THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.7 – “The Other Side” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 9th July 2017

Teleplay by: Lynn Renee Maxcy

Series created by: Bruce Miller – Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi


 

COLLECTING STRAYS

Last week we deviated from June/Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss) tale by flashing back to her new mistress’s life pre-Gilead. In episode 7 of this ten-part Hulu/MGM adaptation, our eponymous handmaid is even more of a bit-part player as the fate of her estranged husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), is presented to us.

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.6 – “A Woman’s Place” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 2nd July 2017

Teleplay by: Wendy Straker Hauser

Series created by: Bruce Miller – Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi


 

THE QUIET HALF

I was well aware I had dragged my heels with my (now completed) weekly Doctor Who series ten reviews (you can read all of them HERE), but I honestly thought I was just one or two episodes shy of keeping up with Channel 4’s terrestrial UK broadcast of Hulu’s ten-part adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. Turns out I actually fell FOUR episodes off-pace, so the catch-up begins NOW!

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.5 – “Faithful” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 25th June 2017

Teleplay by: Dorothy Fortenberry

Series created by: Bruce Miller – Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Mike Barker


 

FISH HOOK, OPEN EYE

“Every love story is a tragedy, if you wait long enough.”

Now 34 games of Scrabble into her clandestine encounters with her potentially-sterile Commander (Joseph Fiennes), handmaid Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is gifted an old-times fashion magazine. Long thought destroyed, the nostalgic memento awakens in her memories of her first encounters with her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), at a street-side hot dog stand while best friend Moira (Samira Wiley) interrogates Luke about Offred/Kate’s Tinder profile.

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.4 – “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 18th June 2017

Written by: Leila Gerstein

Series created by: Bruce Miller – Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Mike Barker


 

THE SOUND OF GLASS

“How did you survive her?”

Isolated to her room for 13 days after bursting Selena Joy’s (Yvonne Strahovski) pregnancy bubble by getting her “monthly woe” in “Late” (reviewed HERE) last week, a cabin fevered Offred (Elisabeth Moss) takes to laying in her cupboard, wherein she discovers the Latin phrase which this fourth episode is named after, scratched into the wall. Believing it to be written by her predecessor in the Waterford house, Offred is determined to find a translation to the antiquated message and decipher the meaning.

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.2 – “Birth Day” (TV Review)

 

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 4th June 2017

Created by and teleplay by: Bruce Miller

Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Reed Morano


 

THERE IS AN US

At the close of last week’s series debut (reviewed HERE), reluctant concubine Offred (Elisabeth Moss) was warned that a despotic Gilead spy (known as an “Eye”) is watching her, even while she goes about her demeaning slave-like duties as a sex-surrogate for wealthy Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his stuck-up wife, Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski). In “Birth Day”, Offred feels herself stuck ‘tween two extremes and pulled both ways: should she go against the strict new conventions and meet with her new master alone, or use her unique position to betray his trust and provide intel to a network of rebellious Handmaids, led by “carpet-munching gender traitor” Ofglen (Alexis Bledel)?

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.1 – “Offred” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 28th May 2017

Teleplay by: Bruce Miller

Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Reed Morano


 

BREEDING STOCK

As intrigued as I was by its release (and Channel 4’s acquisition for UK transmission), I am a week behind on Hulu/MGM’s new ten-part adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s speculative dystopian novel because I wanted to view the 1990 film version first. While not out-and-out disappointed by the Natasha Richardson-starring production (which you can read my review of HERE), my enjoyment was tempered by the outdated feel which crippled the suspension of my disbelief and meant I never felt truly engaged enough to appreciate the abject horror of the notion. A reader on my blog commented that I should still give the new series a try, as it improved upon the earlier attempt.

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The Handmaid’s Tale (DVD Review)

15 – 90mins – 1990


 

FUNDAMENTALIST FUTURE

27 years before Hulu remade it into a highly-acclaimed and much-discussed, must-see television series, Margaret Atwood’s eye-opening 1985 dystopian novel was adapted to film, courtesy of a Harold Pinter screenplay. Critically commended though it was, an eleventh hour change of director led to rewrites Pinter was “too tired” to work on, so he suggested incoming helmer Volker Schlöndorff return to the author for any “tinkering,” leading the Nobel-Prize winning playwright to all-but disown credit for such a “hodgepodge.”

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