Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The Handmaid's Tale  (Read 1357 times)

Modern Panther

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • modern panther.wordpress.com
The Handmaid's Tale
« on: 29 May, 2017, 07:24:05 PM »
The Handmaid's Tale, the sort-of-but-not-really-sci-fi series, started last night on channel 4.  Its a fanastically powerful book, and the series looks like it will live up to it.  Elisabeth Moss gives a still and seething performance, mostly in close up (it also has a striking cameo from author Margaret Atwood).  The first episode sets up the world perfectly, showing a strange world that follows a dark logic.  I would recommend watching it on catch-up.

CalHab

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 794
    • View Profile
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #1 on: 29 May, 2017, 08:13:15 PM »
I'm psyching myself up for it. Although I loved the book, I found it very upsetting to read.

CrazyFoxMachine

  • Submod
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *
  • Posts: 5459
    • View Profile
    • Twee-tar
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #2 on: 29 May, 2017, 08:46:51 PM »
Just finished watching episode seven and I can attest that if the first episode gripped you - it stays consistent throughout. One of the bleakest and most devastating bits of fiction I've ever witnessed. It's like Threads 2017.

Aside from the sci-fi crutch of mass-sterility as its starting point, the most alarming thing is how many real parallels there are to it. Any time I thought "well now come on THIS is a bit much" - I remember something I'd heard about Chechnya. Syria. Chile. North Korea. Saudi Arabia. The haunting backbone in this is that parts of it are reality for many people in the world.

Seriously seriously powerful television. People will be talking about it for decades to come.

Modern Panther

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • modern panther.wordpress.com
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #3 on: 29 May, 2017, 09:08:52 PM »
Atwood resisted the "sci fi" label for years, on the grounds that everything in the story has already happened somewhere - the only thing sci first about the premise is that she has it happens to Americans.

Richard

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2428
    • View Profile
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #4 on: 29 May, 2017, 10:09:32 PM »
It's not science fiction if there's no science or technology in it that hasn't already been invented/discovered. It's just fiction.

CrazyFoxMachine

  • Submod
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *
  • Posts: 5459
    • View Profile
    • Twee-tar
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #5 on: 02 June, 2017, 06:51:30 PM »
Atwood resisted the "sci fi" label for years, on the grounds that everything in the story has already happened somewhere

I'm fully aware Atwood doesn't associate her work with the label and that generally there's been a move to categorize such work as speculative fiction rather than science fiction. What I'm enjoying about the programme is the mind-expanding parallels with real world events recontextualized within America. It's chilling partially because you realize this social chaos can and does happen with only one or two terribly shitty years (I mean, the "then and now" of Syria is astonishing) but the central action of regime-change and subsequent violent ideological purging is arguably not something that has previously been encountered in human history as a direct reaction to mass infertility - let alone a seemingly international occurrence of mass-infertility. Sudden climate change and most often extreme economic mismanagement lead to the destruction of most societies in that way. So that element of the story isn't entirely grounded in fact although admittedly the desire to "dismiss" it as sci-fi because of that is maybe a subconscious urge to try to suppress the jarring reality that large chunks of it aren't at all fictional for some people in this world.

It's a challenging watch.

Proudhuff

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13153
  • A minefield of imbeciles and chimps
    • View Profile
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #6 on: 03 June, 2017, 10:52:01 AM »
Funny its one thing that's at the back of my mind with the whole Brexit/Indyref2/UKIP thing, how quickly things could go tits up here once we're isolated from Europe.

A lot of people don't realise how fragile our state/infrastructure/democracy is, and as CFM says, how quickly it can slip away, Germany's swing from Weimar Republic to Dictatorship only took a couple of years (and the blessing of the Daily Mail) and we've recently seen complete regions descend into barbarism.

Handmaiden's Tale is a great book, good movie and so far stunning TV series, I'm hoping it doesn't gives Whitehall some pointers!  :o     
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed

Modern Panther

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • modern panther.wordpress.com
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #7 on: 04 June, 2017, 10:01:57 AM »
Quote
So that element of the story isn't entirely grounded in fact although admittedly the desire to "dismiss" it as sci-fi because of that is maybe a subconscious urge to try to suppress the jarring reality that large chunks of it aren't at all fictional for some people in this world.

Wasn't disagreeing CFM.  Wholeheartedly in agreement with you!  (The idea that "sci fi" is limited by having to include "fictional science" ignores whole screeds of the genre, including any sort of alternative history (or alternative present) fiction.)

Regardless of how it's defined, it's a powerful book and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

CrazyFoxMachine

  • Submod
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *
  • Posts: 5459
    • View Profile
    • Twee-tar
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #8 on: 04 June, 2017, 05:05:25 PM »
Regardless of how it's defined, it's a powerful book and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Here here - the thing that protesters are now dressing as Handmaids in America just shows what a phenomenon it's rapidly becoming. As I said before - I genuinely think this is definitively one bit of fiction that'll keep finding new life for decades to come, makes me want to delve into the book and more of Atwood's work tbh. Anyone read any further into it? No spoilers!  :-X

Link Prime

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 4803
    • View Profile
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #9 on: 15 June, 2017, 08:37:09 PM »
Wasn't going to bother with this mainly due to the glut of TV box sets out there and the seemingly reducing numbers of hours in the day.
Then I remembered that I recently slogged through Prison Break 5, the climax of which included a scene where the main good guy bypassed the main bad guys ultra high tech security scanners by tattooing the baddies face to his fingers, and thought I should introduce something a bit more thought provoking to my viewing repertoire.

And I'm ever so glad I did.
Watched the first three episodes- powerful, unsettling and compelling, with a little bit of 80s pop. A winner.

Rara Avis

  • Member
  • Sentient Tea Bot
  • **
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
Re: The Handmaid's Tale
« Reply #10 on: 26 July, 2017, 09:57:19 PM »
I'm a bit late to this party but just wanted to say that I never read an Atwood that I didn't like.

If you want to be technical re: sci fi then Oryx & Crane, The Year of the Flood and Madd Adam could be categorized as her sci fi trilogy.

This show is amazing and I see another of her books, Alias Grace, has been adapted into a TV show that will air in November 2017.

https://youtu.be/M_ubH90kigo