We are now five (harrowing) episodes into Hulu's astonishing new series, The Handmaid's Tale, based on Margaret Atwood's dystopian 1985 novel of the same name. In case you haven't yet engaged in the weekly trauma of watching this thing, here's a brief overview to get you up to speed:
Elisabeth Moss plays a strong, modern woman named Offred (birth name: June) contending with a new authoritarian system that has taken away her child, murdered her husband, and enslaved her -- and every other fertile woman in the country -- to act as what are essentially "two-legged wombs" for the largely sterile aristocracy. Failure to obey new rules regarding everything from language restrictions to dress code result in a variety of physical tortures and disfigurements that are better left discovered through the show or novel (also because the mere idea of describing them here is giving me the heebie-jeebies).
Try and get through this trailer without crying:
If you are in possession of a womb in real life, this is basically the most terrifying thing that's ever been on television. Ever. It's all the more frightening, of course, because of our current political climate. With the Republican party going after women's reproductive rights on both a national and state level; and with an overwhelmingly wealthy, white, male government looking after wealthy, white, male priorities, The Handmaid's Tale is particularly hard to watch right now. For a lot of viewers, it simply isn't a massive stretch to imagine a scenario of this sort occurring in real life.