Although it was commissioned long before the events of the last six months saw an admitted sexual harasser enter the White House, clearly there was something in the water to make “The Handmaid’s Tale” arrive on TV at the exact right time. Margaret Atwood’s novel about a dystopian future where America has entirely subjugated its women under a Christian fundamentalist leadership was initially published in 1985, and adapted into a film in 1990, but has never felt more relevant than when it arrived on Hulu last week, a few months into the Trump administration
Fortunately, the government of the possibly-mentally-addled man-baby is too incompetent to actually form Gilead (though if Pence takes over…), but the Reed Morano-directed show is giving us a glimpse into what that terrifyingly plausible future could be, and in the process winning some of the best reviews of the TV year so far (here’s ours). And Hulu must be pleased with viewing figures, as they’ve already renewed the show for a second season.
The network announced, via The Hollywood Reporter, that the show received the best viewership of any of their shows to date, with head of content Craig Erwich saying “The response we’ve seen to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in just one week since its premiere has been absolutely incredible. It has been an honor to work with this talented team of cast and creators to develop a series that has struck such a chord with audiences across the country. As we continue to expand our strong slate of original programming, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is exactly the type of gripping and thought-provoking storytelling we want to bring to viewers. We can’t wait to explore the world of Gilead and continue Margaret’s vision with another season on Hulu.”
There’s no word if Morano will be returning to the helm, but showrunner Bruce Miller looks to be staying with the show, and given the results so far, that’s good news. In the meantime, episode four of the show came on Hulu today, so it’s the perfect time to catch up to one of the best shows of the year before it begins its second run in 2018.