The Handmaid’s Tale – Anyone for a cheeky Scrabble?

Based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale has now come to our screens in the UK – Sundays at 9pm on Channel 4, you’re welcome – and so far it’s been a really intriguing watch.

The central conceit of the show is that humanity has all but decimated the US as we know it, and this has resulted in a “plague of infertility” among the women of the country. Under the rule of their new uber-religious, totalitarian government, those few women who are fertile become Handmaids to the rich and powerful in the militant society, whose only purpose is to provide children for the man and wife the Handmaid is assigned to. This is where we find our heroine, Offred (whose name literally means Of-Fred, the property of Fred, the Commander).

With a mass beating, secret scrabble, and quite possibly the most uncomfortable sex scenes you will ever watch, The Handmaid’s Tale lands us right in the middle of a poignant, ‘what if,’ dystopia.


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Black Mirror – Nothing you see can harm you

Maybe I’m the only one left who hasn’t binge watched all 6 episodes of the new season of Black Mirror, but I watched episode 2 last night. The new season is on Netflix, after moving from its original home on Channel 4, (where currently only the Christmas episode is available to watch).

Episode 2 is titled ‘Playtest’ and follows Cooper, a globetrotting American currently in London, who takes a job testing a new game when he finds himself low on cash. The thrills in store are more than he believed possible, but things start to unravel when Cooper’s mind begins to work against him.


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Humans – Channel 4’s latest triumph

The lines between human and machine have begun to blur in this near future, science-fiction drama, when the latest family must-have is a Synth: a robot designed to make home life easier, only distinguishable from humans by unnaturally bright green eyes. The Hawkins family purchase a new Synth for themselves, but mum Laura suspects that something is amiss.

The final episode aired here in the UK on Sunday, but the whole series (along with some bonus content) is available to view on Channel 4‘s website, and I would highly recommend it.


Humans focuses around the Hawkins family and their experiences with their new Synth ‘Anita’ along with numerous other characters whose true importance is revealed as the series goes on. However, it isn’t just an empty narrative built for escapism – there is some real poignancy in the questions raised about the current relationship between humans and technology.

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