Monday, August 26, 2019

The Handmaid's Tale TV Series Review

Gripping and disturbing are two descriptions which immediately surface when asked to describe the original television series The Handmaid's Tale. The television series is based on Margaret Atwood's 1998 book of the same name of which many are familiar.

the handmaids tale banner

The Story

The story of The Handmaid's Tale is categorized as speculative fiction or futurism. The disturbing reality of The Handmaid's Tale is the reality of history when any group, government, country or sector persecute any group of citizens who do not meet a defined criteria.

Gilead is the fictional world where woman and men are categorized into well defined roles. Offred is the main character kidnapped from the United States and transported into a dystopian society of which women who can bare children (handmaidens) are the only priority so the society can repopulate.

The handmaidens' are assigned to high ranked Commanders with wives unable to conceive. The handmaidens' role is to conceive a child by the Commander and then give the child to the couple after birth.

The complexity of the story further evolves with the emotions and interactions between the Commanders, the wives, the family, the handmaidens and all those involved in each Commander's goal to have a child. All are intertwined and though the characters are neatly categorized into roles, the emotions of each differ markedly as well as the varying interactions between the classes of Gilead and its' rules.

The Drama And It's Characters

The emotional and physical brutality of the television series I found difficult to watch. The powerful acting vests you into the plot and the characters. If you like strong character driven books, movies or television series you will vest in these characters as presented and for the future.

  • The dystopian society of Gilead is scary, thought provoking, disturbing and yet compelling.
  • Thought provoking to events of history and could it happen again?
  • Disturbing because of the violence and intolerance of anyone 'not like them.'
  • Scary to think of the power and misuse of power to propel unwilling members of society to an unwanted goal.
  • Compelling because of the acting which brings you into their world so effectively it compels you to think of the above questions and thoughts.

handmaids tale

I highly recommend this original television series; however, viewing is not for the timid. Is it entertainment? Is it entertaining? I liken this to watching a disaster unfold, difficult to watch, but difficult not to watch.  

It is a pleasure to watch such powerful acting, but one must be in the mood to watch a serious television series as this is a series which provokes afterthoughts of past society and the future should power go awry.

Where To View A Handmaid's Tale?

This is an original series by Hulu, so a membership is required to view the current season or past episodes of season one or two. Season three began in June 2019.

margaret atwood book

However, Amazon members can stream seasons one and two and the third season will be released after its' first run on Netflix. The series is available here to purchase per episode or per season.

The Testaments

To date A Handmaid's Tale has over 14,000 reviews on Amazon, is a number one New York Times best seller and a sequel The Testaments is anticipated for September 2019.

The end of season one of the television series correlated to the end of the book. The Testaments is Ms. Atwoord's voice as to the future of the main character Offred and the society of Gilead.

Books Similar In Theme To A Handmaid's Tale

1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Yoosers! Already I feel torn. There is a part of me that would love to watch the series for the thought-provoking considerations. However, because we know these kinds of things have happened in the past, it would be horrific to realize a life was stolen from a young woman for the sole purpose of fulfilling anothers desires. Thank you for the complete review! I now know I would need to be emotionally prepared to watch this series.

    1. It is definitely thought provoking and definitely I found difficult to watch!

  2. Wow ~ a powerful theme indeed. It's scary to realize this type of situation has happened in the past and could very possibly happen again in the future. It's food for thought for sure. Makes you wonder why society cannot learn from their mistakes. Thank you for your honest review of this series.

  3. I have heard so many rave reviews of this series from friends. Clearly, it’s well written and beautifully acted. Unfortunately, your review confirms that it’s not something I would want to watch. There is so much violence and cruelty in the world that I do my best to avoid allowing it into our home. I appreciate your candor.

  4. The Handmaid's Tale is as you said based on a book by Margaret Atwood. She's Canadian and I have therefore often heard of or seen the book as well as the movie but not ventured to read or watch either yet.

  5. I have tried several times to watch this series and I just cannot get myself to sit and watch. My mind does not let go of these kinds of disturbing ideals and then I end up with nightmares. I would be a wreck! Maybe one day, I will find the courage to entertain this series, but not today.

  6. In 1990 a movie was made of the Handmaid's Tale. Quite a few people in my circle of people (lol) are surprised to hear that. But yes, there was. I watched it in 1990, and yah, no. I found it so upsetting. When the series came out recently I just couldn't bring myself to watch it. A few friends of mine are hooked on this series though.

  7. I had heard the hype about this series, but didn't have any idea what it was about. Wow. I can see why so many find this compelling. It would be too disturbing for me. That is not a world I want to inhabit (mentally or otherwise). I can see, though, that it would inspire some pretty intense conversations among those who do watch the series. There is much to learn from warped societies, as we are living in a time where there is plenty of warped activity going on. I'd hate to see things get any worse.


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