In the midst of the Super Bowl, a teaser for The Handmaid’s Tale will interrupt the hyper-masculine spectacle for a look into a gendered totalitarian state that used to be America — where rare, fertile women are given to rich officials and their wives for their reproductive potential. Which is to say, in case you were hoping to escape dystopia for a few hours to watch men jump on each other, and on a ball, and on some grass, and other things that happen in football, another dystopia will disrupt the entertainment…with, well, more entertainment, because dystopian or not, this is a TV show.
The new trailer for the Hulu/MGM Television series based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name shows the before and after of its protagonist Offred’s life. The character, played by Elisabeth Moss, recalls how she “had another name, but it’s forbidden now” — alluding to the fact that the Handmaids in the Republic of Gilead are all named “of” + Name of Man to Whom They’re Reproductively Beholden. So “Of Fred” — “Offred.” And before she was Offred, and before Gildead, there was America, and she had agency, and a life she chose for herself.
Elements of the trailer are intriguing (Alexis Bledel looking oh-so-far from Stars Hollow, Samira Wiley looking defiant, Joseph Fiennes not playing Michael Jackson, a gorgeous overhead shot of a gathering of Handmaids), but a couple of things are very light causes for concern. The musical accompaniment sounds like a combination of the Project Runway and Brokedown Palace soundtracks (the latter of which I can get behind), and the trailer ends with some unnecessary, heavy-handed voiceover, with Elisabeth Moss saying, “My name is Offred, and I intend to survive.” Hopefully these small, vaguely annoying flourishes are only indicative of Hulu trying to make a trailer that’s heavy-handed enough to not be lost among all of the other Super Bowl stimulation.
The Handmaid’s Tale premieres April 26th, 2017. Watch: