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Things We Hate About The Handmaid's Tale

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Are we ever going to see at least one case of  a mature bible believing Christian who is against the Giliad Laws?  Because it seems to me that we only see non Christians who are against it within the shows universe because I bet you they are out there and I want to see at least one.

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7 minutes ago, lmdreamer said:

Are we ever going to see at least one case of  a mature bible believing Christian who is against the Giliad Laws?  Because it seems to me that we only see non Christians who are against it within the shows universe because I bet you they are out there and I want to see at least one.

good point. I attend a mainline Protestant church (i.e. opposite of Evangelical) and we'd be all over this. Though perhaps we'd all be already hung on the wall with the Catholics.

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I hate hearing Serena refer to baby Holly as hers.

I hate how she calls herself a "mother" now.

I do not believe she even knows what it means to be a mother, to be a parent.

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All the wives to that.

I hate that there is no continuity or follow through on stories.  Most episodes are nearly a stand alone, and even if they do follow through?  It's not done well.  For example, the BS answer to how Fred isn't in jail or dead right now, as Serena and Fred were so worried about back at the Lake House.  Nick reappears without even a bruise, no reason given that he drove and about to deliver handmaid hours from her house, oh, and that house is owned her bio-daughter's new parents!

Aunt Lydia is loving, hateful, violent, tolerant, in charge, scary, kind, subservient, DEPENDING on who wrote the episode. 

Eden and Issac meet a completely different death or fate than other adulterers on the show met.

Eden and Issac gave their lives for a love passion we never even saw on screen.

They bounce June around like a Wham O Superball, and all credit to Moss for keeping it believable but seriously folks, WTF?  She'll be dead, she's won't be, she's out of the house, she's back in the house, she's smart, she's stupid, she's mouthy, she's reticent, she's escaping, wait, no she's not, she's kissing up to Fred, she's terrified Fred will hurt her child, she's screaming at Fred he's not the father, she's chatting away with Nick willy nilly, she's careful about letting anyone notice Nick.

It's the writing.  Hire a continuity person, and tell the show runner that there are arcs, and you can't take one up to a summit, and then just leave it there, as if it never happened.

Improve.

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I found the death scene of Eden pulled me right out of the story, since it was so "artistically filmed." Has anyone here read "A Perfect Storm"? The author gives a graphic, detailed, description of exactly what it is like to die by drowning, and it's not pretty. It's horrific, and is an extremely painful way to die, with the person struggling not to breathe in the water, but being unable to stop once the CO2 in the lungs is beyond bearable. Their faces would not look peaceful in death, sorry.

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7 hours ago, Umbelina said:

They bounce June around like a Wham O Superball, and all credit to Moss for keeping it believable but seriously folks, WTF?  She'll be dead, she's won't be, she's out of the house, she's back in the house, she's smart, she's stupid, she's mouthy, she's reticent, she's escaping, wait, no she's not, she's kissing up to Fred, she's terrified Fred will hurt her child, she's screaming at Fred he's not the father, she's chatting away with Nick willy nilly, she's careful about letting anyone notice Nick.

 

I hate that too. When I read the book, I felt that the handmaid telling the tale was not defiant at all, that she complied with the new rules and feared the consequences of rebelling. I would be fine with the handmaid in the show being a little more defiant, but the writers completely missed the mark.

 

7 hours ago, Umbelina said:

It's the writing.  Hire a continuity person, and tell the show runner that there are arcs, and you can't take one up to a summit, and then just leave it there, as if it never happened.

This is one thing that I never get in most shows. How hard would it be to have someone actually caring about the stories and characters as viewers do? In some cases I also wonder about the actors (not in this show though) who read a script that completely contradicts something  said about their character on a previous episode (simple things like age and where they were raised) and don't say anything. Or maybe the producers don't care?

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I had some major issues with the first series and didn’t know if I’d bother with the second, but I gave it a try. I quit watching after the third episode and cancelled Hulu but I check in here every so often to see if I made a mistake. Nothing I’ve read makes me regret my decision. There were so many things wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start. I just need to remember this next time I’m tempted to watch something that was adapted from a favorite book.

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8 hours ago, dleighg said:

I found the death scene of Eden pulled me right out of the story, since it was so "artistically filmed." Has anyone here read "A Perfect Storm"? The author gives a graphic, detailed, description of exactly what it is like to die by drowning, and it's not pretty. It's horrific, and is an extremely painful way to die, with the person struggling not to breathe in the water, but being unable to stop once the CO2 in the lungs is beyond bearable. Their faces would not look peaceful in death, sorry.

I posted this in the episode thread, but my problem with the "artistically filmed" part of the scene is that the pool was perfectly clean.  As you could see from the other balls & chains at the bottom of the pool, this is THE purpose of this pool.  You dump live bodies into a pool, fully clothed, shoes and all (not to mention bodily fluids that I would assume get excreted when this happens), add in the mass of rusting balls & chains, and that pool is going to be a mess.  I don't believe Gilead has a bunch of pool cleaning supplies at hand (or anyone who knows Ph balance, etc.), so that's where art took the front seat to reality, and it sort of ruined it for me. 

21 hours ago, lmdreamer said:

Are we ever going to see at least one case of  a mature bible believing Christian who is against the Giliad Laws?  Because it seems to me that we only see non Christians who are against it within the shows universe because I bet you they are out there and I want to see at least one.

June has been shown to be a Christian, believing in God.  She's not overtly religious, but there have been a number of scenes where she's prayed or otherwise mentioned God.

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2 hours ago, chaifan said:
On 7/4/2018 at 12:52 PM, lmdreamer said:

Are we ever going to see at least one case of  a mature bible believing Christian who is against the Giliad Laws?  Because it seems to me that we only see non Christians who are against it within the shows universe because I bet you they are out there and I want to see at least one.

I'm assuming most fled or were hung.  That nice wife who tried to save Emily from the ceremonies could have been one as well.

10 hours ago, alexvillage said:

I hate that too. When I read the book, I felt that the handmaid telling the tale was not defiant at all, that she complied with the new rules and feared the consequences of rebelling. I would be fine with the handmaid in the show being a little more defiant, but the writers completely missed the mark.

 

This is one thing that I never get in most shows. How hard would it be to have someone actually caring about the stories and characters as viewers do? In some cases I also wonder about the actors (not in this show though) who read a script that completely contradicts something  said about their character on a previous episode (simple things like age and where they were raised) and don't say anything. Or maybe the producers don't care?

Emily was pretty defiant in her head, and she was very defiant by continuing to sleep with Nick.  That part of the show doesn't bother me at all, especially now that she actually escaped for a while and has seen more of the Gilead world.

Actors often film several scripts at a time though, I'm a "commentary" junky on DVD's and I've heard it over and over again.  It's not their job to be overly critical of the writing, and it's really not their job to keep an eye on continuity.  I think it's reasonable to expect the showrunner to do that.  For example, Lydia being all over the board, she may ASK, and the director explain why she's this way now, and assure her the rest of the show will justify that behavior.  Also, to be completely objective, scripts and filming often run long.  First cuts are minutes to sometimes nearly twice as long as they will end up.  Editing is crucial, what to leave in, what to leave out. 

That's why I say the continuity person but mainly the showrunner MUST stay on top of all of that.  This team does not.  At all.  It's obvious and sloppy.  Also, I think it shows a taking-for-granted of the audience's forbearance, probably because of the raves it got first season, and the awards.  The most recent egregious example is the ridiculous "answer" to the deep trouble Nick, Serena, June, and especially FRED was in last episode.

What will happen?  OMG!  They are all in so much trouble!

WRITERS, SHOWRUNNER:  Give Fred a promotion and praise Nick.

WHAT?

Edited by Umbelina
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You have all listed so many things that I have been hating, so I will only list this one  ...I'm tired of the last several episodes having only 5 minutes worth of substance, giving us (in the forum) very little to discuss. We all come to the forum to read insightful commentary from our fellow viewers.  I am always anxious to read the observations of Umbelina, AnswersWanted, mamadrama, and so many others- all of whom are able to articulate thoughts far better than I can.  But we are being starved, so we spend too much time whining about little things... why is there always snow on the ground?, why is the show filmed so dark?, why must I always rely on closed-captioning to follow the dialog?, yadda-yadda-yadda... It's sort of crazy we can fill 3 pages of a forum on our collective pet peeves.  And then there are the "big" problems we are having with this season - eg, storylines going nowhere & characters being underutilized ...I just keep asking myself how such a great season 1 be followed by such a colossally disappointing season 2?  - Am I being too harsh?  I don't think so.

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14 hours ago, chaifan said:

I posted this in the episode thread, but my problem with the "artistically filmed" part of the scene is that the pool was perfectly clean.  As you could see from the other balls & chains at the bottom of the pool, this is THE purpose of this pool.  You dump live bodies into a pool, fully clothed, shoes and all (not to mention bodily fluids that I would assume get excreted when this happens), add in the mass of rusting balls & chains, and that pool is going to be a mess.  I don't believe Gilead has a bunch of pool cleaning supplies at hand (or anyone who knows Ph balance, etc.), so that's where art took the front seat to reality, and it sort of ruined it for me. 

It was strange that we saw all those balls at the bottom of the pool. Do the Gilead pool cleaners remove the chains from the dead bodies and just take the bodies out of the pool but leave the balls? And do they then drain the dirty water and replace it with clean water but still leave all those metal balls at the bottom of the pool? I'd expect them to re-use those balls the next time they drown someone. Thinking about all that took me out of the scene.

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14 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Actors often film several scripts at a time though, I'm a "commentary" junky on DVD's and I've heard it over and over again.  It's not their job to be overly critical of the writing, and it's really not their job to keep an eye on continuity.  I think it's reasonable to expect the showrunner to do that.  For example, Lydia being all over the board, she may ASK, and the director explain why she's this way now, and assure her the rest of the show will justify that behavior.  Also, to be completely objective, scripts and filming often run long.  First cuts are minutes to sometimes nearly twice as long as they will end up.  Editing is crucial, what to leave in, what to leave out. 

I don't disagree with you. My somewhat off-topic comment about other shows was more related to shows that run many seasons and the characters have been playing them for a long time. It is less a criticism than curiosity and it might have come out wrong, too strong. I have seen shows that run over 8 or more years. I usually don't follow closely, stop watching for a season or two, but then start watching again and remember something about a character that is completely impossible in the context of the story. 

You are right, continuity is part of the production, not a responsibility of the actor. I wonder if the actors ever say something though, if only to quell my curiosity.

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6 hours ago, paulvdb said:

It was strange that we saw all those balls at the bottom of the pool. Do the Gilead pool cleaners remove the chains from the dead bodies and just take the bodies out of the pool but leave the balls? And do they then drain the dirty water and replace it with clean water but still leave all those metal balls at the bottom of the pool? I'd expect them to re-use those balls the next time they drown someone. Thinking about all that took me out of the scene.

I was also wondering why they removed the chains - probably for aesthetics - but the balls were likely too heavy underwater to lift manually? They are meant to weigh people down enough to drown them.

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48 minutes ago, secnarf said:

I was also wondering why they removed the chains - probably for aesthetics - but the balls were likely too heavy underwater to lift manually? They are meant to weigh people down enough to drown them.

It was probably a decision based on cinematography. It doesn't need to make sense or be part of the story, or part of the untold story, it was just an artistic decision for that scene.

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3 hours ago, alexvillage said:

It was probably a decision based on cinematography. It doesn't need to make sense or be part of the story, or part of the untold story, it was just an artistic decision for that scene.

That's what I gathered from it as well, and it's also why the pool was clean. This show is just as much about imagery as it is about plot. Many of the scenes look like paintings. They even use different filters on the different actors for their scenes. 

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This week's chainballs are last week's locked garage in that it's just WHY and takes you right out of the scene. I thought the same things, are the balls clogging the drain, how is the chlorination being affected by several factors, how does one even come across a cache of chainballs, do you order them or are they, like, forged? If you order them who is your supplier, do you use Amazon or is it like an old timey mail system, I never know with you people. Oh! RIP Eden.

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6 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

This week's chainballs are last week's locked garage in that it's just WHY and takes you right out of the scene. I thought the same things, are the balls clogging the drain, how is the chlorination being affected by several factors, how does one even come across a cache of chainballs, do you order them or are they, like, forged? If you order them who is your supplier, do you use Amazon or is it like an old timey mail system, I never know with you people. Oh! RIP Eden.

that is a really great observation. Wouldn't it be more "in the story" to have them weighed down by .... whatever. Cinderblocks, anvils, whatever one could find in a post-industrial world?

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15 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

This week's chainballs are last week's locked garage in that it's just WHY and takes you right out of the scene. I thought the same things, are the balls clogging the drain, how is the chlorination being affected by several factors, how does one even come across a cache of chainballs, do you order them or are they, like, forged? If you order them who is your supplier, do you use Amazon or is it like an old timey mail system, I never know with you people. Oh! RIP Eden.

gBay-- it's like eBay, but it's for Gilead.

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I am really really over the Waterford's casa saga. If they keep those characters under that roof next season, I am out.

June have been brought back to that house on three occasions in a short span of time. Why? So they can play the same beats over and over and over while other characters languish on the back burner. 

This season has largely consisted Fred twirling a mustache  

Gilead hands her ass and Serena's hatred for the world she crafted burns hotter than her hatred for anything not named Serena Joy. Then she is reminded of the baby and doubles down. This behavior is mistaken for positive trait.  Serena 's ebb flows only when things in Gilead doesn't go her way. She is self-serving to the core. A Handmaid is raped? No currr. Hell, she arranges it herself even. 

Nick skulks around and the Martha makes snide comments. 

June herself has been in and out of severe depression. She's been submissive then resistant. Sometimes in the same episode. The writers no longer know what to do with this character. A very bad sign because she's the lead. 

The supporting characters, outside of that household, were severely under utilized this season and the show suffered.

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11 hours ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

This week's chainballs are last week's locked garage in that it's just WHY and takes you right out of the scene. I thought the same things, are the balls clogging the drain, how is the chlorination being affected by several factors, how does one even come across a cache of chainballs, do you order them or are they, like, forged? If you order them who is your supplier, do you use Amazon or is it like an old timey mail system, I never know with you people. Oh! RIP Eden.

They looked like they were kettlebells - available at any good fitness store - with chains attached to them. 

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1 hour ago, Ceindreadh said:

They looked like they were kettlebells - available at any good fitness store - with chains attached to them. 

So maybe they left them in the pool for the aquafit class that followed?

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1 hour ago, Trillian said:

So maybe they left them in the pool for the aquafit class that followed?

They left the kettle bells at the bottom of the pool to convey visually that the pool, a beautiful pristine place where people used to gather to watch and cheer ridiculously gorgeous competitive diving and swimming, has been defiled by Gilead. It’s now a public execution site under an unjust and perverted system. The juxtaposition of the beauty of diving — and the way we film and watch competitive diving — with the gross execution of Eden (the pure of heart, named for the place where God and human lived in harmony before the original sin) is why they the pool was clean, why they showed us the below-surface views of Eden and Isaac entering the pool and struggling (and dying) in crystal clear water, and why we didn’t need to see the Gilead pool keeper complain about the difficulty of properly maintaining the pool pH levels or ordering guardians to remove the bodies “and be sure to remove the chains from the kettles cleanly, and I better not find any spare links later, or there will be hell to pay, if you know what I mean. Harrumph.”

 

They could have shown the pool clean from a distance but disgusting close up. It would have been harder to film, IMO, and different from the Gilead aesthetic.  Gilead / THT is beautiful in its simplicity, starkly beautiful, while being rotten at the core. “Put the bruised apples at the bottom of the bushel.” “Send them away to the colonies, never to be seen again (er, well).” The kettles on the pool bottom showed us the rot without us needing to see actual rotting flesh swirling around in dank water.

In a show that too often has to tell me what central characters are thinking (Nick), the kettles showed me the point. 

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Yeah, that's a pretty deep pool, and changing the water each time after they murder people this way would be expensive.  Maybe they give them all enemas before their executions?  Outfit them with leak proof plastic underwear to contain it all?  Also if they did change the water, why not remove the weights?  It would be even easier, and also?  Recycling seems to be a focus of this society so...

(just kidding)

It was a good visual, but like many of the stunning visuals on this production?  Doesn't stand up to much logic or examination.

Edited by Umbelina
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2 hours ago, RandomX said:

They left the kettle bells at the bottom of the pool to convey visually that the pool, a beautiful pristine place where people used to gather to watch and cheer ridiculously gorgeous competitive diving and swimming, has been defiled by Gilead. It’s now a public execution site under an unjust and perverted system. The juxtaposition of the beauty of diving — and the way we film and watch competitive diving — with the gross execution of Eden (the pure of heart, named for the place where God and human lived in harmony before the original sin) is why they the pool was clean, why they showed us the below-surface views of Eden and Isaac entering the pool and struggling (and dying) in crystal clear water, and why we didn’t need to see the Gilead pool keeper complain about the difficulty of properly maintaining the pool pH levels or ordering guardians to remove the bodies “and be sure to remove the chains from the kettles cleanly, and I better not find any spare links later, or there will be hell to pay, if you know what I mean. Harrumph.”

They could have shown the pool clean from a distance but disgusting close up. It would have been harder to film, IMO, and different from the Gilead aesthetic.  Gilead / THT is beautiful in its simplicity, starkly beautiful, while being rotten at the core. “Put the bruised apples at the bottom of the bushel.” “Send them away to the colonies, never to be seen again (er, well).” The kettles on the pool bottom showed us the rot without us needing to see actual rotting flesh swirling around in dank water.

In a show that too often has to tell me what central characters are thinking (Nick), the kettles showed me the point. 

 

I love parsing out this kind of stuff too, so I get this.  When scenes aren't so dimly lit as to be shot in near blackness, I will give this show credit for creating a lot of interesting visuals with sometimes quite beautiful camerawork.  The symbolism and metaphor, though, often ends up being ridiculously heavyhanded and a distraction in itself, as when so many people come away from the execution scene thinking more about the specifics of pool cleaning or whether you can buy execution kettleballs by the gross on Gilead's version of Amazon than the execution itself.  Like I can agree that the blood red handmaid getup does indeed look starkly picturesque against bare trees and white snow (per Holly) and still just be at the point where I'm muttering "Yes, yes, we get it.  Everything in Gilead is bleak and terrible like winter all the time."  I have great appreciation for the set and art direction on this show, but I wish I could tell them that many times less really is indeed more.

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On 7/3/2018 at 4:20 PM, whoknowswho said:

Luke. I really dislike him, he's insipid and weak and childish. The acter's great--they gave him shit for a character, and shit is what he's doing (or not doing).  Why he didn't go after Waterford, why he went and got drunk instead...was just another annoying part of the show. He's a man, he should have more power in his world, but he doesn't. He's weak and insipid, period.  He could have asked Nick "why do you know her" or "how WELL do you know her?" but basically we got," OK." Same thing when she told him she wanted him to leave his wife. Ok. 

The thing I HATE about this story, is there's zero accountability.  June escapes and gets caught? In Gilead, she should have been killed. They kill people for less.  Janine, God love her--they never did execute her, did they?  Just send her to the Colonies so the writers can check the box on Atwood's book, showing the Colonies.  Emily and Janine, losing teeth and fingernails in a radioactive wasteland? Oh, just bring them back to Gilead, give them dark circles under their eyes, that's enough.  It isn't enough. 

And that was a damn wolf, not a wild dog...

Will June be executed after the birth of Holly? Doubt it, even though that was supposed to be her ending according to Aunt Lydia,  June is a "problem" handmaid.   There's so many things I have disliked about this season, I just get in a ball of anger about it. The book was so good, and it was timeless, as others have mentioned--it could be 1980, 2000, 2020, it all is still germane.  Sorry...the show just disappoints me this season.

I don't quite understand "He's a man, he should have more power in his world." He isn't living in Gilead, so what power does he or should he have here?

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8 hours ago, Trillian said:

So maybe they left them in the pool for the aquafit class that followed?

That's why there was such a big audience, they are competing for the holiest kettleball which of course is the one most recently attached to a dead sinner.

 

PS I still think they look like the old fashioned kind, but YMMV. One of the "things I hate about THMT" is the arbitrary use of technology. Who decides cars are preferable to horse and buggy, but formula is outlawed, but the hospital is modern? Are there carpenters for the red coffins, seamstresses for the outfits, or are they having them mass made? 

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4 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

Everything in Gilead is bleak and terrible like winter all the time."  I have great appreciation for the set and art direction on this show, but I wish I could tell them that many times less really is indeed more.

Even Serena Joy toiled in a rose garden that looked cold and dead, it was probably early spring (she was trying to talk June in to letting Nick do the wild thang on her) and there was no greenery or flowers blooming. 

I wonder if the citizens suffer from that seasonal something disorder?

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I have a fanwank in my head that they're all living through the effects of nuclear winter since the show has at least showed us that wherever the Colonies are is dealing with nuclear waste.  It would explain a lot from the shitty weather to food shortages to why everyone is so shitty to each other. 

While I shouldn't have to do that and I realize that may not even be anything close to what they're actually going for, I find that if I can give myself a basic reason why something is the way it is I don't spend nearly as much time thinking about it unless the show then does something to directly contradict whatever answer I came up with.

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3 hours ago, DangerousMinds said:

I don't quite understand "He's a man, he should have more power in his world." He isn't living in Gilead, so what power does he or should he have here?

Meant in regard to his character as a whole, not his life in Canada.  I just didn't explain it better, sorry.  Reading back it didn't make sense the way I put it.

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It bugs me that none of the handmaids ever give their last names.  I get the power of your real first name, and that a last name could arguably be considered a patriarchal construct, but... it's kind of important for identification purposes.  If you want your family to know where you are, wouldn't you say to anyone you could: "My name is Emily Jones or Brianne Nunez," etc.?

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All in all, this has been a very disappointing season.

So many dropped plots, and there is really no excuse for that.  You don't set up PERIL constantly and then have it all hand-waved away.  You don't spend every moment on long lingering shots of faces or it loses it's impact.  By all means, let scenes breathe, and I love the close ups, but they are overdoing it.

The Canada episode was good, they need much more of that.

Honestly, it all comes down to:  They are milking this to death.  They are showcasing all of the female stars, but the plot lines and stories make no difference.  Each episode is pretty much a stand alone, fine by itself, but as a whole?  Pathetic. 

I get it, they had a surprise hit, and whomever did the casting on this?  Great job with the women, not so much with the men.  They want 10 seasons of this?  Just no.  If a show ever needed a time-jump it's this one.  No one signed up for a documentary on day to day life in Gilead.  People hung in there, or at least I did, hoping for some decent answers to all the questions left open in the book. 

I could be patient on that, I know Gilead didn't end immediately.  For me to remain patient about that though, if you are expanding the world, the EXPAND it.  I need changes if I'm coming back next season, and since the spoilers flow like someone blew up a dam, I'm sure we will know far in advance if anything does change for the better.

  1. Show the resistance fighters, and not just in Boston, I mean SHOW THE WARS. 
  2. I want to see more areas of Gilead, show me SLC, or San Francisco, show me how you are growing crops, show me rural Florida, or South Dakota if you must film only in snow.
  3. Fred's number is up, and that needs to happen, and fast, and have devastating effects for Serena.
  4. Just kill poor Nick.  The actor isn't up to the quality of this cast, cut your losses.
  5. Bring back Commander Lawrence if you have to pay him quadruple and a bonus.
  6. Show me how the rest of the world is reacting to Gilead, and handling their fertility problems.
  7. Show me Alaska and the current USA, and bring back CIA guy.
  8. Stop being cutesy with the glimpses of maps, it's annoying.
  9. Make up your damn minds who Aunt Lydia is.  One minute she's cutting out tongues and clits, the next she's cozy with "her girls" and breaking rules.  So far, the actress is pulling it off, barely, but only because we like her, and that isn't a good enough reason.

The biggest fails?

  1. No follow up on being thrown out of Canada.
  2. No follow up on the bombing.
  3. The bullshit reason no one was in trouble during the "go visit your daughter" fiasco.
  4. Clarify exactly what Serena did and did not have to do with setting up Gilead's rules.
  5. No more moping Canada ex-pats, that is your chance to shine and show happiness, effort, interaction with the world.
  6. Stop with the Gilligan's Island escaping stories, it's pathetic writing and planning.
  7. The bomb went off inches from Fred and he's fine?  Seriously?

I'd like to come back next year, but the spoilers (and there will be spoilers) need to convince me.  Frankly, I think most of the issues can be laid squarely at the feet of the show-runner, so either get a different one, or tell him to shape up.  No one wants misery all the time.  Ever.

ETA

For the record, the Eden story should have been a great one.  Instead, you half-assed it, and used her only as a plot point for Serena, and the pitiful writing you gave Nick, and his reticent acting ruined it even more.  You had a chance to show a love story, and so much more, instead we had one long birth episode and a wolf/wild dog for apparently no reason at all.  That episode wasn't bad, but taken as a whole with the season?  Took too much time, for no real payoff.

Oh, and fucking enough with the flashbacks.

ETA

They also need a new editor.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: I keep thinking of more to say. ha.
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I'm so happy!

The reviewers are saying many of the things I've been saying here, as well as so many other posters!  I hope the show-runner takes notice and gets this show back on track next year!

A few:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/the-handmaids-tale-season-2-what-went-wrong?utm_term=.oqZZjdqmA#.ruqoJrLRb

GREAT article! 

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/07/handmaids-tale-season-2-finale

And another, not quite as detailed, but still well thought out about this issues the second season has.

https://www.thewrap.com/handmaids-tale-season-2-finale-june-offred-stays-gilead-nicole/

From the show-runner, some good news at least. 

Quote

As for where Gilead is headed in Season 3 (which doesn’t yet have a premiere date, but is already being created by Miller and company) and after, we’re “returning to both Jezebel’s and the colonies and not just these colonies but other colonies.”

He of course, calls the colonies "colonies of women" instead of what they actually were in the book, but at least we may see more of Gilead.  Finally.

http://www.vulture.com/2018/07/handmaids-tale-season-2-finale-review.html

Vulture calling it a "good but frustrating season."

http://ew.com/tv/2018/07/11/the-handmaids-tale-season-2-finale-review/

June, and the show, make the wrong choice.

https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/7/11/17555532/the-handmaids-tale-season-2-review-recap-finale

The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 was masterful. But it may have broken the show.

There are more, and I'll probably put these in the media thread too, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE that reviewers are saying many of the same things we are, because I have much more hope that the showrunner will actually listen to them!

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14 hours ago, Umbelina said:

All in all, this has been a very disappointing season.

So many dropped plots, and there is really no excuse for that.  You don't set up PERIL constantly and then have it all hand-waved away.  You don't spend every moment on long lingering shots of faces or it loses it's impact.  By all means, let scenes breathe, and I love the close ups, but they are overdoing it.

The Canada episode was good, they need much more of that.

Honestly, it all comes down to:  They are milking this to death.  They are showcasing all of the female stars, but the plot lines and stories make no difference.  Each episode is pretty much a stand alone, fine by itself, but as a whole?  Pathetic. 

I get it, they had a surprise hit, and whomever did the casting on this?  Great job with the women, not so much with the men.  They want 10 seasons of this?  Just no.  If a show ever needed a time-jump it's this one.  No one signed up for a documentary on day to day life in Gilead.  People hung in there, or at least I did, hoping for some decent answers to all the questions left open in the book. 

I could be patient on that, I know Gilead didn't end immediately.  For me to remain patient about that though, if you are expanding the world, the EXPAND it.  I need changes if I'm coming back next season, and since the spoilers flow like someone blew up a dam, I'm sure we will know far in advance if anything does change for the better.

  1. Show the resistance fighters, and not just in Boston, I mean SHOW THE WARS. 
  2. I want to see more areas of Gilead, show me SLC, or San Francisco, show me how you are growing crops, show me rural Florida, or South Dakota if you must film only in snow.
  3. Fred's number is up, and that needs to happen, and fast, and have devastating effects for Serena.
  4. Just kill poor Nick.  The actor isn't up to the quality of this cast, cut your losses.
  5. Bring back Commander Lawrence if you have to pay him quadruple and a bonus.
  6. Show me how the rest of the world is reacting to Gilead, and handling their fertility problems.
  7. Show me Alaska and the current USA, and bring back CIA guy.
  8. Stop being cutesy with the glimpses of maps, it's annoying.
  9. Make up your damn minds who Aunt Lydia is.  One minute she's cutting out tongues and clits, the next she's cozy with "her girls" and breaking rules.  So far, the actress is pulling it off, barely, but only because we like her, and that isn't a good enough reason.

The biggest fails?

  1. No follow up on being thrown out of Canada.
  2. No follow up on the bombing.
  3. The bullshit reason no one was in trouble during the "go visit your daughter" fiasco.
  4. Clarify exactly what Serena did and did not have to do with setting up Gilead's rules.
  5. No more moping Canada ex-pats, that is your chance to shine and show happiness, effort, interaction with the world.
  6. Stop with the Gilligan's Island escaping stories, it's pathetic writing and planning.
  7. The bomb went off inches from Fred and he's fine?  Seriously?

I'd like to come back next year, but the spoilers (and there will be spoilers) need to convince me.  Frankly, I think most of the issues can be laid squarely at the feet of the show-runner, so either get a different one, or tell him to shape up.  No one wants misery all the time.  Ever.

ETA

For the record, the Eden story should have been a great one.  Instead, you half-assed it, and used her only as a plot point for Serena, and the pitiful writing you gave Nick, and his reticent acting ruined it even more.  You had a chance to show a love story, and so much more, instead we had one long birth episode and a wolf/wild dog for apparently no reason at all.  That episode wasn't bad, but taken as a whole with the season?  Took too much time, for no real payoff.

Oh, and fucking enough with the flashbacks.

ETA

They also need a new editor.

Yes, yes, yes - ALL OF THIS.  There is no way I am getting sucked into a third season unless the forums are exploding with excitement after it begins  I feel duped into this lame-ass second season, and I'm pretty pissed off over it.  They envision 10 freakin' seasons?- Ha!  Next season will be make-it-or-break-it.  They need a drastic overhaul to pull this show out of the hole they've put it in.  I'm sure there will be a third season, but if it doesn't deliver the viewers will never support a fourth.  I feel so used and dirty.

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On 7/3/2018 at 3:35 PM, The Mighty Peanut said:

And Luke didn't even try to save Hannah, after all of that. IMO Luke is the worst written and least developed character on the show. I am still mad at him for sitting at that bar getting drunk when he was with a member of June's household who just outed himself as part of the resistance movement trying to reunite her with Luke and Hannah. Since we're making comparisons to The Walking Dead I have to mention when Maggie forgot she had a sibling and the showrunners said it was because she simply loved her SO MUCH that entertaining even the possibility of her death was too anguishing to imagine. Is that what we're supposed to think Luke is doing? Focusing on June because focusing on Hannah would be too hard? 

Oh I hated that, too. She was all about Glenn, and finding HIM. Terrified that he was dead. Younger sister could suck it, apparently. 

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I swear, if we even get a hint of a June-Luke-Nick love triangle, I'm gonna flip out and throw things at my screen.

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It's annoying to me that we hear the same dog barking in scenes.  Which would make sense if it's the same neighborhood, but I hear it in different parts of the city and  even in different countries (Canada and Gilead)   It's the same pitch and same amount of barks.  "Woof. Woof. Woof."  EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. IN ALL PLACES.

Maybe it's a dog that just gets around.

Edited by jnymph
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One of the many many things that piss me off about this show is the repetitive walkie talkie noise that sounds EXACTLY THE SAME in every fricking scene every time a guy in black is around. Have they just used the same sound bite? We get it. They are a large network of 'security guards' that have radios. God I hate this show. 

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22 minutes ago, Lynnieg87 said:

One of the many many things that piss me off about this show is the repetitive walkie talkie noise that sounds EXACTLY THE SAME in every fricking scene every time a guy in black is around. Have they just used the same sound bite? We get it. They are a large network of 'security guards' that have radios. God I hate this show. 

I still enjoyed this season because of the cast. The actors created a mood that sucked me in every episode. 

That being said, I feel like this season was essentially pointless. The writing was all over the place, as others have said. And so many events that should have shaken the foundation of Gilead—well, they did not. 

—Luke and Moira escaping to Canada. If escaped handmaidens/wives etc. used their freedom and their voices to make the world aware of the human rights atrocities they suffered in Gilead, why were the Commanders allowed to make an official visit there? Why weren’t they being treated like leaders from North Korea or Nazi Germany?

—The bombing. A few commanders died, but not Fred. Serena temporarily yielded power, but then she got beaten like an abused child. Nothing, absolutely nothing changed within the government. There didn’t even seem to be a dip in morale within the leadership. 

—June’s escape attempts. She only caused the murder of a nice couple and made their child an orphan. She couldn’t be punished when she was pregnant, but NOTHING happened to her after Holly was born? The couple was murdered for harboring an escapee, not escaping themselves. 

—a teenager forced to marry a man who did not love or want her is killed for adultery. Why was this character introduced again??? I would have found her appearance more satisfying if she’d learned about Nick and June and ratted them out to Fred before she died. 

 

So, I’ll probably still watch season 3, but I hope the writers figure out what they want to do with the story rather than spinning their wheels and making another pointless season. 

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I think the biggest hope for this show is that the reviewers have called the showrunners/writers on most of the things we have mentioned here.

IF they pay attention, and I think they will?  They will clean up these issues going forward, and especially at least stop talking about dragging their feet to make 10 seasons happen.

I'm still discussing another show I used to love, The Americans, in those threads.  I think one of the reasons the final two seasons kind of fell apart, (well season 5 was horrible, but season 6 was good except that it set up impossible and illogical things which contrasted with the sappy and to me, cop out finale) is that the reviewers never really called the show runners on issues.  They were pulling for the little and often brilliant show so much that they endlessly gave tongue baths to the show runners.  Both shows had/have extremely talented casts, and when writers rely too much on that, and less on believable and compelling writing?  They suffer for it.

Both shows make compelling EPISODES, but that doesn't necessarily make a satisfying season.  The whole has to hold together.

Edited by Umbelina
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What's interesting to me in watching reviews sum up everything that just didn't work or didn't work well for this past season is seeing more than just the isolated reviewer argue that it's Hulu's other women-driven show Harlots (now nearing the halfway point of its second season) that should be the one pushing for 10 seasons because instead of aiming for the bleachers for awards fodder and beating you over the head with how this is Very Important every damn week it's working with far less fanfare to tell a story almost entirely about women and their relationships with sex and power and doing a much better job of remembering that that story should also be cohesive and maybe be at least somewhat entertaining along the way. 

Because that really is the very base issue for me when I think about it.  As we've discussed in various episode threads, a number of episodes this season have been great individual episodes by themselves.  It's when you consider them as part of the whole that the problems become glaring.  Too much misery piled upon misery piled upon misery seemingly for no other reason than because they could and wheel spinning that didn't seem to add up to a lot as potentially interesting threads that felt like they should be leading somewhere were instead left dangling in the next.  It's frustrating when there's so much that is right about this show, i.e. the acting is always first rate, visually it may be the most consistently stunning thing to look at on TV right now, it's been eerily prescient for the time we're living in, and it really does have so much to say about so many subjects.  It just needs to take a lesson that spectacle isn't a substitute for a good story that makes sense.

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On 7/29/2018 at 8:19 AM, Umbelina said:

I think the biggest hope for this show is that the reviewers have called the showrunners/writers on most of the things we have mentioned here.

IF they pay attention, and I think they will?  They will clean up these issues going forward, and especially at least stop talking about dragging their feet to make 10 seasons happen.

I'm still discussing another show I used to love, The Americans, in those threads.  I think one of the reasons the final two seasons kind of fell apart, (well season 5 was horrible, but season 6 was good except that it set up impossible and illogical things which contrasted with the sappy and to me, cop out finale) is that the reviewers never really called the show runners on issues.  They were pulling for the little and often brilliant show so much that they endlessly gave tongue baths to the show runners.  Both shows had/have extremely talented casts, and when writers rely too much on that, and less on believable and compelling writing?  They suffer for it.

Both shows make compelling EPISODES, but that doesn't necessarily make a satisfying season.  The whole has to hold together.

To elaborate a little on what I said upthread, I think the biggest problem with the second season is the same problem as a lot of shows. There's only enough concept--or, in the case of single novel adaptations (Big Little Lies, The Handmaid's Tale, etc.)--for one good season. That's about as far as the writers, showrunners, etc. have thought ahead: they have enough material, ideas, plot, etc. for one well-written, often beautifully self-contained season. Then the show is a critical and/or commercial success and gets renewed. Awesome, right? Except that the writers are now fucked, because they have to try to come up with more material to keep the gravy train running, and they have nothing. This happened with LOST. It happened with Veronica Mars. And now it seems to have happened to The Handmaid's Tale.

Quote

What's interesting to me in watching reviews sum up everything that just didn't work or didn't work well for this past season is seeing more than just the isolated reviewer argue that it's Hulu's other women-driven show Harlots (now nearing the halfway point of its second season) that should be the one pushing for 10 seasons because instead of aiming for the bleachers for awards fodder and beating you over the head with how this is Very Important every damn week it's working with far less fanfare to tell a story almost entirely about women and their relationships with sex and power and doing a much better job of remembering that that story should also be cohesive and maybe be at least somewhat entertaining along the way. 

If Mark Twain's definition of a classic is a book that everyone wants to have read but that no one wants to read, The Handmaid's Tale is now the television equivalent of that: a show everyone wants to have watched because it's Important and Resonant or whatever, but that no one wants to watch because it's too painful or boring. You've also pointed out that there are shows out there such as Harlots that are telling feminist, woman-centric stories minus the misery porn.

Edited by Eyes High
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9 hours ago, Eyes High said:

There's only enough concept--or, in the case of single novel adaptations (Big Little Lies, The Handmaid's Tale, etc.)--for one good season.

Aw, I have hope for Big Little Lies still.  The characters are compelling and well drawn, and although I think they will have to adapt from the "murder mystery--story force) I think they can.  I have more faith in the showrunners there, than in Handmaid's Tale, to tell an interesting story. 

Aside from everything else, the women are all covering for a pretty significant on-going lie (how he died and their group complicity.)  I think it could become even more compelling in some ways.  For one thing, most of the men are as well drawn and complete as characters as the women, which makes me think the stories will remain interesting.

Edited by Umbelina

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I just got done with season 2. I wish this had either been a one season show, or that each season had maybe 6 episodes. Their method of stretching things out is to just go back and forth and back and forth. June is free! June is captured! June is free! June is captured! Serena wants June gone! Serena warms up to June! Serena wants June gone! Etc.

I find Serena's "redemption" arc haphazard and ineffective. There's just no coming back from helping your husband rape a woman, I don't care how many fingers she loses. Especially since she apparently helped craft the laws that originally said the punishment for reading was losing an entire hand. 

As much as I love Bradley Whitford, there was literally no reason to have Lawrence be so cryptic and threatening except to "surprise" reveal at the end he was part of the resistance. 

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Ppl r mad that the Justice System in Gilead is what it is... June is Offred -> Handmaid #xyz like Chapman is Inmate #abc... She knew cards were being dealt... Choices have consequences... She enjoyed Luke, in righteousness or sin... The freedoms enjoyed is only because of the mob force from society... Now the mob is against you, u wanna be sad... Better doesn't mean better for everybody... Under either America or Gilead be happy you have the chance to survive... Everybody doesn't under Gilead... Everybody didn't under America... Lilly used to get fucked behind the dumpster of McDonald's so she n her baby could eat (a happy meal & oxy) while June married Luke legally via his divorce from Annie... Those r the breaks/brakes for them (Lilly, her baby, Fred/Serena included)... Gilead r the breaks/brakes for you... Under the current U.S. Constitution's XIIIth Amendment slavery is legal as punishment for a crime... Chapman manufacturing underwear for 2 cents per unit, nothing wrong with June manufacturing babies for a pardon...  Because if she doesn't produce, she will be sent to the colonies as an Unwoman... Wrong is wrong... @Umbelina posting this here for your statement of Isaac on Jannine... I think she already is an Unwoman because all Handmaids are criminals (arresting the female partners), though they could ONLY be REDEEMED if productive... Also, the coward comment may not be that he, specifically, is a Canadian traitor and/or Gilidean operative, though I definitely think Canada is infected with SoJ Gilead installations within Government extending into society... Ex: "take/get the other one, home," - Isaac, if read as typed could be like take/get Canada to solidify Gilead into Empire Empire Status (home -> home base) via total North American domination (with 2 of 3 countries), through their similar pre-Gilead U.S./U.S. (now regime leaders) Canadian Gilead counterpart installations in Canada... I (Isaac) already have June (although June is Canada, batshit insane America's (Jannine's) mirror via Ying Yang -> Gamble -> The Street), through America (urgh!!! #Theorysplaining!!!!!), take/get batshit insane Jannine, home... (June is Canada, ying to batshit insane Jannine is America, yang; though swapped because of custody status, ignoring behavior, to regime occupied territory comparatively...)

Edited by trinistyles · Reason: spelling/Canada SoJ

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GLAD I FOUND THIS PAGE! 

My wife and I just started watching and we're on s01 episode 9 and... IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE! I just can't swallow this universe. My wife agrees. Why are only some guys Commanders, Why are only some women Handmaid's, Why do other Women have Authority over the Handmaid's??? It's Unbelievable and Not Logical...

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On 1/31/2019 at 10:36 PM, dorianse said:

GLAD I FOUND THIS PAGE! 

My wife and I just started watching and we're on s01 episode 9 and... IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE! I just can't swallow this universe. My wife agrees. Why are only some guys Commanders, Why are only some women Handmaid's, Why do other Women have Authority over the Handmaid's??? It's Unbelievable and Not Logical...

Anyone that was part of the new government is a Commander.  Women who were considered sinful in the new government (ie. women who had abortions, women who were divorced and re-married, lesbians, etc) were used as Handmaids if they are deemed fertile. Otherwise they are shipped to the colonies.  Women who were part of making the new system and not married were put in the roles of the Aunts. 

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