The highly anticipated second series of The Handmaid’s tale, which aired on Channel 4 last night, and it is fair to say that this was not a gentle introduction.
The critically-acclaimed first series was based on Margaret Atwood 1985 novel of the same name, about a future dystopia in which women are forced to the reproduction of the slavery to bear children for the elite.
The second series of pieces of company with Atwood’s novel, but takes off where the last series left our protagonist – June/Offred – is shipped in a van to who knows where.
Writing in The Guardian, Sam Wollaston praised the Foam of the performance in the first episode: “The hope drains from June’s eyes. Elisabeth Moss can say more with her eyes and her face that most of the players with 1000 words.
“It is 10 minutes before she made her first utterance, but at this time, it displays the hope, the fear, the mistrust, defeat, and the force once again. She said very little throughout the episode (especially in the flashbacks), but it is fascinating.”
Giving the episode a maximum of five stars, he added: “The opening is about as intense an experience of TELEVISION that it is possible to have. I felt it physically, a sensation of oppression in the stomach.”
The Telegraph of the examiner, Jasper Rees, also gave the opener a five star and sing the praises of the Foam.
“His face is a mobile of the canvas on which she painted with bulging eyes of fear and fighting to solve, even one of the looks challenge. By the end, there was hope, after all… it is the role of a lifetime, and the Foam is a powerful equality.”
The Independent Jacob Stolworthy has been described as “a painful performance” in its title.
He continued: “The opener is a roller coaster that meets all the endless boxes of the first season, before throwing the series – now off-book – in uncharted world in the expansion directions (new characters are set to appear in the form of Marisa Tomei and Cherry Jones, to finish as strong female ensemble in recent memory).”
But The Artsdesk Adam Sweeting wrote that “the casual horrors” are “enough to keep you awake at night, even if sometimes the spectacle of the litany of sadism begins to look dangerously like torture-porn. There is a sort of paradox, too, in the way that a series that has been championed as a feminist call to arms is almost entirely taken up with the representative of the horrific crimes against women.”
Emma Nolan of the Daily Express, wrote: “The season two premiere of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s tale is a visceral punch in the gut that lost no time jumping right back into the action.
“There are no words for the first several minutes, but they are not necessary with the Foam of transport of the complexity of the range of emotions with just his eyes and his realization that this is not a rescue party for Nick, it is heartbreaking to watch.”
Some viewers tweeted their thoughts, with many fascinated and horrified in equal measure.
One wrote that she was “addicted” and “traumatized” by the episode.
The end of the Twitter post by @FonBrowndy
Another has been entered by the opening.
The end of the Twitter post by @LGreene86
Not everyone was impressed though:
The end of the Twitter post by @JosephyneT
The Handmaid’s tale was broadcast on Channel 4 on Sunday at 21:00 BST.
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