Hulu has adapted Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, which premiered on April 26th. Catch up with the latest updates, trailers, and commentary.
Jul 26, 2019
Hulu renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a fourth season
Hulu isn’t ready to leave the Republic of Gilead just yet. Today, at its Television Critics Association presentation, it announced that it has renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a fourth season.Read Article >
Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, it’s set in a world where the United States has fallen into a theocracy where women are stripped of their rights and forced into sexual slavery. The series is almost done with its third season, and in the last two seasons, it’s moved further away from the original novel. Hulu didn’t say when the new season would debut.
Jul 15, 2019
Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale is a model of longform worldbuilding
Sometimes, discovering a new fictional world is like forming a crush on a relative stranger. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement for something fresh and unique. In fiction, that can mean discovering a new universe that feels revelatory. But often, the more you learn about that world, the less it holds up, and the less time you want to spend with it. Reading the next book in the series, or watching another episode, you become disappointed, because this shiny new world doesn’t make nearly as much sense once the details are filled in.Read Article >
The secret comes down to ensuring that each new detail introduced, each new development, not only makes coherent sense within the narrative’s established framework, but actually enhances the audience’s understanding. And most franchises don’t hit that bar. The Wachowskis’ original 1999 film The Matrix is a good example. It’s a near-perfect science fiction movie on its own, set in a future where machines have turned the human race into batteries kept complacent by a virtual reality. But the ancillary material (including comics, animated shorts, and video games) tried to build a simple story into an epic story-verse, and the sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions added in some convoluted notions without enhancing the original story. For all the time the story spends in the human city of Zion, the dance-orgy and character-drama segments don’t say much about how this future functions, or add dimension to the man vs. machine conflict. The new details complicate the franchise without helping hold it together, or providing meaningful story hooks for the main characters.
Jun 4, 2019
Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale finally prioritizes revolution over suffering
In “Night,” the first episode of season 3 of Hulu’s dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale, the house where much of the first two seasons took place burns to the ground. The camera pans between the small room where handmaid June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) was imprisoned, the study where she bonded with her captor, Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), over tense games of Scrabble, and the master bedroom where he repeatedly raped June with the goal of producing a baby that his wife, Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), could claim as her own. As the flames consume each set, the metaphor is clear, if not exactly subtle. This part of the story is over. It’s time for something new.Read Article >
That’s a good thing for The Handmaid’s Tale, which became a seemingly endless string of murders, mutilations, and general misery in season 2. Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, the series is set in a near future where the United States has transformed into the misogynistic theocracy Gilead, and fertile women are pressed into sexual slavery. But after the show moved beyond Atwood’s storyline, showrunner Bruce Miller largely abandoned story and character development in favor of a series of portraits of female despair. Given that real-world women are now frequently dressing in the show’s signature red dresses and white bonnets to protest abortion restrictions passing around the country, the unrelenting brutality and bleakness in Handmaid’s Tale felt too real to be entertainment.
May 1, 2019
In The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 trailer, revolution comes to Gilead
Hulu has unveiled a new look at the upcoming third season of its dystopian series The Handmaid’s Tale, showing off the birth of a resistance movement.Read Article >
This new trailer opens with Offred (Elizabeth Moss) highlighting some of the changes that have come to the world. She opted not to leave Gilead during the show’s second season, and it seems she’s now hard at work formulating a revolution against her oppressors and hunting for allies to help her.
Apr 27, 2018
Laura Hudson, Tasha Robinson and 3 more
Is The Handmaid’s Tale still worth the agony of watching it?
Hulu’s original series The Handmaid’s Tale is back for season 2, looking bloodier and more harrowing than ever. The series, based on Margaret Atwood’s freshly relevant 1985 novel, is set in a near-future dystopian country named Gilead, where widespread infertility has changed the political and social landscape. Fertile women are a commodity — dubbed “Handmaids,” and passed out like property to powerful families to be ritualistically raped and used as surrogate mothers. The entire society of Gilead seems to be built around propaganda and social control. Like so much science fiction, it’s meant to explore the possible end results of present developments, and to serve as a cautionary tale.Read Article >
But what does this harrowing, oppressive drama really bring us? In the show, men are executed for possibly imagined crimes, but the show lingers the most on the suffering of women who are tortured, mutilated, or murdered for offenses as small as mocking a warden. It’s a show about systemic, fascistic control, and especially about the control and ownership of women’s bodies.
Apr 26, 2018
The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t quite get modern American misogyny
The Handmaid’s Tale is a difficult show to appreciate right now. After following the plot of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book in its first season, its second season piles on a series of additional horrors, all set in the future nation of Gilead — a religious theocracy that kills and tortures women who refuse to submit to male ownership. As my colleague Laura Hudson writes, “its portents are so terrifyingly familiar that they have become excruciating to watch.”Read Article >
The Handmaid’s Tale’s premise — that you can’t permanently stamp out sexism, just send it more or less into remission — is perpetually timely, as is Gilead’s basic disregard for women’s bodies and choices. But for all this, The Handmaid’s Tale’s vision of religious oppression feels strikingly at odds with how misogyny works today.
Mar 8, 2018
Watch a new teaser for the next season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Hulu has released a new teaser for the next season of its dystopian show, The Handmaid’s Tale, listing off all of the things that that the Handmaids have to contend with in their day-to-day lives in the oppressive country of Gilead.Read Article >
The list essentially boils down to obeying and submitting to men: “wear the red dress, wear the wings, shut your mouth, be a good girl.” It feels entirely appropriate for the teaser to land today, on International Women’s Day: a pointed reminder of the systemic inequality that exists today, and which is depicted at its extremes in the show.
Jan 14, 2018
Watch the first trailer for the next season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Hulu has released its first trailer for its upcoming second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, revealing that the show will return on April 25th, and that we’ll see a bit more of the world beyond the oppressive world of Gilead.Read Article >
When the show ended its first season last year, its main character, Offred, was captured by authorities, while her friend Moira escaped into Canada. Set to a creepy cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, the trailer shows the characters dealing with their predicaments. We see Offred gagged by officials, Moria in Canada, and what looks like the feared colonies — contaminated and polluted regions of the former United States that the Republic of Gilead sends its prisoners to.
Jan 8, 2018
Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale wins the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Drama TV Series
Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale has won the 2018 Golden Globe for Best TV Series in the Drama category. The series, based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, was up against The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and This is Us.Read Article >
Series creator Bruce Miller accepted the award, saying, “To all the people in the world who stopped The Handmaid’s Tale from coming real: keep doing that.”
Jan 8, 2018
Elisabeth Moss wins the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama
Elisabeth Moss won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama tonight, for her performance as Offred in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The series is also up for Best Drama, and Ann Dowd is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Aunt Lydia.Read Article >
Moss also won the Emmy for her role in September, and has been nominated for a Golden Globe twice before for her work on AMC’s Mad Men. Accepting the award, she read a statement from The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood that related the show — a near-future dystopian political drama about an America in which women have no rights, and exist only to reproduce — to the current crisis point for sexism in Hollywood.
Oct 31, 2017
How The Handmaid’s Tale inspired a protest movement
In March 2017, a group of women marched into Texas’ state capitol building, dressed in the scarlet robes and puritanical white bonnets of the Handmaids from Hulu’s about-to-be-released show The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, the show depicts a dystopian world where women are brutally stripped of their rights and exploited for reproduction. The theme was no accident; the women were there to protest a bill that would restrict abortions in the state. They sat silently in the balcony, surrounded by armed police officers, sending a message with their presence — turning cosplay into a political act, and inspiring a national anti-abortion protest movement that has adopted the costume as a de facto uniform.Read Article >
The protest was loosely inspired by a Hulu promotional event prior to the launch of the series, where models donned the garb of the show’s iconic Handmaids at this year’s SXSW festival. News of the stunt reached Heather Busby, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. “This isn’t the first time Pro-Choice Texas used costumes,” she explained in a phone interview with The Verge. “Back in 2015, we had folks in hospital gowns to protest another abortion restriction. We had an inkling that this kind of thing is effective, and the timing of the show coming out, and with the book experiencing a resurgence in popularity, it seemed like the perfect convergence of all those things.”
Jun 21, 2017
American Gods and The Handmaid’s Tale are about the same thing
Recently, both Starz’s American Gods and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale wrapped their debut seasons. Both shows have been acclaimed for their focus on relevant political issues, such as women’s rights, the spread of fascism, and the dangers of religious extremism. But what makes both shows pressingly important in 2017 is that they’re driven by a single focus: demonstrating the danger in the creeping normalization of a hostile ideology.Read Article >
On their faces, both shows share some basic similarities: they’re both adaptations of classic speculative fiction novels, and both explore the role religion plays in the United States. Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood has explained that her novel, in which a religious regime turns fertile women into sexual slaves called Handmaids, isn’t a dramatic leap from reality. As she conceived of its story, she incorporated historical statements and behavior. Meanwhile, American Gods explores the generational gap between traditional, mythological gods and the new generation, as the prayers of believers shift from one to the other. Essentially, both shows acknowledge unsettling futures, then set out to ask, “How did we get here? How did this become the status quo?”
Jun 18, 2017
11 books to read while you wait for season 2 of Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale finished its first devastating season on Hulu this week, but the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s chilling dystopian novel will come back for a second season.Read Article >
The novel and show portray a dystopia in which women are stripped of their rights under the Republic of Gilead, an oppressive theocratic regime that rises up in place of the United States. Atwood published her novel in 1985, and noted that she specifically drew on things that had been said or done. “I would not put into this book anything that humankind had not already done, somewhere, sometime or for which it did not already have the tools." Her influences drew on Puritanical New England, as well as other well-known dystopian novels such as George Orwell's 1984 and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
Jun 15, 2017
Both versions of The Handmaid’s Tale have a problem with racial erasure
In Western fiction, dystopic stories often ask, "What if this atrocity had happened to white people instead?"Read Article >
That was the formula more than 100 years ago, when H.G. Wells wrote The War of the Worlds, its narrator comparing the Martian invasion of Britain to Britain’s ruthless invasion of Tasmania. It’s the formula in Universal Pictures’ new franchise-starter The Mummy, which envisions a Middle Eastern woman bringing war to London, as Brits and Americans brought war to Iraq. And it’s the basis for Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale, which imagines a world in which white women are enslaved and sexually coerced as black women were under American slavery.
May 7, 2017
Bros are oblivious in SNL’s parody of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Last night, Saturday Night Live parodied Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale with a short sketch featuring a group of handmaids who come across a group of bros that they knew in their former lives. While the lives of the women (formerly known as Girl Squad) have drastically changed, the men’s lives haven’t.Read Article >
Chris Pine’s stereotypical bro and a friend encounter the group of women, and only vaguely remember society drastically changing. Pine offers up a weak excuse: “I think I actually read something about that, but I’ve been super busy at work lately.” No matter how much the women try and explain what’s happened, it’s clear that the guys are aren’t really paying attention.
May 3, 2017
The Handmaid’s Tale gets renewed for a second season
Hulu has renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a second season, Variety reports. The news comes just one week after the series premiere, which, according to Variety, was Hulu’s most-watched series premiere ever. The show, which is set just beyond present day, has drawn praise from critics for its representation of a totalitarian universe where women have been stripped of their rights.Read Article >
The series, which stars Elizabeth Moss, is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name. Although the first season already steps outside Atwood’s created universe, a second season is even more likely to include new storylines and characters. There have also been a few rumors that Atwood is planning to write a sequel herself.
Apr 13, 2017
The Handmaid’s Tale is a chilling expansion on Margaret Atwood’s novel
In recent months, The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel about a patriarchal future where fertile women are a tightly controlled commodity — has become more of a symbol than a piece of fiction. From a “Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again” sign at a protest to women protesting a restrictive abortion law in costume, it offers a form of protest that cuts straight to the misogynist thread in American populism. Hulu, which will premiere an adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26th, couldn’t have asked for better publicity.Read Article >
But The Handmaid’s Tale is more than a political jab. In the first three episodes provided to reviewers, it’s a dystopia that manages to stand out in a television landscape already full of apocalypses and oppressive imaginary societies. It’s a colorful TV series about a woman negotiating domestic drama, and judging from its initial installments — all three of which will be released simultaneously on April 26th — it might be one of the darkest shows on television this year.
Mar 23, 2017
The full trailer for Hulu's Handmaid's Tale shows the rise of Margaret Atwood's dystopia
The first couple of short teaser trailers for Hulu’s upcoming series The Handmaid’s Tale have given us tantalizing glimpses of the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel. A new, longer trailer shows off the rise of the Republic of Giliad and its brutal oppression of women.Read Article >
“We were asleep before, that’s how it happened,” Elizabeth Moss’ Offred says in the beginning. She goes on to say how society didn’t wake up as a series of crises brought about the oppressive religious regime. We see that laws are enacted to restrict the rights of women, and that armed men patrol the streets. Offred is captured and forced into her new role as handmaid, bearing children for the society’s barren elites. It’s a chilling preview, made all the more frightening as various characters rationalize the society that they’ve built, saying that they’re making the world a better place — for some.
Mar 9, 2017
Margaret Atwood says Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale adaptation ‘goes farther’ than the book
In a Reddit AMA yesterday, Margaret Atwood shared her impressions of the first three episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, said America is dangerously close to dystopia, and pretended that it’s not cool to like Mel Brooks. She really covered all the bases.Read Article >
“Based on what I've seen it's a 10,” she said, when asked to rate the overall quality of the series. “My criteria: puddle of goo on the floor [by the] end of Episode 3. Gasp. Shriek. It goes farther than I did in the book…”
Feb 3, 2017
The Handmaid's Tale gets a timely Super Bowl trailer
Hulu has released a new teaser trailer for its upcoming show The Handmaid’s Tale, which will air this Sunday during the Super Bowl. The teaser builds on the first trailer for the show, focusing on the role of the Handmaids in this dystopian future.Read Article >
While trailers for movies are common during the Super Bowl, this is the first time Hulu will be airing a trailer for any of their original shows.
Jan 7, 2017
Watch the chilling first trailer for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Hulu has released the first trailer for its upcoming show The Handmaid’s Tale.Read Article >
The tense teaser shows off Elizabeth Moss’ character Offred, a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. We also get glimpses of the times before the collapse of the United States into an oppressive theocratic regime in which women are stripped of their rights.
Dec 16, 2016
Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale will premiere on April 26th, 2017
Hulu announced last spring it was turning Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale into a series starring Elizabeth Moss. Today, that series got a release date: April 26th, 2017.Read Article >
Moss will play Offred, one of a small group of fertile women kept in sexual servitude by the male ruling class of a fundamentalist society called Gilead. In Gilead, women have been stripped of all rights, and Offred and the other Handmaids are at constant risk of being sent off to concentration camps.
Apr 29, 2016
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale will be made into a series at Hulu
Hulu has given a series order to The Handmaid's Tale, a show based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel of the same name. The story is set in Gilead, a military republic (formerly part of the United States) where a suspension of the Constitution strips women entirely of their rights. Atwood will serve as a consulting producer for the series.Read Article >
Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) will star as Offred, a handmaid whose sole function in society is a reproductive one. She is "assigned" to The Commander of the new regime, a man named Fred whose relationship with Offred is an unorthodox one.