The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu has been a guilty pleasure of mine for a while now, but it’s reaching a point where I am severely regretting that.
I’m not going to get anybody going with the actual content of the show, because I know it has been emblematic of the “left v. right” arguments about women. No, my current problem is something that I’m told plagues some viewers of Arrow. They want to show loyalty to DC Comics, but apparently the show is just awful.
That is what I am facing with The Handmaid’s Tale. The problem is the overwhelming sense of hopelessness that imbues the entire series. It has reached the point where it is difficult to suspend disbelief. Every time a step is made in the direction of tearing down the imaginary world of Gilead, there are three steps back into the abyss.
If pushed to compare this with anything, I have to say it mirrors the Matrix trilogy, in particular the ending. After all is said and done, I believe that it will wrap up at a point where there is no progress out of the hellish lifestyle it depicts. Sure, that might be useful as a cautionary tale, but this is supposed to be at least slightly entertaining, isn’t it?
I’m not saying that I ever wanted or expected a “happily ever after” from this series. It’s just not that kind of story. But, as time goes on, I suspect the end will be yet another tale of hopelessness.
But, I still can’t stop watching it.
It’s like the proverbial “watching a train wreck in slow motion.”
Dystopian tales that are given a “Hollywood happy ending” rarely do very well. Just ask Kevin Costner. But, do we really need to rally around the polar opposite so much, and praise them for being “gritty” or worse “real”? If that’s what people think reality should be, we really are lost.
So, yes I will continue to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, until I simply can’t bear it anymore. But, admittedly that is only to see if the writers decide to stop dropping the plot backwards into misery.