TV Show Review – The Handmaid’s Tale

TV Show Review – The Handmaid’s Tale


Rating:  5 (out of 5).  In Hulu’s new drama, The Handmaid’s Tale, Elisabeth Moss plays Offred, one of the few fertile women in a future dystopian society where the U.S. is now a totalitarian state governed by the Republic of Gilead.  The women are treated a property of the state, and since the birthrate is quickly plunging, women who are fertile are forced into sexual slavery in a twisted attempt to repopulate. The critics could not say enough good things about this. They loved the twisted storyline, called the performances spectacular, and say it is the one “must see” show of 2017.

The New York Times writes “This is a dark story. That it’s not oppressive is a testament to the deft adaptation and, especially, Ms. Moss’s layered performance.”

CNN calls this a “perfectly creepy drama that plays like the series version of a “Black Mirror” episode.” They say “Beyond Moss’ terrific performance, the cast is topnotch.”

The Chicago Tribune writes “Three episodes, all directed by Reed Morano, were available for preview. In the third, flashback-intensive episode, especially, Morano experiments more freely with shot length, tonal change-ups and the like. This is when a solidly effective adaptation eases into a superior one.”

The Oregonian calls it “supurb” and says it “feels unnervingly relevant, as arguments and debates over religious fundamentalism, women’s liberty, women’s reproductive rights and environmental degradation rage more loudly than ever.”

The Atlantic describes “The Handmaid’s Tale” as an” astounding work of television, with a distinct visual palette that makes it seem as instantly authoritative as the book.”  They note “One of the most immediately distinctive things about the show is that, like the book, its early episodes are experienced entirely from the point of view of its central character.” They tell us “Information is parceled out in pieces, leading to a disorienting and oppressive sense of confusion, followed by the creeping horror of comprehending Offred’s reality.”

The San Francisco Chronicle thinks this is “chillingly real.” They say “The performances are chilling and brilliant at every level. Moss has never done better work, but what’s especially impressive here is that she manages to do the seemingly impossible: create Offred and her previous identity as June as different women at first.”

Time writes “Every detail of The Handmaid’s Tale, from the distinctive costuming of the maids — massive hoods that shield their faces, making engagement with the world limited — to the supporting performances, hits exactly the right note.”

The Colorado Springs Gazette tells viewers “The Handmaid’s Tale is worth diving into.”

The Wall Street Journal says “The problem with Hulu’s Handmaid is that nothing is dreadful enough. … Ms. Moss’s Offred comments regularly on her condition with outraged, silent vulgarities, and seems appalled by rituals and outrages that had become routine in the book.”

The Lincoln Journal Star calls this a “must see” and saysTerrifying is the best word to describe the dystopian series and Moss’ performance in it is riveting.” They state “Each episode brings a sense of foreboding, making viewing sometimes uncomfortable. And Moss, well, she captivates as the heroine with the odds stacked against her. This one is must-see television.”

The Salt Lake Tribune says “The Hulu series does a remarkable job of bringing the story to the screen. It’s shocking and horrifying, yet subtle and understated.”

The Boston Herald thinks this “has a lot to say in 10 episodes.” Their suggestion is “Clear your schedule for one of the best series of 2017.”

The Washington Post notes “he first three episodes made available for this review are an admirable work of adaptation and execution; Atwood’s premise, then and now, describes a situation that seems at first outlandish, yet its plausibility has a way of creeping up on the viewer, much as it crept up on the society it depicts.”

Variety writes “the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s foundational feminist text is an upsetting, immersive, and horrifyingly beautiful vision of a too-close dystopian world.”

Entertainment Weekly gives it a “A” saying “ Their performances — and the show’s consistent sense of textural, lived-in realism — anchor the drama in something beyond speculative sci-fi, making the story feel less like a quasi-fictional fable than an entirely possible preview of what’s to come.”

Vulture writes “A faithful adaptation of the book that also brings new layers to Atwood’s totalitarian, sexist world of forced surrogate motherhood, this series is meticulously paced, brutal, visually stunning, and so suspenseful from moment to moment that only at the end of each hour will you feel fully at liberty to exhale.”

The Hollywood Reporter thinks this “timely adaptation is one of the spring’s best new shows and makes Elisabeth Moss an immediate Emmy contender.”

The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch says this adaptation is “beautiful, with deep, saturated colors and scenes that could be paintings, even when the subject is a line of hanged men. Extreme close-ups on Moss continually make clear that she is our focus.”

Las Vegas Weekly thinks “it nevertheless has a very timely and potentially disturbing tone. It’s still an entertaining science-fiction story, but much of the attention it’s bound to get will come from the way it connects to and comments on the present day.”

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