Offred has been assigned to her new Commander. His name is Waterford and he is played by the git from ‘Flashforward’. His wife is Serena Joy and she is played by the annoyance from ‘Chuck’. They are not particularly bright looking. Offred faces obvious peril. Serena Joy is awful with theatrical zeal. The Commander likes to walk into a room ominously. The screen looks covered in a patina of grrime. There are also Marthas who are servants and cooks. They have no idealism or duty. Women are treated abysmally. There is no money just tokens. Offred talks to fellow Handmaid Ofglen (her from ‘Gilmore Girls’). Nick is the Commander’s driver and Offred stares at him while doing a voiceover.
Offred has bemusement at what society has become. People are scared of Eyes, who seem to be the secret police. How did America turn into this? Who came up with this society? The roles, the costumes and the phrases? Who packages the food or stocks the shelves or makes the clothes or weaves the cloth? Where did TV, internet and phones go? Who is the war being raged against? This is so earnest, righteous and non-linear. If you hadn’t read the book, you’d be confused. The Handmaids have clandestine discussion. Why do Handmaids do the shopping? Are we supposed to believe that food for a household of about 6 people fits into Offred’s small string bag? Who cleans the streets? Offred and Ofglen walk by The Wall where bodies of the executed are displayed.
Offred recalls Aunt Lydia who trained the Handmaids at the Rachel and Leah Reeducation Centre. There is a Tinder mention. Offred’s friend Moira was at the Centre. Aunt Lydia had a predatory grin and was a true believer to terrifying effect. This was okay if not incredibly satisfying. The Handmaids are special because they are fertile. What’ll happen to them if they can’t bear children for the Leaders Of The Faithful? Fellow Handmaid Janine mouths off and is punished.
The irrational has become ordinary. Offred has deep hatred. There is no sober realism. What is an Unwoman? What are the Colonies? What became of Moira? Janine is an irritating person. Offred finds Ofglen to be tedious company at first. Offred has no leg hair. She does have red tag in her ear. She is marked like cattle. I once read a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ crossover fanfic with ‘The X Files’. This was self regarding and Aunt Lydia has no trace of concern. The Aunts dress like warders from ‘Prisoner: Cell Block H’. The Martha named Rita lurks. Where is Cora?
Offred is treated with barefaced contempt. She has to go through the Ceremony to try and get pregnant. Who came up with it? The Commander is all rottenness. The Bible is locked away. The Ceremony is just gross. This is all a self-congratulatory and discordant take on the book. The Commander has no menacing charm. Serena Joy has domestic ennui. How can Offred just wander out of the house at night? Offred has yearning. There is a mention of Aunt Beth and Alma. Moira was seditious even in the Rachel And Leah Centre. What became of her?
There is a Salvaging. Which is a public execution. Offred is losing her mind. Who is Gabby? Janine is pregnant. Where are the Econowives? How do they reclaim their bonnets? Who came up with this? Offred and Ofglen gain an understanding. Ofglen reveals her wife and child escaped to Canada. This was grim faced melodrama about a woefully misbegotten dystopia full of cold disregard.
“It isn’t running away they’re afraid of. A Handmaid wouldn’t get far.”
“Thinking can hurt your chances.”
“I had another name but it’s forbidden now.”
“This is the new one.”
“Hasn’t even been issued a woman.”
“A return to traditional values.”
“We go everywhere in twos.”
“There are no friends here. Can’t be.”
“By His Hand.”
“The fighting in Florida must be going well.”
“A plague of infertility.”
“We’re breeding stock.”
“Her fault! Her fault!”
“You slap her. Hard.”
“There is an Eye in your house.”
“That’s all gone.”
Fitz and his bad dad (David O’Hara of ‘The Tudors’) overact. Jemma has no reasonable expectations or personal investment. Daisy is indifferent. Fitz does unforgivable things but Daisy and Jemma love and forgive him. They never get Ward so many chances. Trip shows up. May is rabid. It’s amazing how Fitz’s brain damage wore off. There is death and a crystal. This was gaudy.
“Hydra Enlightenment Centre.”
“They don’t matter.”
“Someone’s been juicing, unless of course, you’re one of us now.”
“I don’t know who’s in there.”
“If he’s not, he will be.”