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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The Man in the High Castle – The promise of great drama

I saw a trailer for The Man in the High Castle at the cinema and immediately wanted to start watching the show: the idea I thought was original, and the fact that a film could be so powerful was something I found quite interesting. After seeing the trailer, the question of “what if?” revolved in my head. It is set in America, in an alternative future where the Nazis won the Second World War, and our protagonist Juliana discovers a film which shows the account of history we know, which (obviously) poses a threat to the control the Nazis have over the nation.


Yesterday I watched The New World, the first episode (which are all available on Amazon), and I can safely say that I will be continuing to watch the series to its end. It’s a fairly strong start to the series, supplanting the audience in the middle of the world we know, but which is so unrecognisable – shots of Times Square covered in Swastikas. It introduces numerous characters without fully explaining the connections between them or even who they are, adding further to the sense of intrigue that the show permeates.

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