The Business: “The Handmaiden’s Tale”

On May 6th, 2017, Kim Masters spoke with Margaret Atwood and Bruce Miller on the new Hulu series based on Atwood’s novel of the same name. “The Handmaiden’s Tale” (1985) tells the story of a woman attempting to survive in a totalitarian regime.

Atwood noted that the book was something that she did not expect to take off and due to the numerous adaptations, she was happy to be working with a television writer, because she had numerous problems with the 1990 film. “Harold Pinter, who wrote the script, wrote in voice over, which the director then took out, after the actress had played against her own voice over. That left, as you might have imagined, her looking quite flat, where as [Bruce Miller] put it back in…” (Masters, Atwood, and Miller 2017).

In the wake of the election of President Donald J. Trump, showrunner Bruce Miller noted that he was worried about his own safety when it came to writing the show. Margaret Atwood states rather correctly however, that even though she, and consequently Miller, benefit from the relevancy of the show due to the themes that it portrays and the sentiment of some people in the country carry: “It’s quite a horrible admission… it’s a mixed benefit, because of course we’re all part of society and if society doesn’t benefit and you’re part of it, then we’re ultimately not going to benefit” (Masters, Atwood and Miller 2017).

Shows such as “The Handmaiden’s Tale” may be relevant now because of the political polarization that exists in the United States, but it is important to remember a keyword that the podcast seemed to not say: Hope. It’s going to be okay, it’s not the end of the world. The extremist regime of this fictional story cannot happen because of Congress and The Constitution, besides, that extremist regime already exists in North Korea. So yes, it’s relevant in that sense.

Work Cited

Masters, Kim, Margaret Atwood, and Bruce Miller. “The Business .” Audio blog post. The Business. KCRW, 6 May 2017. Web. 10 May 2017.


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