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The Handmaid's Tale's New Teaser Depicts a Frightening Then and Now 

The Handmaid's Tale's New Teaser Depicts a Frightening Then and Now 

handmaids tale

The latest teaser for Hulu's upcoming series The Handmaid's Tale, based on the feminist dystopian novel, draws timely, frightening distinctions between life before the new regime and life after. 

There's still a little over a month before Hulu's series of Margaret Atwood's 1986 masterpiece The Handmaid's Tale premieres April 26. But with the Women's March and strike in response to Donald Trump and his administration's primitive view of women's sexual health, there's never been a better time to promote a deeply feminist dystopian show in which women's worth is reduced to the viability of their reproductive organs by a fascist regime. To mark International Women's Day on Wednesday, Hulu released a new spot for the series.

At first glance, the new short teaser featuring the show's star Elisabeth Moss as Offred, one of the women forced to serve as a vessel based on the viability of her reproductive organs in the Republic of Gilead (a not-so-distant future United States), doesn't offer much information. But at a closer look, the teaser draws a firm then-and-now distinction, cutting from Offred's life before the takeover by a fascist, racist, xenophobic government and since. The teaser shows a snippet of Offred (meaning "Of-Fred," the commander she's assigned to bear a child for) before the takeover, beaming with the child she loved, then cuts to her buttoning into the restricting red costume assigned to handmaids, who, if they are able to bear children, will never raise them.

The Handmaid's Tale's prescience doesn't end with its predictions of a government that monitors women's sexual and reproductive health. Atwood's novel also predicted environmental disaster, religious fanaticism, and a complete shutdown of the media.

Orange Is the New Black's Samira Wiley plays Offred's best friend, Moira (a lesbian), whom she knew from the time before, while Alexis Bledel is the revolutionary Ofglen, Joseph Fiennes plays Offred's commander, and Yvonne Strahovski portrays his wife.

Watch the teaser below and read The Advocate's interview with Samira Wiley regarding her role in the series.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist