Happiest of Mondays! There are so many things wrong with what I just typed.
I know it is Monday, and The Handmaid’s Tale may not bring visions of comfort, warmth and puppies, but I wanted to chat for a quick second about the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. This isn’t something I would probably normally blog about (and for the time being, Miss J is being kept away from THT for obvious reasons) but I am feeling so uncomfortable after watching the first three episodes that I needed to get it out somewhere.
“Self, where can I go to just get it off my chest?” I asked myself at 6 AM when I finished the third episode. I knew this would be the place to be because ya’ll will understand. You get me.
So, yeah. When I said uncomfortable, I didn’t mean that I thought that they have done a bad job so far. I actually mean the opposite. If you aren’t uncomfortable, they didn’t translate the book well. I never had a moment while reading THT where I didn’t feel slightly miserable. I believe that is the intent.
The casting is so great. I imagine maybe some people have issues with certain things, like making Serena Joy younger, or the Commander so attractive, but sometimes you have to be able to take some liberties. Maybe it is easier to portray the heaviness between Serena and Offred if they make them look around the same age. I think on some level it also adds to the hierarchy of the women’s roles and makes it more poignant. I got the feeling that under maybe a slightly different change in the past, any of them could have been in another’s place. Elizabeth Moss is killing it as Offred. There are some things she does with her face, or her way of delivering a line that take my breath away. Yvonne Strahovski is breaking my heart as Serena Joy. It’s strange, because even though I felt it slightly in the book, I really didn’t expect to feel much in the way of sympathy for her. Yvonne really brings it in this series, showing a much more vulnerable side to Serena. You can see how lonely she is and while she may be higher up on the food chain, she has oppression thrown down her throat as well. The ceremony scenes kill me too; you can feel how unnerving it is for everyone. One of the things that stood out to me was how each one of them looks in a different direction, so none of them are looking at each other. The only one who looks forward is Offred, arguably the one who is in the worse situation out of the group. Is this a way for Mr. and Mrs. to not acknowledge the acts they are doing? Am I reading too much into this?
Alexis Bledel. You were meant for Ofglen. So far, she is the one that has blown me away the most. I always see her in everything as Rory, but in this, she is Ofglen. If it wasn’t so early in my house, I would have been screaming at the end of episode 3 for my girl, but the sleeping people in my house would have probably woken up and thrown things at me. I ended up just crying on the couch instead. I won’t get fully into it, because spoilers, but this was kind of a big change from the book and I get it. I don’t feel this would have been too out of place in this world that they live in. I truly hope she gets some recognition for her work in this.
So, yeah. Uncomfortable, heartbreaking, really timely viewing. I think Hulu and crew have hit it out of the park with this and even saying I am looking forward to watching more feels wrong. I know what happens. I know how much worse it gets. They may end up making it even more wrong in ways I can’t imagine. I will be waiting though, on my couch, slightly afraid, hoping I am not watching a future representation of our current times. If I can feel a little afraid and worried then they are doing it right.