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Water Resistant
Jul 10, 2003


Tiggum posted:


Unrelated observation: Yvonne Strahovski looks like a cross between Lena Headey and Portia de Rossi. It keeps distracting me because, when I see her, for a second I think it's one or the other of them.

I actually thought it was Portia de Rossi until I wikipedia'd it.

I love this show. TV dramas don't usually hold my attention but this one easily has so far. I like it better than the book too.

Also just so everyone knows, new episodes go up at midnight Eastern time on Wednesday. So Tuesday evening for the West coast.

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Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer

This series is great but whoever's picking out the 80's songs for it sucks. The editing and use of Simple Minds was brilliant but it would've been better with a different song.

Steve Yun fucked around with this message at May 3, 2017 around 09:44

precision
May 7, 2006

Double great.


Uh yeah episode 4 is not letting up. Holy poo poo.

Barry Convex
Sep 1, 2005

Think of the good things, Pim! The good things!

Like Jesus, candy, and crackerjacks! Ice cream and cake and lots o'laffs!
Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Joe! Larry, Curly, and brother Moe!


Renewed for S2. I'm curious as to where they'll go given the brevity of the novel.

Macdeo Lurjtux
Jul 5, 2011




Tiggum posted:

That just raises more problems. If the theocracy only controls a small area and is at war with the rest of America (and presumably America's allies) then how have they not already lost? How is everyone just living their lives like they're not in the middle of a war?

Because they're not in the middle of a war, the handmaidens are a right reserved for the upper class of the society. The same upper class that want nothing to do with the actual fighting so are well and truly insulated from it. The war is an abstract for everyone in the show, as evidenced by the oranges scene in the first episode.

Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

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

Plus episode three hinted that there are NOT a lot of Handmaids in society (the Martha who gets hung for having sex with Ofglen has a seven-digit ID number, while Ofglen's is eight thousand and something) so it makes sense that they would keep them far, far away from wherever the "fronts" are in the war.

Ego-bot
Jul 8, 2007


So far this is Hulu's most successful show in terms of viewership #'s.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It will always be about people.


Thwomp posted:

I like that the show hasn't laid all of this out but the pieces are all there. We've seen "ordinary" people reacting to the ongoing fertility issues, how people are already despairing at the time June gives birth to Hannah, mentions of an attack that wiped out Congress, people being caught off guard by how quickly changes are taking place, and then protests being violently broken up.

The one thing that catches me on the portrayal of how things changed was the reactions during June's run. That seemed like a bit of a quick switch to flip on societal norms, given that we hadn't seen much of that kind of misogyny prior to the run scene. Or maybe that's the point (this is the normal, real misogyny women face in today's actual society, it's just indistinguishable from an oncoming theocracy).

I assume it was a decision to surprise the viewers when it should be clear at that point to June that society was already on the edge. By the time she was jogging the country had already been under martial law for a year. I mean at a certain point a TV show is going to cut a few corners.

Yeah, I wonder what they are going to do from here on out? Are we going to get out of Cambridge for a while? Obviously, there has do be something added.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

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


Grimey Drawer

Tiggum posted:


The thing is though, they shouldn't remember what it was like when the world was "normal", because their normal wouldn't have been the same as ours to begin with.
But my point is that you can tell a more powerful story when characters can relate back to our world, regardless of how realistic it is. It's why almost all dystopian or post-apocalyptic stories have either fish our of water time travelers or characters who discover or have access to recorded history of the past.

quote:

That's one example of a recurring problem with this show, which is that it seems to expect the audience to already agree with it. Like, they don't explain her actions there, because there's this unspoken understanding that we all know why she's doing that.
...but they do go out of their way to set it up in the scene they all have point at the one girl and blame her. We see Offred not wanting to do it, and then the headmistress notices her hesitation and comes over and is like "what, you don't think she did anything wrong? you don't think sin is bad?" and Offred starts to participate. It's like, a direct explanation and foreshadowing.

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


I couldn't tell if the Doctor she saw was serious or it was another trap for June.

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



Hollismason posted:

I couldn't tell if the Doctor she saw was serious or it was another trap for June.

If it's the scene I'm thinking of from the book, it's not a trap as such but the doctor would not be above blackmailing her later.

precision
May 7, 2006

Double great.


Hollismason posted:

I couldn't tell if the Doctor she saw was serious or it was another trap for June.

I think that was the point, that she couldn't tell either. It seemed like she really wanted to trust the doctor but knew it could be a trap, 1984-style.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer

I'm sure people have written this about the book already, but since I'm being exposed to it for the first time, I have to say I appreciate that we're seeing a story about slavery featuring white people as slaves.

Most of our films about slavery feature blacks as slaves, which presents a hurdle for white audiences to identify with black slave protagonists. Not that it can't be overcome but there's some hurdle you have to get over first and maybe some audiences struggle with successfully navigating that. Maybe that's why traditionally we often had movies featuring a Good White Guy saving the black slaves. Maybe that's why recent films like Get Out have struck a chord by challenging that need to see at least One Good White Person in a movie about Lots of Bad White People.

So what The Handmaid's Tale offers is a stepping stool to get over that hurdle, a Slavery Simulator for White People. You get to experience the same visceral fear and gut-wrenching feelings a black person would normally feel watching a film about historical American slavery. You feel these feelings more directly than you have before because the torture, mutilation and abuse is happening to people you identify with more strongly. Now when you think about films about black slavery you can draw on the stomach-turning feelings you had watching The Handmaid's Tale. Maybe get you to expand your ability to empathize. Or not, I dunno. What do you guys think?

Groovelord Neato
Dec 6, 2014



i dunno man i almost cried during the strange fruit sequence in birth of a nation, and i'm a white dude. i'm also not a woman and could empathize fully with offred when reading the book.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer

Groovelord Neato posted:

i dunno man i almost cried during the strange fruit sequence in birth of a nation, and i'm a white dude. i'm also not a woman and could empathize fully with offred when reading the book.

Sure sure, but there are a lot of different people out there who might not empathize with the struggles of different-looking people as well as you

business hammocks
Aug 20, 2006



Total Clam

I bet that the kind of white man who can't sympathize with black characters also has a hard time identifying with white women.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer

Jack Gladney posted:

I bet that the kind of white man who can't sympathize with black characters also has a hard time identifying with white women.

Which is why we need Margaret Atwood to pull a Twilight and publish a genderswapped book called The Handyman's Tale

Pac-Manioc Root
Jan 3, 2013

It's a little bitty place.

...Okay, I'll just wipe it off, that's all. Just a little town.

Oh man, something that jumped out at me as too clever by half in episode... 3 I think?

In a flashback scene, taking place after women are robbed of agency and property rights by the new regime, people are massed in protest. There is a very salient, contemporary feel to people marching in the streets while riot cops equipped like occupation soldiers menace them.

However in the show, a pair of the riot cops/soldiers armed with squad automatic weapons start tearing into the crowd with their weapons, meeting peaceful protest with overwhelming, terrifying violence.

There's what I think was a clever trick here. Before they do, one of the protesters throws a punch or two at one of the machine gun cops. Casting out the wild haymaker, he must clearly be used to the old paradigm and expecting to be met with a truncheon, tear gas, whatever less than lethal means would have been on use of force continuum before Gilead replaced the US of A.

What these punches do to the audience, at least to me, is awaken that deeply conditioned authoritarian follower response, a itch in the brain that says "If only he hadn't thrown punches." "What did he think would happen, that cop had a machine gun!" "He MADE them do that, things might not have escalated if he'd just stayed within the lines."

And to me that adds to the effectiveness of the scene. OBVIOUSLY it's a hysterically monstrous over-reaction to meet a fist with hundreds of rounds from an M249 fired indiscriminately into a crowd. But-- but-- adding that flourish gives the viewer that little Good German tickle of "He was no saint" "he had it coming" "I'm not saying they were right but..."

Pac-Manioc Root fucked around with this message at May 4, 2017 around 00:32

timp
Sep 18, 2007

Everything is in my control


Lipstick Apathy

Pac-Manioc Root posted:

Oh man, something that jumped out at me as to clever by half in episode... 3 I think?

In a flashback scene, taking place after women are robbed of agency and property rights by the new regime, people are massed in protest. There is a very salient, contemporary feel to people marching in the streets while riot cops equipped like occupation soldiers menace them.

However in the show, a pair of the riot cops/soldiers armed with squad automatic weapons start tearing into the crowd with their weapons, meeting peaceful protest with overwhelming, terrifying violence.

There's what I think was a clever trick here. Before they do, one of the protesters throws a punch or two at one of the machine gun cops. Casting out the wild haymaker, he must clearly be used to the old paradigm and expecting to be met with a truncheon, tear gas, whatever less than lethal means would have been on use of force continuum before Gilead replaced the US of A.

What these punches do to the audience, at least to me, is awaken that deeply conditioned authoritarian follower response, a itch in the brain that says "If only he hadn't thrown punches." "What did he think would happen, that cop had a machine gun!" "He MADE them do that, things might not have escalated if he'd just stayed within the lines."

And to me that adds to the effectiveness of the scene. OBVIOUSLY it's a hysterically monstrous over-reaction to meet a fist with hundreds of rounds from an M249 fired indiscriminately into a crowd. But-- but-- adding that flourish gives the viewer that little Good German tickle of "He was no saint" "he had it coming" "I'm not saying they were right but..."

Yeah I really loved that scene. Everyone protesting goes from indignant rage to abject terror in seconds flat as they realize that the game has totally changed. Also, a lot of people have been down on the pop and rock songs being used, but I've been quite into it, and I thought the creepy sad Heart of Glass arrangement there was really cool.

They may have had heart to get out there and protest like that, but ultimately they were completely and utterly shattered.

Loomer
Dec 19, 2007

A Very Special Hell

For a little context on the brutality of this last episode, foot whipping is a very old punishment that really took off again in Iran with the revolution, which is why it went in the book - but it also has an ugly history in reform schools in Massachusetts and in women's camps in the Third Reich. The use of frayed iron cable is a little harsher than what most places do with it, though, since it escalates from 'harsh' to 'permanently crippling' when you start using a lot of force. Not unheard of though.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer

If you want a gut-wrenching account of Iran turning from a cosmopolitan nation into a totalitarian religious regime overnight, watch Persepolis or read the graphic novel. It's pretty brutal.



Whipping with electrical cables features a lot in it.

Steve Yun fucked around with this message at May 4, 2017 around 06:09

mcmagic
Jul 1, 2004


I liked some of the context of the rest of the world that was in Ep4. Like how there are embargo in place which are implied to be due to human rights abuses or the Aunt who escaped to Canada being all over the internet.

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


The pop and rock songs are perfect juxtaposition as to what we are seeing it lets us know that this is the now not the then.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007

Mary Worth had an illicit affair with Refurb and kidnapped Sophie when she learned the truth. Little did Sophie know, but she was held in Apartment 3G under the watchful eye of The Phantom until Dick Tracy rescued her. Meanwhile, in spite of everything, Working Daze still sucked.


Fucker cheated at Scrabble. If you challenge a word and it turns out to be in the dictionary, you lose your turn.

Pac-Manioc Root
Jan 3, 2013

It's a little bitty place.

...Okay, I'll just wipe it off, that's all. Just a little town.

Tiggum posted:

Fucker cheated at Scrabble. If you challenge a word and it turns out to be in the dictionary, you lose your turn.

I look forward to a rigid patriarchy where women are things so I can blatantly cheat against them at tabletop games without repercussion.

tetrapyloctomy
Feb 18, 2003

Okay -- you talk WAY too fast.

Show continues to be fantastic and terrifying. I may have to reread the book, it's been years. 2000 or 2001, I think.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

Clunk! Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!



Just binging it right now and started ep 4. I can't stop watching because it's really good, but jfc it enrages me in the same way that the news does right now. It's just hitting too close to home.

Hollismason posted:

The pop and rock songs are perfect juxtaposition as to what we are seeing it lets us know that this is the now not the then.

I was not expecting an entire Jay Reatard song at the end of an episode. That was pretty cool.

veni veni veni fucked around with this message at May 6, 2017 around 01:07

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

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


Grimey Drawer

I'm gonna confess that I stopped after episode 2. It was really good, but I don't know if I can watch this. I heard about what happens in episode 3, and I don't know if I can handle watching it. I'm sure I will eventually, it's just... too much right now.

Al-Saqr
Nov 11, 2007

The Islamic Orb Illuminati.

Steve Yun posted:

If you want a gut-wrenching account of Iran turning from a cosmopolitan nation into a totalitarian religious regime overnight, watch Persepolis or read the graphic novel. It's pretty brutal.



Whipping with electrical cables features a lot in it.

but that page was about the Shahs regime, not to say that the religious regime is better but the previous regime was still pretty loving awful.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

Clunk! Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!



When is the stuff with Moira supposed to take place?

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


veni veni veni posted:

When is the stuff with Moira supposed to take place?

"Towards the end of their training" is as good an answer as anyone can give you I'm pretty sure. I think this has been confirmed to be June's first assignment? And Janine has had time to have a baby. So probably about a year ago.

precision
May 7, 2006

Double great.


veni veni veni posted:

I was not expecting an entire Jay Reatard song at the end of an episode. That was pretty cool.

Yeah that was great. Elizabeth Moss is a big indie rock fan so I'm thinking that was her choice.

bambus
May 10, 2009


Dancer posted:

"Towards the end of their training" is as good an answer as anyone can give you I'm pretty sure. I think this has been confirmed to be June's first assignment? And Janine has had time to have a baby. So probably about a year ago.

I think they say in episode one it's her second posting.

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


Wait , if this is her second posting does that mean she had a kid for another couple?

neongrey
Feb 28, 2007

Plaguing your posts with incidental music.

Postings last for a certain amount of time or can end early; transfers aren't always or even usually because of having a kid.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

Clunk! Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!



Thanks guys.

So we are pretty much left to guess since right wing nutter takeover occurred? Probably something like 3-5 years earlier?

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

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


Grimey Drawer

veni veni veni posted:

Thanks guys.

So we are pretty much left to guess since right wing nutter takeover occurred? Probably something like 3-5 years earlier?

We can kind of guess based on the age of her kid in the flashbacks and the fact that she says her kid would be 8 in episode 2. But obviously there's a lot of wiggle room with actor ages.

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



In the book, Handmaids get three postings that each last one year (plus pregnancy, if applicable) in which they have to conceive and deliver a healthy child. If they do, they're set for life and will never be declared an Unwoman or shipped off to the Colonies. If they fail to have any children after three tries, one of those things will happen.

WeAreTheRomans
Feb 23, 2010

ram
the
manparts


whalesteak posted:

I'm not a "tactical realism" type, but eventually it does get a little stale that tv and movies always skip that crucial revolutionary period and go straight to post-apocalyptic new order. Obviously this isn't Atwood's fault, but it would be interesting if they picked up the show for another season and did a loose Fargo-style prequel. Or even a Black Mirror-style anthology of episodes from the time "before", showing the discreet steps to full on 19th century prairie bonnets and human slavery.

Plus, there are so many interesting mechanisms of ideological takeover they could explore, I have a hard time understanding why more shows don't write about them.

I could imagine they'd be able to get some mileage out of setting the birth of Gilead in flyover country, where the coasts don't realize until too late how pervasive and how serious the new fundamentalism has become. What if a national school voucher program instituted shortly after modern Black Tuesday or 9/11 meant that poor families were suddenly "homeschooling" children for the meager injection of cash?

As fertility dropped, perhaps red became a fashionable color for pregnant women to advertise their fertility. Or during a civil war, red windbreakers were issued by the Red Cross to pregnant or fertile women to advertise their noncombatant status, and the punishments for improper use of those garments was increasingly harsh, culminating in public hangings. Maybe the handmaidens' origin was a national grant program for surrogates? Or maybe the gov't starts levying fines ("healthcare surcharges"?) against companies that employee fertile women. If the country is in a deep enough depression, maybe it becomes necessary for women to consolidate rations/households and raise a child together. Or maybe households with a child get double rations, and couples bring in any single or potentially childbearing female relatives in hopes of hitting the jackpot.

A flood destroys an entire year's crops and washes away homes in a dozen midwestern states, and the US has to open WWII-style feeding kitchens, run and staffed entirely by widowed sodexo job corps employees in their drab grey uniforms. An episode could follow one of these job corps women back to her dormitory in an old warehouse just in time to learn that there are openings for some of these employees to contract out into homes.

Since one of the biggest themes in the book is how women work so hard to keep one another down in an effort to scrape together a little comfort for themselves, it would be so drat interesting (to me at least) to work on these incremental stories. Whether it's about bottom of the barrel cafeteria employees fighting over a job where they'd still be slaves, but slaves with a door on the toilet, or about how, for a time, fertile women enjoyed a lot of status and lorded it over other women in society, particularly the rich women who couldn't buy a coveted red windbreaker with all the money in the world.

I'm glad that Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid's Tale, not forums poster whalesteak

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Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

++Threadnaught++


Bobbin Threadbare posted:

In the book, Handmaids get three postings that each last one year (plus pregnancy, if applicable) in which they have to conceive and deliver a healthy child. If they do, they're set for life and will never be declared an Unwoman or shipped off to the Colonies. If they fail to have any children after three tries, one of those things will happen.

I actually found this a interesting part of the books because it basically states their society will fail , just from like lack of population growth.

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