Ratings – and reviews – of The Handmaid's Tale could not have been better
Should the ratings prove positive they would pave the way for the next chapter; should they disappoint poor old Offred would have been last seen bundled off to her fate with just a chink of hope.
As it happened the ratings – and reviews – could not have been better. Series two starts filming shortly while one of the producers says he envisions 10 seasons in total. Can’t wait. But then again maybe I can because I am one of what seems to be a small minority who finds this series utterly objectionable because of its take on Christianity.
Let us sum up last night: we have a society in which women are horribly repressed, with nothing like the same rights as men. The fertile ones go about with all-concealing clothes and their hair covered.
One character is punished by having a hand amputated and towards the end of the episode one woman was faced with being stoned to death. What country does that remind you of?
Me too. And would the producers have risked for one second setting it in such a society? Don’t make me laugh.
There was a huge amount to be said for The Handmaid’s Tale, not least that the author of the original novel, Margaret Atwood, is right that women risk having their hard-won freedoms taken away from them.
That said, the only country I can think of that happening to in a major way in recent decades is Afghanistan.
It was beautifully acted, despite the constant desire to shock, and cinematically it was stunning. The scene in which the handmaidens, having refused to turn on one of their own, march down the monochrome street, the only colour emanating from their purple robes, deserves an award all on its own.
'I find this series utterly objectionable because of its take on Christianity'
But the overall message that this is what would happen should fundamentalist Christians take over is objectionable. There are those who are drawing parallels with the US under Donald Trump: they should grow up.
What with Ivanka swanning around the world on her father’s behalf and Melania putting on a fashion show in every country she visits, we’re not exactly talking about the world of Offred and the Commander.
What influenced The Handmaid's Tale?
Tue, June 6, 2017
What influenced The Handmaid's Tale? From Environmental issues to and Serena Joy and Ronald Reagan.
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The Handmaid's Tale
The only similarity I can see is that in both cases, Canada is beginning to look like a paradise on earth. I had not meant to return so quickly to CASUALTY (BBC1) but feel compelled to do so just on the grounds that Saturday night’s episode was a masterclass in difficult filming.
For reasons best known to themselves – and I suspect it was to prove that they were up to the technical challenge – the producers decided to film the entire programme in one long continuity shot.
This is the kind of thing that film directors receive high praise for if they keep it going for more than five minutes; in the case of Casualty it was 55. And so we moved seamlessly from burning building to ambulance to ward to individual crises without the camera once ever being switched off – and mightily impressive it was too.
The only trouble was that I was concentrating so hard on watching the camera dip into every nook and cranny, I sometimes lost track of the actual action.
But all credit to everyone involved: you proved you could do it. But maybe next time concentrate on the plot.