The Reel Review


This new TV series, certain to become Hulu’s most popular original program ever, is based on Margaret Atwood’s highly-acclaimed 1985 novel about a dystopian world in which the United States has been overthrown by Christian fundamentalists who have instituted a horrifying new world order, one in which gay people are executed, Catholic churches are destroyed and women have no civil rights. It is also an era in which fertility rates have plummeted to shockingly low levels, prompting the Old Testament-based ruling elite to round up the small group of fertile women to serve as their child-producing slaves, called handmaids. The story is a shocking reminder of the precariousness of democracy, especially noteworthy in our current surreal political climate. Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) is perfectly cast as the star of the series, which is peppered with sly humor, jarring but effective pop music, and flashbacks of her life before, showing us just how easily such a world order could actually occur.

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