Haunting hit series The Handmaid's Tale attracted worldwide attention when it premiered in 2017.
In case you didn't watch the first season or need a quick refresher, here's what you need to know about the award winning series starring Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel.
With season to airing very soon, this will come in handy!
1. Offred’s back story
Offred (Moss) is a woman in her thirties who is forced to work as a handmaid because she is still fertile. Before the dystopian regime of Gilead took over the US, she was married to a man named Luke, who she has a daughter with.
2. The meticulous set-design
Because Gilead does not allow women to read or write, all the labels on food had to be replaced with images. The show's graphics team designed hundreds of labels to stick to items.The no writing rule is extremely hard for Offred as she used to work as an editor.
3. The social structure of Gilead
Each member is given a specific job to do based on gender divisions.
Marthas – maids or workers
Aunts – trainers and monitors of Handmaids
Econowives – wives of low-ranking men
Handmaids – concubines (the only remaining fertile women)
Commanders of the Faithful – government officials
Angels – soldiers fighting in wars
Eyes of God – secret police
Guardians of the Faith – soldiers
4. It may seem like fiction, but it's not
The series is set in the not-too-distant future after the Republic of Gilead takes over the United States of America after environmental disasters have left the world plagued by pollution, sterility and sexually transmitted diseases. Margret Atwood, the author of the original novel only included events that are already apart of history and technology that already existed.
5. Margaret Atwood’s striking cameo
The Handmaid's Tale author Margret Atwood makes a brief cameo in the first episode as an Aunt who slaps Offred for refusing to shame a woman for being raped.
Handmaids are banned from looking at themselves, so any place where Offred may visit has had it's mirrors removed. Just another symbol of the identity she has lost.
7. Costumes and colours
The red cloaks worn by Handmaids symbolise Mary Magdalene and the blood of childbirth, whereas the blue worn by the wives is to represent purity. The men wear black suits to represent power.
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