Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Tara Ariano

S01.E02: Birth Day

Recommended Posts

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
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

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

Thanks, that had occurred to me as well, but why not just repurpose the buildings as Gilead-style Protestant churches? Formerly-Catholic churches throughout Northern Europe were simply reconsecrated as Protestant churches after the Protestant Reformation. Why is this so different?

Share this post


Link to post

No one saw her spit out the cookie.  After hearing them talk, the cookie was sickening in her mouth, so she spit it out.

All churches that aren't the new fundamentalist Gilead Church (with it's new bible, primarily old testament, as shown when June quoted the real bible several episodes ago) are blasphemy.  Catholic, or any other church, that was perhaps even still using hidden copies of the King James bible, would be destroyed as a sign to tow the line.

Edited by Umbelina
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 08.05.2017. at 10:58 PM, Kel Varnsen said:

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.

At the end of the episode, as she's leaving the house to go shopping, she's thinking how pleased Ofglen will be to hear that she's got information about the Commander's movements and that she let him win. Speaking of Ofglen and the ending, that was just another layer of horror to this. The names, which mean they are branded as property and erased as people go pretty much unmentioned. It's an accepted part of their horrid day to day life. But then to just have another woman slide in place like nothing has changed... Ugh. Shudder.

And frankly, there was a lot to shudder about here, including the birth and "birth" of Janine's daughter. Christ on a cracker, that whole thing was so whacked out with the wife being coached through "birth" and the whole process being reduced to cultish chants. What are drugs and trained professionals when there are twenty indoctrinated puppets droning on for you to breathe? I honestly expected Janine to kill that baby when she was left alone with her. The pronounciation that she was a girl felt ominous. What lays ahead of her, becoming a brood mare like her birth mother, or belonging to another stratum of women who are all fucked, literally and/or figuratively? That's the most traumatizing part of this for me. That nobody has it good, aside from presumably the commanders. They all feel threatened, even Serena Joy who so far seems to have it best relatively speaking. Yet, when they feel threatened, they chose to seek out someone in an even worse position than them to take them down so that they can feel superior, even if they are still obviously insignificant as well. This was clearly shown with Serena Joy being excluded from her husband's meeting. It is just painfully close to life, where people channel their fear and helplessness through hurting others.

Speaking of Serena Joy, an ironically named character if ever there was one, I hope to see her hanging with a bag over her head by the end of the show.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

Well, if there's one truth in life: However bad things are, they can always get worse (which is something that dictatorships have relied on throughout the ages). So, you're forced into state sponsored prostitution? Even when you get pregnant, your baby will be taken from you and you'll be treated like a child or a whore. Think you've found a connection with somebody else? She'll vanish without a trace. Believe your "owner" is starting to treat you with a modicum of decency? Worry that he's doing it to entrap you - and even if he isn't, expect everyone to blame you for the illicit meeting, even where you had no choice. And just when she thought she'd found a friend, Ofglen becomes an unperson (I'm guessing).

On ‎26‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 9:43 AM, Shaynaa said:

Offred is so bad at being stealthy.  Ofglen wasn't much better with that chat while they were in the van with all the others.  How did everyone not hear?

I was trying to see whether she's just that unstealthy or if it's just the general TV thing: if they're the only ones in shot, nobody else can hear!
 

Quote

Tara Ariano (Recap) the Handmaids gather around Janine, chanting instructions: "Breathe, breathe, breathe! Hold, hold, hold!"

I couldn't watch that without thinking of Worf delivering Keiko's baby in Star Trek -The Next Generation (Disaster)
  Worf: I must now encourage you gently but firmly to push. Push Keiko. Push hard.
  Keiko: I AM PUSHING!

On ‎26‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 4:33 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

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.

Unfair but entirely believable. Shit rolls downhill - and the "Founding Fathers" of Gilead are probably only too happy to encourage division between potential allies. Even the wives are (at best) second class citizens and are probably only too aware how precarious their position is. Which makes me wonder - what would happen if a Wife got pregnant? Would she be downgraded to Handmaid status? Do they even have sex with their husbands? You can imagine the forcible intervention of a third party (even an unwilling one) would cause massive resentment, however unfair.

Although thinking about the likely biological causes of infertility, it's just as well the Founding Fathers assumed THEY couldn't be the problem (like Henry VIII before them - it was "obviously" the woman's fault). One (even squickier) solution might be to place fertile women in state sponsored brothels (doubtless given some more positive name like "Motherhood Centres") until they got pregnant.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

No, sex is only for procreation.  These wives are all deemed barren, or have been through menopause, even though it's probably the husbands that are sterile anyway. 

More in the book answers thread about that.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/5/2017 at 3:14 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

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.

I totally agree. Whenever I hear that song, I think Simple Minds and all the other New Wave music that remains my favourite to this day. This show does a very good job of capturing the particular threat women always have hanging over us. Just reading unmoderated comments on a website, I am stunned at all the antiwomen comments posted by misogynists. Doesn't matter what your age or cultural background is, you never can be sure that you will be treated equally to a man. I have never seen the film (and I've heard it's not good at all) but this TV version captures what I remember about the book. In a moment, all our rights can be taken away. It's important to pay attention and remain vigilant.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/14/2017 at 9:53 AM, bijoux said:

 

And frankly, there was a lot to shudder about here, including the birth and "birth" of Janine's daughter. Christ on a cracker, that whole thing was so whacked out with the wife being coached through "birth" and the whole process being reduced to cultish chants. What are drugs and trained professionals when there are twenty indoctrinated puppets droning on for you to breathe? I honestly expected Janine to kill that baby when she was left alone with her. The pronounciation that she was a girl felt ominous. What lays ahead of her, becoming a brood mare like her birth mother, or belonging to another stratum of women who are all fucked, literally and/or figuratively?

The one thing that felt false within the premise of the novel/show was the happiness with which the "It's a girl!" announcement was received. In a really extreme patriarchy like this one, you would expect that there would be some groans of disappointment that it wasn't a boy.  

Share this post


Link to post
47 minutes ago, GreekGeek said:

In a really extreme patriarchy like this one, you would expect that there would be some groans of disappointment that it wasn't a boy.

Generally true, but I think Gilead closely resembles the splinter groups of the LDS church. Generally the FLDS, but also including the more isolated cults like the one run by J. Warren. 

In those boy children are not as welcome as they are seen as future threats to mating. Frequently when the boys begin to show interest in the girls they are rounded up, driven for miles and literally left on the side of the road. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, in times of decreased resources animals, like deer, will give birth to more females than males. A population only needs a few males to succeed. If resources are great, you can afford to have plenty of males. A female is way more valuable to a population than a male. 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, EC Amber said:

Generally true, but I think Gilead closely resembles the splinter groups of the LDS church. Generally the FLDS, but also including the more isolated cults like the one run by J. Warren. 

In those boy children are not as welcome as they are seen as future threats to mating. Frequently when the boys begin to show interest in the girls they are rounded up, driven for miles and literally left on the side of the road. 

I've had this thought as well - I've read a lot about Warren Jeffs and the FLDS, and the treatment of the 'lost boys' who are driven out of the cult as teenagers so that the older men won't have competition for the young girls reminds me of younger lower-caste men like Nick or other Guardians not being allowed a woman, while the Commanders have wives and a rotating selection of handmaids. With Jeffs' group, he also at one point made a proclamation to forcibly 'redistribute' already-married women - marriages and families of decades' standing were split so that the women could be handed off to other men. Very Gileadian, indeed.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎29‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 4:46 PM, ahpny said:

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.  

 

On ‎29‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 4:59 PM, dleighg said:

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

 

On ‎29‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 9:56 PM, Umbelina said:

All churches that aren't the new fundamentalist Gilead Church (with it's new bible, primarily old testament, as shown when June quoted the real bible several episodes ago) are blasphemy.  Catholic, or any other church, that was perhaps even still using hidden copies of the King James bible, would be destroyed as a sign to tow the line.

In the book, also nuns are deemed "unwomen" who are sent to colonies. So they really don't only resist "modern values" but also St. Paul's opinion that being a virgin or a widow is more Christian than to marry which was re-evaluate only during Reformation. But of course they don't value even the traditional marriage.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Just got Hulu so just started watching this show.  I read the book I want to say about six years ago, and the first couple of episodes have brought a lot of recollections back.  I think they have done a pretty good job in the beginning laying out the society, with the misogyny, the class system, and the hatred and resentment of the wealthy and infertile wives toward the handmaids who are a necessary evil to them.  The way this society pits women against each other to keep them subdued.  The one problem I have is that I can see a society functioning this way after a generation where everyone has grown up in it, but in the first generation where everyone remembers "normal" society from just a few years before it's hard to see them all assuming these new roles so readily when they know it's all B.S.  I know in the case of the handmaids they are simply being forced through fear and intimidation, but the wealthy wives all have to be borderline sociopaths to relish dehumanizing their subordinates, since clearly it's not because they grew up in this culture and don't know any better.  It also makes you question why society would have gone this route in an infertility epidemic, when there are other paths it could have taken.  Polygamy is one route, or communes including both fertile and infertile women who produce as many babies as they can and raise them collectively.  I would think that in such a crisis, women would have a huge voice in how society adapts to it, as opposed to this return to the Puritan model of the 1600s (and even in this oppressive society I can see wealthy infertile wives getting kicked to the curb while fertile women take their place and have the power and prestige).  But this is about dystopia, which makes for more compelling viewing I guess.

Edited by Dobian

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/6/2017 at 2:08 PM, 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

And it was supposed to be the song at the prom in Pretty in Pink, however the actors were having difficulty dancing to it. As a result OMD came and wrote If You Leave, instead. 

 

God, I love this show. I can't add anything as everyone summed it up beautifully. 

Love that the audience gets to see flashbacks, so vividly I might add. I'm interested seeing the progression into the Gilead society. Very, very well done translation and even better than I imagined in my mind, which is unheard of. Usually I'm disappointed in the movie/tv version. It is so satisfying seeing it fleshed out. 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×