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June / Elisabeth Moss

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By request: A place to discuss the character of June and the woman who plays her. I'm sure there will be some overlap with the "plot holes and plot armor" thread and that's fine, but if you want a place to discuss Moss's character and performance specifically, here it is! This is neither a hate thread nor a fan one; just keep the debate civil, as usual.

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I liked her in Mad Men. 

Even from the beginning of THT, the ultra closeups bothered me and began to mess with my suspension of disbelief, or at least my belief in her as some sort of next-level prodigy.

I only found out she was in Co$ around the time the show started, and it was ultimately one of the reasons I stopped watching. 

June the character: as a person who consumes television for 1) character, 2) plot, 3) “some mind blowing concept or inciting event” (a distant 3 at that), I’m well aware that the character is a complete clusterfuck, just by reading the posts here and the media commentary provided by the show.

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June is messed up because the writers messed her. In the book the character is anyone, a victim of the absurdities of the totalitarian regime. She is also a mystery. The writers in the show just don't know what to do with her, they have no concept of nuance, so the character lacks the same. She is a caricature of the book's character.

I liked the young EM in the West Wing. Small doses of her, her story was cute. When I stopped watching the show on season 5, she was already kind of boring, but that was probably the general failng of the show. I watched the remaining seasons a while after they finished and felt the same meh.

I never watched Mad Men. I am probably the only person who found the show extremely boring. Didn't make it past the first episode and don't even remember much of it. Then I saw EM on Top of the Lake, which I hated. I watched the whole thing out of stubbornness. Her performance was terrible, imo. So I am not impressed.

The fact that she is a cultist makes me very unsympathetic to her. I have seen the stories and the hard choices people who want to leave the cult have to make but I also know that celerities are treated differently. There is no real excuse, with all the information around and the platform she has.

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Related to a discussion about EM in another thread.

the article is about how she is having a more active role in the production and decision making. This comment called my attention. I don’t think she is a great actress but I do agree with the commentator. 

“STOP GLORIFYING A SCIENTOLOGISTAPRIL 25, 2018 4:27 PM

Can we please not do all these articles glorifying a member of “Church” of Scientology again? Yes, she’s a great actress, but just like Roman Polanski is a great director we cannot ignore their deeds and the damage that ignoring that would do. Not only that, but she’s starring, and as you point out, also producing a series which could very well describe the organisation to which she belongs. It is disgusting. It’s an insult to all the women whose lives have been ruined (or literally ended) because of their barbaric methods.

I hope that going forward you realise these sort of articles are a mistake. Clicks are not more important than our principles.”

Article: https://www.indiewire.com/2018/04/handmaids-tale-season-2-elisabeth-moss-interview-1201956995/

Edited by alexvillage
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AV Club interview with Moss about June, this is just one question, more at link here:  https://tv.avclub.com/we-leave-handmaid-s-tale-behind-for-the-year-plus-elis-1837216397

AVC: This is all coming from the relationship between June and Commander Lawrence, who has all these wrongs he convinced himself were right, and then this small pool of rights that seem to be, in part, selfish. Then there’s June, whose intentions are capital-G Good, but who brings about a lot of chaos and pain. How are these people similar?

EM: I think they grow [more similar] in a way. I don’t know if they start out there. I think June’s trajectory through this season is not a simple one. There’s a pretty story that we could tell where she just remains the perfect heroine who never does the wrong thing, whose actions don’t have consequences, who never has to hurt anyone in order to [work] for the greater good. But that’s not real. Not right, interesting. And I think what June discovers this season, whether she likes it or not, is that in order to beat the system, she has to become one of them. She has to be crueler. She has to be stronger. And I think there’s a lot about Commander Lawrence that—“inspires” is the wrong word—but I think there’s a lot that she sees in him that makes her realize, “Oh, I have to be more like that. I have to be ruthless.”

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On 7/13/2019 at 4:55 PM, kieyra said:

I liked her in Mad Men

The character was unattractive and ditzy. Not much acting involved, I’d say. 😁

Edited by steph369
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On 8/14/2019 at 9:45 AM, Umbelina said:

AV Club interview with Moss about June, this is just one question, more at link here:  https://tv.avclub.com/we-leave-handmaid-s-tale-behind-for-the-year-plus-elis-1837216397

AVC: This is all coming from the relationship between June and Commander Lawrence, who has all these wrongs he convinced himself were right, and then this small pool of rights that seem to be, in part, selfish. Then there’s June, whose intentions are capital-G Good, but who brings about a lot of chaos and pain. How are these people similar?

EM: I think they grow [more similar] in a way. I don’t know if they start out there. I think June’s trajectory through this season is not a simple one. There’s a pretty story that we could tell where she just remains the perfect heroine who never does the wrong thing, whose actions don’t have consequences, who never has to hurt anyone in order to [work] for the greater good. But that’s not real. Not right, interesting. And I think what June discovers this season, whether she likes it or not, is that in order to beat the system, she has to become one of them. She has to be crueler. She has to be stronger. And I think there’s a lot about Commander Lawrence that—“inspires” is the wrong word—but I think there’s a lot that she sees in him that makes her realize, “Oh, I have to be more like that. I have to be ruthless.”

From this it sounds to me like she hasn’t understood the whole story at all, and it shows. It’s not about any ruthless crazy system, it’s a country and system based on extreme misogyny. It would be impossible for her to become one of them and in trying to twist the story to do that they’ve lost the whole point of the story, which we related to in the beginning, the way in which woman have absolutely no power or means to protect themselves in Gilead. They were supposed to be afraid of their walking partner, of everyone around, eyes everywhere. In that system June could have never become a powerful badass. Moss’ interview to me reveals  that she just doesn’t get it. I think she comes from a privileged position in which she has never had to really face the misogyny at a real meaningful level, and can’t understand it. Which is also why she and the rest of the producers and writers have failed at understanding intersectionality.  

Edited by Ariam
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34 minutes ago, Ariam said:

From this it sounds to me like she hasn’t understood the whole story at all, and it shows. It’s not about any ruthless crazy system, it’s a country and system based on extreme misogyny. It would be impossible for her to become one of them and in trying to twist the story to do that they’ve lost the whole point of the story, which we related to in the beginning, the way in which woman have absolutely no power or means to protect themselves in Gilead. They were supposed to be afraid of their walking partner, of everyone around, eyes everywhere. In that system June could have never become a powerful badass. Moss’ interview to me reveals  that she just doesn’t get it. I think she comes from a privileged position in which she has never had to really face the misogyny at a real meaningful level, and can’t understand it. Which is also why she and the rest of the producers and writers have failed at understanding intersectionality.  

This. As it was from the beginning (of season 2 cease it is a very different premise from the book source in season 1) the showRUINERS failed to expand on Margaret Atwood's ideas and turned the show into a Marvel Comics type of story.

And this quote shows the lack of well, everything.

AVC: If your intentions are good and the actions go wrong, does that diminish the value of the intention? 

EM: No, I suppose in that case the intention would be definitely important.

This is a silly answer. Intention is important only in an abstract sense. This word is used a lot as a way to excuse the absence of actions. In the context of the interview and the show, the actions that went wrong were a result of bad planning/ego. IMO, a more thoughtful answer to the also silly question would be: It doesn't matter if it diminished the value of the intention or not. It means that more action is needed until people get it right.

She contradicts herself a few times too. 

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I was surprised that a source like cosmo actually had some good points of criticism towards the way in which the character of June has been built, her decisions mostly.

"Throughout the three seasons of The Handmaid's Tale, June has made some seriously dumb decisions. There was that one time she got a Martha killed, for example. There was that other time she tried to stab Serena Joy... in a hospital. And there was that OTHER time she got that family murdered because she stayed with them while plotting her escape. The girl has f*cked up a lot, leaving bodies in her wake as she goes."

They even have a little poll to ask how much we are annoyed with June 😄 

And as far as the season finale "
I know June is attached to finding her daughter Hannah, and she thinks she can't leave Gilead without her. I get it. But this is literally the fourth time we have seen this same exact thing happen."

Which has me thinking I should probably post this under episode 13. I'll continue over there but leave this here too. 

cosmopolitan article: Dear God, 'The Handmaid's Tale' Needs to Come Up With a New Plot Twist

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