support
from the less engaged public.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It will always be about people.


Skyweir posted:

It has alwasy seemed weird to me that people easily by into post-nucelar war dystopias but struggle with post-revolution ones, even though those are the only ones we have ever seen happen in history.

Iran went to misogynistic theocracy basically overnight. Erdogan is doing a slower version of it in Turkey, but give him 5 more years and who knows.

Unlike what many Chiristians would like to claim, their religion is no more inherently anti-authoritarian than Islam "It could not happen here" is usually a self-delusion.

There are already more than enough fundamental Christian fanatics and mysoginists of every stripe in the US to potentially do a coup, if they thought they could get enough support
from the less engaged public.

If anything the theme of the times is democracy slowly being chipped away by the rise of right-wing (or something far-right) authoritarianism. Yeah, Gilead is maybe still unbelievable in our current times, but it isn't like everything is really going so well at the moment either.

I guess post-apocalyptic dystopias if anything feel safer because 1. they are worlds that are so different and 2. they probably aren't going to happen. As you said, political dystopias already happen in our world.

That said, I don't think Gilead would actually be that sustainable in the long-term because its economy seems pretty much non-existent, and it seems generally technophobic. Hell, I bet it's birthrate is probably much lower than other countries that actually tried to use science/medicine to address the issue. They only a handful of kids being born already, and the most advanced piece of medical equipment they had during the birthing scene was a stool with a hole in it.

(Also, the only educated people that can use their skills at that point are a handful of men connected to the regime.)

Hell, even North Korea tries to invest in R&D even if it is mostly for missiles and nukes.

anatomi
Jan 31, 2015


I like the premise, but the writing is really loving terrible. Shame, because mostly everything​ else is pretty darn good.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

Ardennes posted:

If anything the theme of the times is democracy slowly being chipped away by the rise of right-wing (or something far-right) authoritarianism. Yeah, Gilead is maybe still unbelievable in our current times, but it isn't like everything is really going so well at the moment either.

I guess post-apocalyptic dystopias if anything feel safer because 1. they are worlds that are so different and 2. they probably aren't going to happen. As you said, political dystopias already happen in our world.

That said, I don't think Gilead would actually be that sustainable in the long-term because its economy seems pretty much non-existent, and it seems generally technophobic. Hell, I bet it's birthrate is probably much lower than other countries that actually tried to use science/medicine to address the issue. They only a handful of kids being born already, and the most advanced piece of medical equipment they had during the birthing scene was a stool with a hole in it.

(Also, the only educated people that can use their skills at that point are a handful of men connected to the regime.)

Hell, even North Korea tries to invest in R&D even if it is mostly for missiles and nukes.

I think this is also pretty interesting. It kind of mirrors the way that right wing rejection of science is loving us over right now. They abolished higher education and sent "all the university professors to the colonies". Literally staking their future on the principle that their ignorance is as good as lieberal education.

  • Locked thread
«18 »