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The Handmaid's Tale 

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Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.

Creator:

Bruce Miller
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Popularity
82 ( 9)

Episodes

Season 4 Premiere



Most Recent Episode


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

With her plan in place, June reaches the point of no return on her bold strike against Gilead; Serena Joy and Commander Waterford attempt to find their way forward in their new lives.


Previous Episode


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Seasons


Years



4   3   2   1  
2021   2019   2018   2017  
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 70 wins & 181 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Elisabeth Moss ...  June Osborne 46 episodes, 2017-2021
Amanda Brugel ...  Rita 36 episodes, 2017-2021
Madeline Brewer ...  Janine Lindo 34 episodes, 2017-2021
Max Minghella ...  Nick Blaine 34 episodes, 2017-2021
Yvonne Strahovski ...  Serena Joy Waterford 31 episodes, 2017-2019
Joseph Fiennes ...  Fred Waterford 29 episodes, 2017-2019
Ann Dowd ...  Aunt Lydia Clements 29 episodes, 2017-2019
Samira Wiley ...  Moira Strand 28 episodes, 2017-2021
Nina Kiri ...  Alma 24 episodes, 2017-2021
O-T Fagbenle ...  Luke Bankole 21 episodes, 2017-2019
Bahia Watson ...  Brianna 20 episodes, 2017-2021

Elisabeth Moss: Movie and TV Moments

Beyond her iconic roles in "Mad Men" and "The Handmaid's Tale," Elisabeth Moss has had an expansive filmography. We look at back at her career in our movie and TV moments Supercut.

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Storyline

A religion-based autocracy has taken over most of the United States, renaming the country Gilead. In this country women are second-class citizens. Anyone trying to escape is punished. One such person is June, who is captured while trying to escape with her husband and child and is sentenced to be a handmaid, bearing children for childless government officials. As a handmaid, June is renamed Offred. This is her story. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Let them think they control you. (Season 1) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were no black characters in the original source novel, because Gilead (the repressive theocratic regime that had taken over the US government by the time the book starts) had classified all black people as Children of Ham. This is a reference to the belief held by some fundamentalist Christian denominations that black people are descended from Noah's son Ham and are therefore subject to a "curse" leveled at Ham by Noah. In the novel, black people are forcibly resettled in the upper Midwest (Chapter 14). The producers of this show made a conscious choice to deviate from that aspect of the book so that there would be a chance to include black characters (and actors) in the show, including the casting of Samira Wiley as Offred's friend and fellow handmaid Moira. In a January 2017 interview with "TVLine", executive producer Bruce Miller explained that the producers engaged in a "huge discussion with Margaret Atwood, and in some ways it is 'TV vs. book' thing," arguing that in a TV show it would be harder than in a book to explain the persistent absence of black characters. He continued, "What's the difference between making a TV show about racists and making a racist TV show? Why would we be covering [the story of handmaid Offred, played by Elisabeth Moss], rather than telling the story of the people of color who got sent off to Nebraska?" He also justified it by reporting that the "evangelical movement has gotten a lot more integrated [since the book's publication, and] I made the decision that fertility trumped everything." The source novel also included a brief explanation for the absence of Jewish characters in the story: the Gileadean government gave them the options of either converting to Christianity or emigrating to Israel--though the ones who chose emigration were really loaded onto ships that were then dumped into the ocean. See more »

Goofs

Although all guards (security personnel) have earphones, there's always a radio chatter audible. See more »

Quotes

Moira: Hey, that shit is contagious. You want to see your baby girl again? Then you need to keep your fucking shit together.
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User Reviews

 
Fantastic Adaption Of A 'Must Read' Sci-Fi Classic, Good For Guys & Gals Alike
28 April 2017 | by lewilewis1997See all my reviews

If you haven't seen it yet or haven't read the book let's try to set the scene without spoilers;

Mankind is failing, most women are sterile because of industrial pollution (or Mother Nature just having enough of us parasites). Birth rates are plummeting. An ultra religious cult see it as their God given mission to 'save mankind'. They seize power by staging a fake terrorist attack against the US government, impose marshal law and set about rebuilding American society.('War On Terror' anyone?) They use The Old Testament as their blue print, but with some totally wack interpretations and distortions. Fertile women become the property of the state. Brain washed and farmed out to the new ruling elite as baby makers, slavery and subjugation is all they can hope for.

Margaret Atwood, Canadian hero, social commentator, environmentalist, activist, feminist, tech inventor, business woman and visionary always maintained that this isn't sci-fi, but 'speculative fiction', things that have a chance of happening in the near future. Written in the '80's it's probably more profound now; the Neo Con Christian's have become a powerful force in US politics. Could there be a Tea Party without the ultra religious Republicans? Probably not. Maybe it takes a next door neighbour from Canada to really see what's happening with the totally dysfunctional family next door? It has always been a source of debate about how a country so entrenched in the ideas of freedom and liberal philosophy can also be the home of such obvious bigotry and divide? Surely teaching Creationism instead of proved science in some State's schools is a warning sign? Maggie may well ridicule this dogmatic un-thinking, however it's far from funny when she points out the possible end game and consequences for society and women in particular.

The book, although heavy going at first, is one of those you can pick up every few years and just dive right in (thanks to Una for making me read it back in '87). I was worried that this TV adaption wouldn't do it justice. How wrong I was. It's slightly different, and relies on a lot of flashbacks like the original narration; however this narration helps to smooth over the cracks nicely. So it still sticks faithfully to the principles and main events of the story, albeit in a roundabout 'more up to date' way. The subtle creep up and takeover of government and power has been well handled so far. I am enthralled, totally impressed and on tenterhooks with Bruce Miller's adaption. The direction is also smart, (the hanging scene seen from the back of a van was powerful stuff). Every image is a perfect composition, nothing is wasted, it's real art in the hands of skilled camera operators.

The feminism is subtle, not the clumsy and overt 'all men are bad, all women are good little victims' like of some of the more hardcore feminist literature. Maggie recognises that some women can be bad too, and some men will die to do the right thing, as you will see. Her book made a point that this could only happen if most women were willing parties too, and that a 2,000 year old book of moral tales can hold a massive amount of power when deliberately abused in the wrong hands.

It's also highly commendable that the cast are just 'normal folk', no super skinnies, models, hunks or pretty boys are in sight. This makes it all the more believable, it could happen to you and me. The lead, 'Offred' (Elizabeth Moss) absolutely nails it. No spoilers, but she will impress you with her canny nouse and determination to survive despite many obstacles and traps. I haven't seen one bad actor in here so far, they've obviously got bags of talent and emotional range. The design and resurrection of 'The Shaker Movement', as in the book, harks back to an American and European age of persecution and religious fervor.

Adhering to Maggie's descriptions of the colour coded dress, the production designer's subtle placement of now highly valuable Shaker furniture here and there helps; the muted drab colours, even in the opulent wealthy homes, take us sub consciously back to the times of Salem, witch trials, mass hysteria and life devoid of 'modern vices' like free speech, self determination, free love and modern relationships.

I can't wait to see how this progress', although I know how it ends (can't tell you, but get ready for some shocks!). It's been made fresh for me. I hope you will all love it too.


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Official Sites:

Hulu | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

German | Greek | English

Release Date:

26 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Handmaid's Tale See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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