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Stalins Moustache
Dec 30, 2012

~~**I'm Italian!**~~

Man, this show is so terrifying and severely depressing, but still so incredibly fascinating to me.
I'm not sure if I need to put this in spoilers, but I guess as it might hint up to something further down the line? Taken from the book.
I remember reading that, in the novel, Canada never truly accepted American refugees as they were gathered up only to be repatriated to Gilead as they did not want to risk military confrontation with a country that has a powerful military as well as fueled on religious zeal and fervor. I can't help but to feel Luke's comments about how Canadian troops are having exercises by the border is a lead up to this somehow, though of course the show will take a different turn about it.

Also, episode 4 spoilers from the preview.
Seems like June is back in the house I was honestly hoping we'd get to see more of Gilead society.

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Kanine
Aug 5, 2014


yeah i wouldnt be surprised if the cliamx of the show's story is some kind of mayday revolution with some kind canadian/british/un military intervention

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town


I think the show is committed to keeping the revolution personal though so I think all that will be offscreen. I doubt we're gonna see Luke storming the Boston Commons or anything, at least not until maybe like the literal last episode of the series.

PostNouveau
Sep 3, 2011

VY till I die

Grimey Drawer

This was a big turd of an episode. It was pretty obvious that June wasn't going to escape because the only interesting part of this show is the Gilead awfulness, and she's the only connection to that. Soooo 5 seasons of June getting tortured I guess. They're paying for Yvonna Stravinski and some Fiennes, so by god the rest of the series is gonna be set in that loving house.

You know what would have been cool, June becomes like a Harriet Tubman-esque character. Spying for Canada, leading raids into Gilead, ferrying refugees to freedom. They're pretty confined by that source material though, she's like the most wanted woman in Gilead so she either escapes or goes right back.

Optimus_Rhyme
Apr 15, 2007

are you that mainframe hacker guy?



Oof, what a rough episode. I think my wife said it best "this is like watching walking dead". Just every bad decision being made. And if we're back to status quo for the rest of the season then meh. I guess I can look forward to more "tales from the colonies".

I worry it is too TV now. Seeing as June has plot armor now.

Edit: ^^^^^ what they said. 5 seasons of "3 episodes of good stuff, 8 episodes bad stuff, 1 cliffhanger"

Optimus_Rhyme fucked around with this message at May 3, 2018 around 04:49

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

~~~~~~K.I.D.S.~~~~~~

CLUNK! CLUNK! CLUNK! CLUNK!



PostNouveau posted:

This was a big turd of an episode. It was pretty obvious that June wasn't going to escape because the only interesting part of this show is the Gilead awfulness, and she's the only connection to that. Soooo 5 seasons of June getting tortured I guess. They're paying for Yvonna Stravinski and some Fiennes, so by god the rest of the series is gonna be set in that loving house.

You know what would have been cool, June becomes like a Harriet Tubman-esque character. Spying for Canada, leading raids into Gilead, ferrying refugees to freedom. They're pretty confined by that source material though, she's like the most wanted woman in Gilead so she either escapes or goes right back.

Pretty much. The end of this episode made me question how much life the show ever had in the first place. I really liked the first season, and even this season up until the end of this episode, but all of a sudden it feels like there aren't a whole lot of directions to go with it and the options that are there aren't particularly great. You can basically get stuck in an endless cycle of misery in Gilead, shift the focus on to the revolution (which could be cool but I think it would strip away the show's identity) or bounce back and forth. None of the options sound great.

I'm still watching for now, but everything about that just kind of made me think about how a second season of this show just might not work.

Optimus_Rhyme
Apr 15, 2007

are you that mainframe hacker guy?



I'll watch and see. But a lot of the walking dead is just hate watching to see the writers gently caress it up. Which I really don't want for this show. Cause season one was so good.

But I'm really hoping this doesn't become "hand maiden 2: hand maidener" cause thats boring.

Goddamn Particle
Oct 10, 2013

What's lasers, precious?


Yeah, if this is going to be grimdark Gilligan's Island it'll be better to wait until the show ends and binge it. If she ends up somewhere besides the Waterfords or they do a timeskip it could be ok. But there does seem to be a trend for over-serialization at the moment. Seasonal arcs can be good but not if there's little in the way of in-episode storylines or the arc looks artificially drawn-out. (The 100 did this too, where any solution to the designated big threat was guaranteed not to work if it was too early in the season).

But drat, poor Moira.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

i gotta pretty little mouth, underneath all the foamin'


My issue with episode three is that it seemed kind of like a clip show at times. Which, yeah, flashbacks are a huge part of the show, but I don't know if it's ever relied so heavily on clips we've already seen before. I'm glad we got a brief glimpse of what Gilead is like for average folks, though.

Do the pink outfits we see June's daughter and other little girls wearing indicate that they're Handmaids in training? One review I read said they were, but I don't remember it being confirmed on the show one way or another

BattyKiara
Mar 17, 2009


Crow Jane posted:


Do the pink outfits we see June's daughter and other little girls wearing indicate that they're Handmaids in training? One review I read said they were, but I don't remember it being confirmed on the show one way or another

I thought the girls were groomed to be child brides. That the promised prize for Eyes or low ranked men doing special things for Gilead would be marriage to a 13 year old they could groom into an obedient wife. If she turns out to be fertile, all the better, if not, wait until you get a turn with a handmaid. I really hope I am wrong about this.

Optimus_Rhyme
Apr 15, 2007

are you that mainframe hacker guy?



Also can I say I rolled my eyes so drat hard at her mom just randomly being in the propaganda reel. Please tell me that's not in the book.

PostNouveau
Sep 3, 2011

VY till I die

Grimey Drawer

Optimus_Rhyme posted:

Also can I say I rolled my eyes so drat hard at her mom just randomly being in the propaganda reel. Please tell me that's not in the book.

The book ends where Season 1 ends.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

i gotta pretty little mouth, underneath all the foamin'


I *think* in the book, Moira mentions to June that she saw her in footage of the Colonies when she was being given a choice between there and Jezebels.

CelestialScribe
Jan 16, 2008


Optimus_Rhyme posted:

Also can I say I rolled my eyes so drat hard at her mom just randomly being in the propaganda reel. Please tell me that's not in the book.

It is.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town


Man I couldn't disagree more, I thought this was an incredibly strong episode and I trust this show.

Optimus_Rhyme
Apr 15, 2007

are you that mainframe hacker guy?




Omg it is.


quote:

Significantly, both the narrator and Moira see the narrator's mother appear in documentaries at the Center. In the one the narrator sees, her mother is a fresh and youthful protester at a "Take Back the Night" rally. In the one Moira sees and tells the narrator about, she is one of the people working in the Colonies, cleaning up nuclear waste.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town


I actually didn't remember the book specifically mentioned Take Back the Night

PostNouveau
Sep 3, 2011

VY till I die

Grimey Drawer

Alright here's my backseat TV executive take on how they could have done things differently in Season 1 so that the show didn't just fall apart in Season 2.

- June isn't the handmaid of one of the most important politicians in Gilead. He's instead like mid-level in some town, so he and his wife can still torture her, but she's not Gilead's No. 1 Most Wanted when she escapes.
- June escapes and takes up a spy role
- Cast less of a dead fish as the driver guy, he plays a much bigger role in Season 1 so he can be a dual lead as he "helps" his boss try to track down June

Keeps all the action in Gilead but allows the show to expand beyond the Waterfords.

Raspberry Jam It In Me
Oct 29, 2011



Are the Sons of Jacob based on something real? As far as I understand it, it's a monotheistic cult that is very loosely inspired by parts of the old testament. That's a weird choice by the author. Wouldn't something Christianity based make more sense in the context of the US(something similar to Mormonism or whatever the gently caress the Wesboro guys are)?

HELLO LADIES
Feb 15, 2008



Raspberry Jam It In Me posted:

Are the Sons of Jacob based on something real? As far as I understand it, it's a monotheistic cult that is very loosely inspired by parts of the old testament. That's a weird choice by the author. Wouldn't something Christianity based make more sense in the context of the US(something similar to Mormonism or whatever the gently caress the Wesboro guys are)?

I'm fairly sure it is Christianity-based, just a twisted Calvinist form of Christianity that metastasized from megachurch crap and right-wing politics and the various worldly concerns of that universe during the population crisis. It's not like in America there hasn't already been an entire movement of masculine fragility, misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-intellectualism that took Christianity as it's form without actually having much to do with any formal theological schisms in the traditional sense of questions about the nature of divinity or doctrine. It started in England but that poo poo was really popular over here, too, that's basically where the YMCA comes from. As a country, we're pretty good at that kind of thing. They're "real" in the sense that many Trump voters, the kind of dudes who are into Red Pill and call themselves "cultural Christians" and like Jordan Peterson, and literal neo-nazis all think of themselves as Christian. There's not anything we even see in the Sons of Jacob that's fundamentally incompatible with the Nicene Creed, which has been the nominal definition of Christianity for over a millenium. Most of people's ideas that Christianity is about good works, forgiveness, and the more palatable ethical teachings of Jesus are just flat out wrong; it can take that form, sure, but that's not fundamentally what it is or what it has to be about. The point is Christ's divinity, not his ethical teachings. Like, "a monotheistic cult that is very loosely inspired by parts of the Old Testament" is in fact a literal description of Christianity, except for that "the Old Testament" is reifying Christianity in the first place: it's not the old version of the Christian gospel (or Qu'ran, etc), it's a poorly edited fanfic version of the Torah.

I mean, as for why the show and the books don't aggressively hammer home the point and all the connections to various ways Christianity has manifested throughout both recent and not-so-recent history is probably due to real "political correctness": the book has been challenged enough by right-wing Christians who find it an offensive depiction, even with the care that Atwood took to make it clearly something like Mormonism, muscular Christianity, the Great Awakening, etc etc and not even "mainstream" Evangelical movements. There's that weird sense of plausible deniability because if Atwood actually came out and said "in practice, Christianity has historically always been far more like the Sons of Jacob and the idea that Christianity from a global, historical perspective is fundamentally 'about' feel-good hippie poo poo is basically just PR and a great deal of that poo poo was developed in reaction to other religions and philosophies, not necessarily from within Christianity", it would have been dismissed out of hand as "too political" (at least in the US) and it wouldn't have been a best-seller.

HELLO LADIES fucked around with this message at May 4, 2018 around 19:46

ATP5G1
Jun 22, 2005


Fun Shoe

I don't think "Take Back The Night" existed when the book was published. I think she was just at a feminist rally.

Some of the allegorical details in the book don't work as well when put on TV. Also I always imagined her mother as more a face i nthe crowd, rather than being the central figure.

Why is June written as an idiot? Why?

clown shoes
Jul 17, 2004

Nothing but clowns down here.

Take Back The Night goes back to the '70s. The Handmaid's Tale was published in 1985.

HELLO LADIES
Feb 15, 2008



ATP5G1 posted:

I don't think "Take Back The Night" existed when the book was published. I think she was just at a feminist rally.

They've been going on since the 70s. They got officially branded and turned into ~a thing~ for the pre-Tumblr third wave in the 2000s, but they actually existed way before the book came out.

The reason they're playing up June vs her mother as a generational divide between two feminists is because they straddle a literal generational divide between feminists.

quote:

Why is June written as an idiot? Why?

Apart from the really boneheaded stuff (ike not hiding when her hosts were at church, I personally kind of like it. I don't know, I think it made the first season better that she had some moments of being fairly unlikable/lovely/naive. To me it feels like the point is that June's an ordinary person, has a normal set of flaws like everyone else, and still doesn't in any way deserve what happens to her, that the whole purity ethos around modern feminism is gross, and actually sort of a dark mirror of the evil of Gilead.

That said, she's gotten waaay worse lately (the scene with the Qu'ran was super upsetting to me for some reason; like, it would be dickish as a normal guest, nevermind as the personal Anne Frank these people are risking their lives as well as that of their small child to protect. While it is grating, and kudos to Elizabeth Moss for that because it's hard to do as well as she does, so much of June's recent shittiness and idiocy ways that are so very pointedly "Tumblr/Jezebel 3rd wave ~intersectional~ Nice White Lady choice feminist", that it's hard to read it as just being in service to the plot.

The training montage was pretty blatant, especially how she basically melted down when confronted with the messy reality, after making herself feel better by literally posting things on a wall - that made me cackle. It's like June basically making GBS threads on her mom for being right about literally everything and "we were both trying our best"; no, June, your mom was actually right about basically everything and you probably should have listened. It's like how Luke is kind of a jackass, and his overall "but I'm one of the good men right? " bullshit might have been the deciding factor that doomed June and Hannah to be captured, and meanwhile he's objectively the best off of the three of them; he's gambling with lives that aren't his, because of a terminal failure to empathize and understand the risks. If you look at it through more than just the lens of the world of the show, it still works very well as a commentary on a certain kind of seemingly "woke" person. I think it's like everyone's point about the soundtrack choices like "Feeling Good" and all, which is a song by an iconic black feminist and also an iconic "pole dancing is empowerfulating!!!" girl power feminist anthem: yes, of course it's jarring, and Nick's criticism about her poo poo with Janine is correct. It's not that June should have stoned Janine, it's that the episode ending with her warm fuzzy feelings of empowerment and "they never should have given us uniforms if they didn't intend us to be an army!! " is nonsense, just like girl power choice feminism is nonsense. Being an army means you get loving shot at, June. You aren't on Tumblr anymore, and your feelings of empowerment don't actually matter if you don't have actual power. The intent is something like criticism, the execution is just not quite there.

HELLO LADIES fucked around with this message at May 5, 2018 around 01:07

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

HELLO LADIES posted:

They've been going on since the 70s. They got officially branded and turned into ~a thing~ for the pre-Tumblr third wave in the 2000s, but they actually existed way before the book came out.

I don't know if it's just a regional thing, but my experience is that this is off by at least a decade (1990s not 2000s).

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town


College campuses started heavily promoting Take Back The Night rallies in the early 90s, yeah.

Woof that episode was rough. And that Cat Power song at the end. June's broke.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

i gotta pretty little mouth, underneath all the foamin'


Yeah, that was depressing as hell, I felt like I was watching Elisabeth Moss getting punched in the face for an hour. And god, as much as Aunt Lydia is terrifying and contemptible she's doling out punishments, she's even more so when she's being maternal and caring, but I can't look away. I'm assuming the supporting actress Emmy for this year already has Dowd's name on it.

That ceremony at the baby shower was kinda oddly beautiful. The visuals on this show are so drat good.

Sri.Theo
Apr 16, 2008


Everybody complaining that things are predictable has a really boring way of watching TV, I blame game of thrones. Not everything is supposed to be a cliffhanger or a surprise and there is enjoyment in watching something play out.

mcmagic
Jul 1, 2004



Sri.Theo posted:

Everybody complaining that things are predictable has a really boring way of watching TV, I blame game of thrones. Not everything is supposed to be a cliffhanger or a surprise and there is enjoyment in watching something play out.

Nah the problem isn't that it's predictable, it's that the show feels like it's just going in circles without a really coherent arc if she's just going to end up right were she was at the beginning.

esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

There are no such things as miracles.




Hearing June ends up back at the Waterford's put me off watching it last week and now I'm two episodes behind. I was hype for a departure from the book this season, and while it still is one I was hoping it would be more substantial.

I'll prob catch up next week tbf but the whole June-already-back-at-Waterford's thing. It isn't a dealbreaker for me and tbh I'm not opposed to more screentime for that crew, but it deflated the excitement I had from binging S1 and the first two episodes of S2.

Wafflecopper
Nov 27, 2004

I am a mouth, and I must scream

What were you expecting exactly? It's not like she was gonna escape to Canada and live happily ever after three eps in, and it would be pretty tedious to have her spend the entire season hiding in warehouses. Plus the whole hand burning thing in E1 would be pretty pointless if she was never going to see any of the other handmaidens again. She was always gonna be recaptured

esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

There are no such things as miracles.




My inherent issue tbh is her getting away in the first place, for what it's worth. For her to be back so immediately after they went the escape route just sort of killed my momentum to watch it weekly.

Angrymantium
Jul 19, 2007
Resistant to everything

Raspberry Jam It In Me posted:

Are the Sons of Jacob based on something real? As far as I understand it, it's a monotheistic cult that is very loosely inspired by parts of the old testament. That's a weird choice by the author. Wouldn't something Christianity based make more sense in the context of the US(something similar to Mormonism or whatever the gently caress the Wesboro guys are)?

In the context of the book, I always thought it was commentary on how the US wasn't immune to something like the Iranian revolution, where theocratic elements in the country violently seize control of the government and enforce their doctrine on everyone. The Sons of Jacob are less based on one actual organization and more just the kind of people that buy into televangelism, and are there to make the point that the theocratic violence you see in the middle east can absolutely happen here.

Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

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

For me it's more that it stretches things way past the point of believability that June would ever be sent back to the Waterford's. They've already established that escape attempts are typically a Colony-worthy offense (per Alexis Bleidel), and even if they make an exception due to pregnancy, they've already shown Handmaids being chained to a bed for their entire pregnancies for infractions way smaller than June's. I get that if we're going to keep following Elizabeth Moss that she can't just be locked up for the next nine months, but it just feels off.

I also really hated how our glimpse at the Econopeople completely recontextualizes the entire series in a direction away from the books. In season one, Handmaids were the only fertile women left in America. Gilead's leadership deciding whether or not to sell them to Mexico is a huge plot point, because holy poo poo being able to produce babies is the only thing we have over other countries, what happens if we lose that? Instead, we find out that there's other fertile women just chilling in the middle-class, and being made a Handmaid is considered a punishment. It changes the whole show from being about "the last fertile women in America" to "some of the last fertile women in America, who also did something bad and 'ungodly' in Gilead's eyes," which irritates me in a way I can't quite put my finger on.

Owlbear Camus
Jan 3, 2013

It's a little bitty place.

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

I thought she was maybe-fertile maybe-not and if she proved it was demonstrably the former she'd get handmaided.

It really does get weird and screw up the premise if there's just random confirmed fertile women chilling out in the proletariat.

PostNouveau
Sep 3, 2011

VY till I die

Grimey Drawer

Popular Human posted:

For me it's more that it stretches things way past the point of believability that June would ever be sent back to the Waterford's. They've already established that escape attempts are typically a Colony-worthy offense (per Alexis Bleidel), and even if they make an exception due to pregnancy, they've already shown Handmaids being chained to a bed for their entire pregnancies for infractions way smaller than June's. I get that if we're going to keep following Elizabeth Moss that she can't just be locked up for the next nine months, but it just feels off.

I also really hated how our glimpse at the Econopeople completely recontextualizes the entire series in a direction away from the books. In season one, Handmaids were the only fertile women left in America. Gilead's leadership deciding whether or not to sell them to Mexico is a huge plot point, because holy poo poo being able to produce babies is the only thing we have over other countries, what happens if we lose that? Instead, we find out that there's other fertile women just chilling in the middle-class, and being made a Handmaid is considered a punishment. It changes the whole show from being about "the last fertile women in America" to "some of the last fertile women in America, who also did something bad and 'ungodly' in Gilead's eyes," which irritates me in a way I can't quite put my finger on.

I haven't read the book, but someone said that it sets out to make the case that theocratic fascism could happen in America like it did in the Mideast.

If that's the case, doesn't the ecological disaster undercut the whole point? Like in the book, theocratic fascism can happen in America if we get into a huge environmental collapse and are on the edge of extinction. In the show, it's not a matter of the survival of the race. Having kids is a luxury that the ruling class uses its warped theology to justify stealing. To me, this is a good change as far as meeting that case of fascism can happen anywhere.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

i gotta pretty little mouth, underneath all the foamin'


The difference, I think, is that they (the proles) are legally married, which gives them a (very conditional) exemption. June's marriage wasn't valid because Luke had been married before, and obviously Emily being gay meant her's wasn't either. And I think Janine was a single mom? I can buy that they wouldn't break up traditional families (at least until someone in that family was caught reading or acting insufficiently meek, of course) but would treat everyone else as fair game.

Crow Jane fucked around with this message at May 10, 2018 around 18:57

esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

There are no such things as miracles.




I'm sure I'll feel differently about it once I actually watch the episodes, but the one two punch of the second episode being mostly a wash for me and then learning she goes back to square one in the episode following was definitely a downer for me. I would have much preferred if she just hadn't gotten away-- either via Nick's attempt to get her out being thwarted, or (what I had actually hoped they would go for when I finished S1) doing a twist on what everyone expects his 'trust me' line from the book to be and having him be a pretty bad man in the end and more loyal to Gilead than first expected-- which tbh w/ how the season initially opened I thought they might be doing. iirc it's never really confirmed if she actually got out on that day the Eyes came to pick her up, just implied due to us learning in the epilogue that she did escape at some point.

Like I said before it hasn't killed my desire to watch the show, or anything, but it killed my hype to watch it week to week so far. I'm sure the episodes themselves are still very good and sure it will play a bit better w/ context when I catch up, probably this weekend.


e: ^^^ assuming there are fertile women beyond handmaids in the show, i can see it v easily just being a case of well, these women are already married and probably didn't fight back in any way when poo poo hit the fan. had there been no 'unattached' fertile women for gilead to round up then you can bet your rear end those married, fertile women would be donning them some handmaid's caps so the upper crust can get their babymaking on

it doesn't feel like it's too out of place for me. but i'm just going off thread context lmao

e2: \/ also yeah I thought I remembered there being fertile econowives in the book as well. they also function as a house's martha iirc and are still p much property of the husband, so it's not like they have easy lives compared to handmaids, just easier w/r/t being able to gently caress someone they actually probably want to gently caress

esperterra fucked around with this message at May 10, 2018 around 19:07

McStabby
Jun 26, 2007

LANA!!! CRUUUUUSH!


In the book, econowives are capable of having children. The wives can, however, be turned into handmaids if the marriage is deemed invalid.

Angrymantium
Jul 19, 2007
Resistant to everything

PostNouveau posted:

I haven't read the book, but someone said that it sets out to make the case that theocratic fascism could happen in America like it did in the Mideast.

If that's the case, doesn't the ecological disaster undercut the whole point? Like in the book, theocratic fascism can happen in America if we get into a huge environmental collapse and are on the edge of extinction. In the show, it's not a matter of the survival of the race. Having kids is a luxury that the ruling class uses its warped theology to justify stealing. To me, this is a good change as far as meeting that case of fascism can happen anywhere.

The book touched on the idea of dwindling resources pushing desperate people toward the Son of Jacob, thus catalyzing the kind of revolution that kicks off by blowing up congress and the president.

The show specifically mentions the idea of fertility being thought of as a natural resource, and the scarcity of that becoming an important charcteristic of Gilead's society. I don't think the idea is so much that facism can only happen if we're on the edge of extinction, but that desperate people can be coerced into horrific acts wherever you are.

Like in the first season we see that the Waterford's driver was recruited because he couldn't get a job before the revolution, and he still doesn't really believe Gilead is a good thing. He also has no other way to support himself than being a part of the empire.

Angrymantium fucked around with this message at May 10, 2018 around 19:14

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Ubiquitous_
Nov 20, 2013


This episode had so many allusions to "The Yellow Wallpaper" short story. I loved it.

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