Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

CW: rape mention

The Hulu original The Handmaid’s Tale is gory. It will continuously and mercilessly drag you away from your comfort zone and force you to watch the most basic human rights be violated. It’s undeniably a great show – but it does require a stable stomach, as some of the scenes are very hard on the eyes and on the mind. Even as a fan of Black Mirror, I still managed to be terrified of this particular breed of dystopia. This show is basically a Victorian spin-off of Black Mirror.

A quick breakdown:

In the fictional Gilead, an ultra conservative theocratic and totalitarian version of the US, the patriarchy reigns supreme. Offred, formerly known as June, is separated from her husband and daughter, and forcefully assimilated into the new system. The rare blessing of fertility becomes her biggest curse, as she is trained to carry the child of one of the republic’s commanders.

Every month, Offred endures a ritual euphemistically named the Ceremony, in which she is forced to have intercourse with the Commander Waterford while being held by his wife. The show follows her life in this new society, while interweaving it with moments from her old life.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a painful reflection on how flimsy our so-called inalienable rights are and how we need fight everyday to keep them.



Some character highlights:

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5 Types of Freshmen

In life, there are usually two types of people (if you ask me). However, when it comes to freshmen, I’m going to make a case that there are five types I’d like to highlight.

You may not be one of these people, but you’ve definitely met one of them. Here’s a rough guide to these freshmen archetypes (with added quotes, when possible).

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The Search (for Parties)

The speculations begin to gain traction on Thursday. “Will there be a good party going on tomorrow?”. If Freshmen combined all their desire to party into organizing parties, there would be no stopping them. However, it is their Freshman condition that makes this hypothetical scenario impossible.

On Friday, social-thirsty Freshmen roam the halls and dark streets seeking stroboscopic lights and deafening beats. The search seems to be the lengthiest part of the night. What could make the actual discovery all the much better doesn’t, as it is usually accompanied by an awful sense of timing.

Countless times, three actually, my friends and I have made the strenuous trek to Perkins searching for a party that did not exist. Or we half-sprinted to Keeney, only to be outrun by DPS. Or, most unfortunately, EMS.

Like forensics analysts, we seem to only find the aftermath of a night (or, more likely, two hours) of booze and loud music. Red solo cups litter the ground and laughter echoes not so shyly into the night, but we never seem to find their birthplace.

“Oh, well. We should probably try again next weekend” becomes the unanimous motto until we finally come across a couple of giggly girls with still active solo cups and follow their trail. Em-Wool’s basement.

As soon as we get in, our senses are flooded by the sounds of hip hop and screamed reactions to beer pong.

“Luana” someone says. The two hours of aimless roaming are suddenly worth it. Someone is pronouncing my name correctly! (Small daily victories of an international student.)

“Bonjour!” continues a fellow Freshman from my French class. “Bonjour!” I answer, laughing at the absurdity of it all and feeling like a modern American parody of Beauty and the Beast. For a moment, I could swear I saw villagers waving their handkerchiefs at me.

“I’ll go get something and will be right back” my classmate concludes drunkenly. Well, I will go too, but probably won’t be right back.

After a night of failed attempts (such as coordinating with the shuttle routes, not to mention all our party woes) but uncountable laughs, my friends and I drag our feet back to our dorms.