During a panel discussion called Decoding the DNA of Hit TV at the Banff World Media Festival earlier this week, a question was raised as to whether the global TV phenomenon The Handmaid’s Tale would have had such an impact had it been made five years earlier.

Based on the novel by Magaret Atwood wrote in the 1980s and set in an indeterminate future, the Ontario-shot American series stars Elisabeth Moss and offers a chilling look at a society ruled by a Christian fundamentalist regime that forces fertile women into sexual slavery and child-bearing servitude. Now in the midst of its second season, it continues to provide a significant jolt to television audiences. But would audiences have reacted so strongly to a show in 2005? Or 2010? Or would it have just been viewed as an exquisitely made niche dystopian thriller?

“I think it is really the timing,” says Sheila Hockin, co-executive producer of The Handmaid’s Tale, in an interview with Postmedia later that day. “I think it’s the administration in the United States, and #MeToo and Times Up and Harvey Weinstein. I think it’s all of that.”

Last year at the Banff World Media Festival, The Handmaid’s Tale was already being propped up as the newest darling in our golden age of TV. It was awarded program of the year, while producer Warren LIttlefield and actress Yvonne Strahovski held a masterclass on the subject. That there would be a Season 2 never seemed to be in question. Distributed by Hulu and broadcast on Bravo in Canada, the show has somehow managed to get even darker this season and, arguably, even more timely. A third season has already been greenlit.

“I think when you have a lot of freedom, as we all do, being reminded what a repressive regime can …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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