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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
2 ( 4)

The Many Sides of Elisabeth Moss

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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4   3   2   1  
2020   2019   2018   2017  
Top Rated TV #212 | Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 54 wins & 135 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Elisabeth Moss ...  June Osborne 37 episodes, 2017-2020
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
Amanda Brugel ...  Rita 26 episodes, 2017-2019
Madeline Brewer ...  Janine Lindo 24 episodes, 2017-2019
Max Minghella ...  Nick Blaine 24 episodes, 2017-2019
Nina Kiri ...  Alma 23 episodes, 2017-2019
O-T Fagbenle ...  Luke Bankole 21 episodes, 2017-2019
Bahia Watson ...  Brianna 19 episodes, 2017-2019
Samira Wiley ...  Moira Strand 18 episodes, 2017-2019
Alexis Bledel ...  Emily Malek 16 episodes, 2017-2019
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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:

A house barren of hope. (Season 1) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hulu | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

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

Production Co:

MGM Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a "New York Times" essay published in March 2017, as well as in the new introduction to a 2017 edition of her novel "The Handmaid's Tale," Margaret Atwood said that when she started writing the book, her title for it was "Offred." This is the name given to the main character by the repressive regime that is enslaving her. In addition to its primary meaning (that she is the property of a commander named Fred), Atwood also explained that she intended for the name to also remind the reader of the word "offered," meaning, "denoting a religious offering or a victim offered for sacrifice." 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Leila (2019) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Handmaid's Tale is compelling and terrifying at the same time.
23 June 2017 | by robbieclaravallSee all my reviews

Adapted from Margaret Atwood's novel by the same name, The Handmaid's Tale is a series of speculative fiction that shows what would happen if women's rights are taken away. A religious cult seizes the US government through a fake terrorist attack and holds power. In a world where most of the women are sterile, they take the fertile ones and assign them to be "handmaids" to provide children for the upper-class, using The Old Testament as their ultimatum. These handmaids are concubines—brainwashed, tortured, and led to believe that they have no other purpose but to serve as the child's vessel for the Commanders and their wives.

First off, the storytelling is fantastic. It adapts the book very faithfully for about the first three episodes, and goes off tangent in some just to explore other character's subplots and possible narratives. The main focus of the story is the protagonist, Offred, but not only does the show give an interesting character study on the handmaid's rights and feminism, but it also exhibits the perspective of the so-called "antagonists"—the Commanders, their wives, and the other religious fanatics who shaped the world—and why they believe what they believe. The acting is undoubtedly great. Elizabeth Moss is the symbol of hope in this otherwise failing world, and she has a couple of outstanding performances in some of the episodes. Other honorable mentions are Madeline Brewer (Janine) who gives an impeccable amount of sympathy and empathy to her character, and Yvonne Strahovsky (Serena Joy) who for me is the most interesting character in the show because she's the grayest; others may see her as wholly evil but dig a little deep into her character and she turns into one of the most complex personalities I have seen in TV.

The pacing is done well for the first four to five episodes, gets a little bit rocky in the sixth to eighth ones, but brings it back up again with the final two (and in my opinion) best episodes in the show. It does get tied up in some fillers and red herrings, and I believe that that one episode where it focused on an entirely different subplot for the whole of the hour is unnecessary, but on the moments where the show shines, it shines indeed. I love how the series uses a science fiction concept (industrial pollution leading to infertility) and translates that into a message about mankind (rights and feminism). I appreciated how it didn't need to use fast-paced action and loud and expensive CGI to tell its story. It only needed a realistic concept, a decently written script, a great score, and of course, fantastic performances. Among the episodes of the first season, my personal favorites were Offred (1.1), The Bridge (1.9), and Night (1.10).

The Handmaid's Tale is brilliant. I was apprehensive at first, but the adaptation from page- to-screen is done well, adhering to the main plot with some minor changes to address some of the more ambiguous subplots in the book. The production is excellent, the muted red of the dress symbolizing the subtle but rising theme of feminism throughout the entire series. This show surpassed my expectations and the release is very timely and relevant. Entertaining and compelling, but terrifying at the same time. A dystopian future that has traces of the historical past. The Handmaid's Tale is not a show to pass on.


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