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Tara Ariano

S01.E02: Birth Day

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9 hours ago, Mystery Author said:

I agree, and not in a good way. My mind went: Breakfast Club. Also, the use of "You Don't Own Me" was relevant, I guess, but also jarring since it's now a car ad as well as the end song in The First Wives Club."

 

Other than the jarring music, I thought the show was well done, except I had to keep explaining things to Mr. Author because I've read the book (and seen the movie) and he hasn't.

I think the music choices are well done with this show, something I always liked about Mad Men and The Soprano's. 

When do we get more installments of this gem, I literally can't wait!

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On 4/28/2017 at 6:43 PM, snowwhyte said:

The fact that they won't consider that the men could also have fertility issues is going to ensure that the regime will be wiped out eventually. Forcing the handmaids to have sex with powerful men who might be incapable of impregnating them is both cruel and stupid. If the only value they place in handmaids is that they can produce children but they deny them the opportunity to get pregnant by giving them to infertile men that is an added cruelty. If the birthrate is as low as it is portrayed then it seems that they are a few generations away from extinction. To deny men any blame for the problems and to not do everything possible to raise the birthrate is stupid. 

Making sense like this will get you sent to the Colonies.

I'm only 2 episodes in and what I am surprised by is I can so feel Offred's isolation and tension. It almost feels palatable as it wafts off the screen. 

I am very curious as to the Colonies. How is it that Gilead isn't affected by radiation? Also, what of the rest of the world? Offred talked of trying to escape to Canada. So is it safe to assume that the World goes on outside the Walls?

That scrabble scene kind of reminded me of a more tense and dangerous scene in Schindler's List when Joseph's brother Ralph played a Nazi commander who went down in the Jewish servant girl's basement space to talk with her. 

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This tv series was filmed all around me!  I'm so excited.  The exterior shots of the commanders house are a 10 minute drive!  I am so hooked on this series after 2 episodes.  

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22 hours ago, islandgal140 said:

I am very curious as to the Colonies. How is it that Gilead isn't affected by radiation?

Well, there's affected and then there's affected, like Europe, which received a big dose of radiation from the Chernobyl accident, vs. the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which is pretty much uninhabitable.

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4 hours ago, Eyes High said:

Well, there's affected and then there's affected, like Europe, which received a big dose of radiation from the Chernobyl accident, vs. the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which is pretty much uninhabitable.

Exactly. The infertility and birth defects is a relatively mild side effect compared to "your skin will peel off in sheets and then you'll die".

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In the scene with (June) and her newborn Hannah, how do you send out a casting call for a clearly days old baby? I remember the old days when "babies" on TV shows where nearly always bundled up blankets and you never saw their face.

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Producers hang out at hospital nurseries and cut deals.  I learned that from Breaking Bad commentary.

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2 hours ago, dleighg said:

In the scene with (June) and her newborn Hannah, how do you send out a casting call for a clearly days old baby? I remember the old days when "babies" on TV shows where nearly always bundled up blankets and you never saw their face.

Personally I would prefer a return to the "old" way or perhaps a CGI newborn, but I know from Developmental that we really don't know how much babies absorb from their surroundings, and, what with all the precautions most parents try to take, you'd think that putting an infant under harsh lights with crowds of people (some of them overemoting) would have SOME effect that might be detrimental. I even feel for babies who you can see are struggling to get at something offstage while their pretend parents are arguing over an affair. It's distracting.

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Minor Question:

Twice we have seen the Handmaids take off their bonnets when they do something. If they don’t write, how do they know which bonnets are theirs? Or are all the bonnets interchangeable?

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3 hours ago, marinw said:

Minor Question:

Twice we have seen the Handmaids take off their bonnets when they do something. If they don’t write, how do they know which bonnets are theirs? Or are all the bonnets interchangeable?

I wondered the same thing.

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On 5/1/2017 at 11:20 AM, islandgal140 said:

Making sense like this will get you sent to the Colonies.

I'm only 2 episodes in and what I am surprised by is I can so feel Offred's isolation and tension. It almost feels palatable as it wafts off the screen. 

I am very curious as to the Colonies. How is it that Gilead isn't affected by radiation? Also, what of the rest of the world? Offred talked of trying to escape to Canada. So is it safe to assume that the World goes on outside the Walls?

That scrabble scene kind of reminded me of a more tense and dangerous scene in Schindler's List when Joseph's brother Ralph played a Nazi commander who went down in the Jewish servant girl's basement space to talk with her. 

Sometimes (as both a viewer and a reader) I wonder how real the colonies are. Where are they exactly? And what are people doing there? If it's so toxic how do they have Garuda and such enforcing anything. Or are they islands they just dump people on and call it a day? Maybe it's a story made up to envoke terror so people don't try to run or fight back? The handmaids are so isolated and cut off from any real information. Anything could be going on 10 mikes from them and they wouldn't know about it. Maybe the colonies are real. Maybe they're a story made up to explain the absence of women who have escaped. Rather then admit x number of women have actually escaped the Red Centers and made it to safety they say they're dying slowly on the colonies. 

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2 hours ago, FozzyBear said:

Sometimes (as both a viewer and a reader) I wonder how real the colonies are. Where are they exactly? And what are people doing there? If it's so toxic how do they have Garuda and such enforcing anything. Or are they islands they just dump people on and call it a day? Maybe it's a story made up to envoke terror so people don't try to run or fight back? The handmaids are so isolated and cut off from any real information. Anything could be going on 10 mikes from them and they wouldn't know about it. Maybe the colonies are real. Maybe they're a story made up to explain the absence of women who have escaped. Rather then admit x number of women have actually escaped the Red Centers and made it to safety they say they're dying slowly on the colonies. 

Well, I know where at least one colony is, and hints about others but I'll spoiler tag it. 

Spoiler

The Children of Ham, dark skinned people, are all sent to the mid west.  Others clean up toxic waste somewhere and they mention earthquakes in California and elsewhere damaging nuclear power plants.  The lucky ones pick fruit and cotton, so I'd presume the cotton is in the south, probably the fruit as well if California is contaminated.

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9 hours ago, marinw said:

Minor Question:

Twice we have seen the Handmaids take off their bonnets when they do something. If they don’t write, how do they know which bonnets are theirs? Or are all the bonnets interchangeable?

When they took their bonnets off at the rapist killing ceremony, I assumed they each had an assigned spot in the area where they sat (which seems like exactly the kind of thing they would have in Gilead) so I figured they would go back to their spot and pick up their own bonnets. I don't remember the other time they took them off though so maybe they're as interchangeable as their capes.

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Canada was mentioned. Assuming the rest of the world has been hit by the same decline in birth rates, I wonder how other nations are dealing with the crises.

Have other nations also turns into theocracies, or have they adopted a more scientific approach or just descended into anarchy?

Also, if you have crises such as this, you need all the brains you can get to address said crises. Many of these brains are female!

I keep thinking of The Children of Men.

Edited by marinw
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8 hours ago, FozzyBear said:

Sometimes (as both a viewer and a reader) I wonder how real the colonies are. Where are they exactly? And what are people doing there? If it's so toxic how do they have Garuda and such enforcing anything. Or are they islands they just dump people on and call it a day? Maybe it's a story made up to envoke terror so people don't try to run or fight back? The handmaids are so isolated and cut off from any real information. Anything could be going on 10 mikes from them and they wouldn't know about it. Maybe the colonies are real. Maybe they're a story made up to explain the absence of women who have escaped. Rather then admit x number of women have actually escaped the Red Centers and made it to safety they say they're dying slowly on the colonies. 

I've long wondered this too and how much isn't really known is one of the more unsettling things about the story.  The wings the handmaids wear is the most obvious visual representation of how this new regime limits how much you're allowed to see or know about.  They can't read the news for themselves and have to rely almost entire on what they're told.  And so the daily awfulness of their existence is at least known and familiar to the point that they'll find something almost like safety in it.  Someone elsewhere also discussing this very thing compared it to the story we tell kids about sending aging pets to a farm upstate, which I thought was particularly apt.  They very much want to believe it because the alternative is too sad or horrible.  

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10 hours ago, marinw said:

Canada was mentioned. Assuming the rest of the world has been hit by the same decline in birth rates, I wonder how other nations are dealing with the crises.

Have other nations also turns into theocracies, or have they adopted a more scientific approach or just descended into anarchy?

Also, if you have crises such as this, you need all the brains you can get to address said crises. Many of these brains are female!

I keep thinking of The Children of Men.

If you want to ask these things in the bookwalker thread, feel free. 

Since Canada has already been mentioned on the show, as well as some of the reasons for the infertility rates in Gilead, I can answer that part here.  Canada has obviously not become like Gilead, or people, especially women, wouldn't be trying to run there. 

Pollution, over use of pesticides, nuclear power plant problems, as well as access to birth control, and women putting off having children to pursue careers, and a few other factors not yet mentioned on the show contributed to the infertility rates.  In third world countries, it's doubtful that they had the same issues, so birth rates are probably healthy. 

The rest becomes all book spoilers, so ask in that thread if you like.

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So noted @Umbelina. I am duly chastised.  I only mentioned Canada because Ofglen said something about her family having Canadian passports or citizenship. 

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Not trying to chasten you!  Just trying not to get in trouble myself!  You can safely go into that thread, all answers are spoiler tagged, so you would only have to read the ones you really want to know.

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One of the reasons I love this show is that it's so emotional and doesn't pull any punches. 

I loved the tangible fear and relief June had in her flashback when she found out she was pregnant, delivered a healthy baby, saw the empty hospital nursery, discovered her baby was missing, and found the other woman trying to kidnap the baby. I really love the additions of the flashbacks. My favorite parts of dystopians are finding out about the progression of the collapse and this does it splendidly. I also liked the subtlety of the transition to Gilead. As others have said, Hannah was born years before Gilead was in complete power, yet the signs of a mass following were there. The Gilead government was already gaining power over the populace then. I guess fear over the declining birth rate and viability of neonates helped a lot of that along the way.

I can't imagine the pressure these women (the handmaids) are under. And if you know anything about fertility, you would know that stress certainly doesn't help things. 

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I don't find the music jarring. It's a good reminder that the women who are being subjected to house arrest, rape, and forced pregnancy were free in the very recent past. They remember things like music, dancing, and freedom. They weren't raised to be subservient meek women who are subjected to rape every month. They were normal 21st century women who went jogging in sports bras and were allowed to drink fancy coffee whenever they felt like it. It's a good reminder that we could be them.

As for using popular/well known songs, that just adds to the contrast of their current lives and the way things used to be. It wouldn't be the same kind of reminder if they used new/original songs. On top of that, I don't care if a song was already used for a particular movie. That doesn't mean it can't ever be used again. In point of fact, there are some songs that get used for lots of tv shows/movies and I don't think it lessens the impact or meaning of the songs. Some of those specific connections of songs with certain movies can be dependent upon your age. If you're in your 60s-70s, you know "You Don't Own Me" as a popular song from the radio. If you're in your 40s-50s, you may know it from "First Wives Club," "Hairspray," or "Dirty Dancing." If you're in your 20s-30s, you might know it from American Horror Story, Suicide Squad, or the 2012 PSA with celebrities lip synching the song.

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On 5/4/2017 at 5:49 AM, marinw said:

Also, if you have crises such as this, you need all the brains you can get to address said crises. Many of these brains are female!

We've all seen that a lot of men in government don't think brains, or females, or female brains are necessary to solve crises.  No on science, yes on doctrine or whatever words can be found to justify protecting rich white men....  And we also know that these kind of government changes can happen even when there is no such crisis.... and we've seen government changes made to hurt women that were given no such justification at all...... 

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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I have now heard "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds in:

The Breakfast Club
Along Came Polly
Pitch Perfect
Cougar Town
Blended
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Scream Queens
Saturday Night Live
Black Mirror episode "San Junipero"
The Handmaid's Tale

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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45 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

I have now heard "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds in:

The Breakfast Club
Along Came Polly
Pitch Perfect
Cougar Town
Blended
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Scream Queens
Saturday Night Live
Black Mirror episode "San Junipero"
The Handmaid's Tale

Also in at least one episode of Futurama.

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On 4/26/2017 at 11:33 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I'm only two episodes in but I can see that hypocrisy is going to be a recurring theme. These wives have the nerve to refer to the handmaidens as whores when they have no choice in being raped, forced to carry babies to term, and then give them up. These wives seem to have no gratitude for the fact that if not for these "whores," they wouldn't be holding any babies.

I don't know what the commander is up to. How far into the future is this supposed to be? Meaning did he choose his wife before or after the war began? Did he marry her for love or for some other reason? From the little we've seen, they don't seem to have a very warm relationship so does playing Scrabble with Offred satisfy his minimal need for female companionship? Or is he just testing her to see if she will break the rules? Or trying to figure out if half of his kid's genes will be halfway smart?

They refer to the handmaids as whores because they are never-married mothers, or moms in marriages in which one or both parents had previously been divorced. They all were considered to be adulteresses under the state religion, and therefore "whores." Their demonstrated ability to have children made them Handmaid material. Better than being sent off to The Colonies, I guess. 

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4 minutes ago, DangerousMinds said:

Did Moira have a child?

No she did not, at least as far as the show goes for the moment. She had a wife before but she was marked as an "Unwoman" and sent off to the colonies whereas Moira was chosen to be a Handmaid, but no child was ever discussed that they may have had. In the book:

Spoiler

she is childless as well.

.

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I usually don't cry when I watch movies or television, but the scene where Janine gives birth and immediately has to give her baby to the other "mother" got to me. I don't have children and I don't intend on having children in the future, but that particular scene tapped into something primal inside me because I couldn't control the waterworks. Kudos to the director and the actors.

I'm in awe of the production design and the cinematography on this show. It's like watching a moving painting.

Edited by Curio
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I think they must do some sort of fertility testing. They must be doing everything possible to find the fertile women and weed out the others, so this was just my logical conclusion and nothing from the book or show. That's how I supposed Moira was a handmaid. I guess she could've been a surrogate and we hadn't known about it, but in my opinion, she doesn't seem "the type" to be a surrogate.

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17 minutes ago, SpaghettiTuesdays said:

I think they must do some sort of fertility testing. They must be doing everything possible to find the fertile women and weed out the others, so this was just my logical conclusion and nothing from the book or show. That's how I supposed Moira was a handmaid. I guess she could've been a surrogate and we hadn't known about it, but in my opinion, she doesn't seem "the type" to be a surrogate.

This is probably too on-the-nose, but knowing that the Handmaids' red dresses represented fertility (per the book), I wondered if the implication was that Handmaids were considered good candidates for being fertile because they menstruated regularly, which many women might not do any longer due to the fertility crisis. There are a few references (book and show) to the Marthas being responsible for doling out sanitary napkins to the Handmaids as a means of keeping track of their cycles, but no mention of pads for anyone else. Certainly a proven track record of fertility would be an enormous consideration, but otherwise, could it be as simple as that?

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12 hours ago, Curio said:

usually don't cry when I watch movies or television, but the scene where Janine gives birth and immediately has to give her baby to the other "mother" got to me. I don't have children and I don't intend on having children in the future, but that particular scene tapped into something primal inside me

Yes, this. I am very happily child-free but that was wrenching.

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6 hours ago, SpaghettiTuesdays said:

I think they must do some sort of fertility testing. They must be doing everything possible to find the fertile women and weed out the others, so this was just my logical conclusion and nothing from the book or show. 

Fertile women have red tags in their ears, presumably the result of some sort of mandatory fertility testing. Ofglen says when they were talking about escaping "They weren't letting any of us get away. Not if you had a red tag." June has a red tag in her left ear (it can be seen in the bath scene in 1x01). 

Edited by Eyes High
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On 2017-05-02 at 0:25 PM, MrsMoltisanti said:

This tv series was filmed all around me!  I'm so excited.  The exterior shots of the commanders house are a 10 minute drive!  I am so hooked on this series after 2 episodes.  

In Toronto, or elsewhere? I've seen some obviously Toronto landmarks such as Nathan Phillips Square, City Hall, and the TTC, but I wondered if the exteriors of the houses were also filmed in Toronto.

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4 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Here's a great article about that @Capricasix.  As a Canadian I am pretty creeped out.

http://www.atlasofwonders.com/2017/04/the-handmaids-tale-filming-locations.html

Thanks!

Aha, I was right about the subway scene (ep 4) being filmed in the Lower Bay station. I used the upper Bay station every day when I worked in Toronto, and sometimes there were movies/TV shows being filmed. I never saw anything interesting, though, as the filming all took place out of sight.

Edited by Capricasix
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When I saw a green street sign, I was like, Um, that's weird.  That looks like Ontario.  But then I didn't think of it again and never noticed anything else.  Meanwhile I walk through a lot of those locations daily.  I don't know what that says about my observation skills :)  I think I always assume a major series like this would not be filmed over here. Kind of cool that they are filming in Canada when a Canadian author wrote it!

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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On 5/1/2017 at 0:22 AM, Mystery Author said:

I agree, and not in a good way. My mind went: Breakfast Club. Also, the use of "You Don't Own Me" was relevant, I guess, but also jarring since it's now a car ad as well as the end song in The First Wives Club."

I liked that Breakfast club music moment. It seemed like the first tiny bit light-hearted thing in a super serious show. I mean that was the most tense board game ever filmed. 

Also cutting between the births was interesting. June got a hospital with doctors and nurses and genetic tests to make sure her baby was healthy. Then when someone tried to take her baby the cops stopped them. Janine got an upstairs room in some rich lady's house, an enslaved cheering squad and an older lady quickly looking over the baby to pronounce it healthy. Then of course there was no one to stop her baby from being taken.

Although I guess the lack of actual medical science makes sense considering that the handmaid program seems like a super inefficient way of making more babies.

Edited by Kel Varnsen
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4 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

When I saw a green street sign, I was like, Um, that's weird.  That looks like Ontario.  But then I didn't think of it again and never noticed anything else.  Meanwhile I walk through a lot of those locations daily.  I don't know what that says about my observation skills :)  I think I always assume a major series like this would not be filmed over here. Kind of cool that they are filming in Canada when a Canadian author wrote it!

What seemed like a continuity error to me was that we saw that sign right after they comment "where are the street signs?"  Uh, turn around Offred, right behind you.

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One of the reasons that I liked the use of "Don't You Forget About Me" were the parallels and contrasts with The Breakfast Club. At the end of the movie when this song was playing, the students who had been in conflict with each other had bonded and become friends, a marked difference from the way they treated each other at the beginning - wary, distrustful, judgmental, defensive. On the show, Offred was initially suspicious of Ofglen, assuming that she was an uptight pain in the ass. They had barely spoken to each other in the two months they had been going shopping together. But they finally opened up to each other about their lives before, about who they used to be, who they had loved, and who they are now. After months of emotional isolation, Offred finally had a friend who she looked forward to talking to and spending time with.

The last thing you see is in the movie everyone parting ways as they go home, having endured their day of confinement as punishment for various crimes, and then Bender holds his fist up triumphantly as the song plays. At the end of this episode, Offred was leaving the confinement of the commander's home for an hour of freedom with her new friend, the closest she probably thought she'd get to a fist pump since the Red Center. Instead she got a slap in the face/record scratch when she saw that Ofglen had been replaced. I thought it was a really effective use of the song.

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6 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

One of the reasons that I liked the use of "Don't You Forget About Me" were the parallels and contrasts with The Breakfast Club. At the end of the movie when this song was playing, the students who had been in conflict with each other had bonded and become friends, a marked difference from the way they treated each other at the beginning - wary, distrustful, judgmental, defensive. On the show, Offred was initially suspicious of Ofglen, assuming that she was an uptight pain in the ass. They had barely spoken to each other in the two months they had been going shopping together. But they finally opened up to each other about their lives before, about who they used to be, who they had loved, and who they are now. After months of emotional isolation, Offred finally had a friend who she looked forward to talking to and spending time with.

The last thing you see is in the movie everyone parting ways as they go home, having endured their day of confinement as punishment for various crimes, and then Bender holds his fist up triumphantly as the song plays. At the end of this episode, Offred was leaving the confinement of the commander's home for an hour of freedom with her new friend, the closest she probably thought she'd get to a fist pump since the Red Center. Instead she got a slap in the face/record scratch when she saw that Ofglen had been replaced. I thought it was a really effective use of the song.

I agree. More generally I think using songs which are familiar is a context that is horrifying proceeds from the same intention than showing us that June's life before was very much like ours. Whether it's a flashback or a musical score, the juxtaposition of life as we are familiar with and this dystopian universe works for me and I find it more powerful than it we had only the dystopian part. We can also easily imagine the song being familiar to June and playing in her mind, and it's powerful. 

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Quote

Canada was mentioned. Assuming the rest of the world has been hit by the same decline in birth rates, I wonder how other nations are dealing with the crises

Well, American regulations are already a lot more lax than in most Western countries when it comes things like food production (hormones and steroids in meat, for example). Add the American penchant for war-mongering and weapons, plus the super uptight view of sexuality and birth control that pervades a good portion of the conservative people there - and it's no wonder that this story seems believable to many Americans.

And that it would happen there, but the rest of the world would carry on as before. I assume Gilead instituted regulatory and physical protectionism like North Korea, so that even if other countries wanted to help, they can't. Or they don't know what it's like.

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12 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

One of the reasons that I liked the use of "Don't You Forget About Me" were the parallels and contrasts with The Breakfast Club. At the end of the movie when this song was playing, the students who had been in conflict with each other had bonded and become friends, a marked difference from the way they treated each other at the beginning - wary, distrustful, judgmental, defensive. On the show, Offred was initially suspicious of Ofglen, assuming that she was an uptight pain in the ass. They had barely spoken to each other in the two months they had been going shopping together. But they finally opened up to each other about their lives before, about who they used to be, who they had loved, and who they are now. After months of emotional isolation, Offred finally had a friend who she looked forward to talking to and spending time with.

I also think the song was an interesting way of showing that while June's life is still terrible it has improved a super tiny amount. I am curious to find out why the commander can't play scrabble with his wife (and to find out what else he can't or won't do with her). It was also interesting that June made it a competitive game rather than then letting her captor win.

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I'm pretty sure it was in the dialogue on the show that she did lose to him deliberately at first.  Women are not allowed to read, so of course they wouldn't let them play word games.

That's why all the food items have pictures instead of words in the show, and the street signs are being removed, we also saw burning books, and Offred slapped for remembering words from the former Bible.

As far as "what else they can't do?"  I'm pretty sure the show was trying to convey something there when the Serena Joy tried to have sex, or at least to get her husband hard.  I'll tag it just in case. 

Spoiler

Supposedly sex is now only for procreation, or at least that is what the ruling men say, so since Serena Joy is deemed barren, they can not have sex.  So, Serena, who supported all of this in her previous free life, is reaping what she preached.

Edited by Umbelina
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I don't  remember any dialog but i figured that playing Nation as her first word, after a bit of delay was a sign that June wasn't going to go easy on the commander.

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21 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I don't  remember any dialog but i figured that playing Nation as her first word, after a bit of delay was a sign that June wasn't going to go easy on the commander.

Not really spoilers, but I'll tag it anyway, because I can't remember specifically what was said on the episode, but I do remember it jived with the book completely.

Spoiler

She was scared, didn't know whether to play for real or let him win.  Her life is in his hands, and this situation is dangerous for her on every single level, she's not allowed to be alone with him, she's not allowed to play word games, women are not supposed to read.  At first she loses to him.  In the show I believe (same as the book) she or he later say something like "playing for real now" words.  She's finding her way with him, in this fraught with danger situation.  She makes a choice to play full out, but it's a gamble, and dangerous.   She's judging what he really wants here, and she guesses correctly, but it could have been disastrous for her, and she's well aware of that.

Edited by Umbelina
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On 5/8/2017 at 10:09 AM, NutMeg said:

I agree. More generally I think using songs which are familiar is a context that is horrifying proceeds from the same intention than showing us that June's life before was very much like ours. Whether it's a flashback or a musical score, the juxtaposition of life as we are familiar with and this dystopian universe works for me and I find it more powerful than it we had only the dystopian part. We can also easily imagine the song being familiar to June and playing in her mind, and it's powerful. 

This. One of the things that makes the book (and so far, the show) far more horrifying than most dystopian fiction, no matter how well written, is the familiarity. We are seeing this regime in its relatively early days, when the characters still have plenty of memory of how things used to be, and there is nothing in the book that couldn't happen basically right now. No aliens, no technology so far advanced that we don't actually know how it should even theoretically worked, nothing like that that would help it feel a little more removed from us and thus less terrifying. Normally I don't love music that doesn't seem to fit with a context, but here, I think it's extremely effective. Jarring, sure, maybe even to the point of pulling you out of the story for a moment. But even that could be deliberate, another reminder that Offred's world is basically our world, if a handful of things go horribly wrong.

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On 5/7/2017 at 8:30 AM, Eyes High said:

Fertile women have red tags in their ears, presumably the result of some sort of mandatory fertility testing. Ofglen says when they were talking about escaping "They weren't letting any of us get away. Not if you had a red tag." June has a red tag in her left ear (it can be seen in the bath scene in 1x01). 

Holy smokes, I need to pay more attention. Good catch!

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On 5/1/2017 at 8:16 AM, Pepper the Cat said:

Janine appears to have grown a new eye in this episode!

I saw that too. In the breast-feeding scene. They were shooting her face in profile from the other side, and it looked to me like somebody said, "No need to put her back in makeup, we're shooting from the other side, no one will see the other eye." But we did get a glimpse of it.

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Two questions:

Why did Offred spit out the piece of the cookie? I interpreted that as possibly a small act of defiance, along with leaving the remainder of it on the sink. But wouldn't that risk some sort of punishment? If she's so steeled to suck it up to avoid punishment concerning far worse than the cookie humiliation, why do this?

Why would Gilead be destroying historic churches in New York and Boston? I understand that Gilead is fundamentally religiously based and presumably needs to discredit former religious figures who didn't sign on to the new program (see hanging the priest), but this seemed like erasing the part of the past that they would want to use as a basis for their legitimacy.  

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13 minutes ago, ahpny said:

Why would Gilead be destroying historic churches in New York and Boston?

they were Catholic. Many Protestants to this day do not trust Catholics as "true" Christians. And vice-versa of course.

Edited by dleighg
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