With only three episodes available on Hulu, many fans are wondering how many episodes is The Handmaid's Tale? The new straight-to-streaming television series, which is based off a novel of the same name, will reportedly feature 10 episodes in its first season. The Handmaid's Tale, written by author Margaret Atwood in 1985, is an especially interesting account of a woman who is tragically forced to live as a concubine under the dictatorship and ruling of a deity following a coup in a dismal and imaginary near-future setting.
Since its release 3-part release on April 26, fans have been enamored by the on-demand series as it resonates an all too chilling account that feels not so far-fetched for many women living in today's America.
The story takes place in Gilead, a country formerly known as the United States. In response to plummeting birth rates and environmental crisis the "new" nation has begun to inflict violence upon fertile women, mandating them to produce children on behalf of the barren wives of the dominant class. As a means of control, the enslaved handmaidens are forbidden to independent intimacy and denied resources for education.
Created by Bruce Miller, the production's main character, Offred is forced into the servitude of a high-ranking Gileadean commander and his wife. Once married with a daughter of her own, Offred must now closely adhere the strict guidelines of Gilead in order to stay alive. In hopes that she will someday, once again, live as a free woman, Offred knows that any deviation from the rules of the land will result in her swift execution. If you haven't yet, check out the trailer for the eerie presentation:
Novelist Margaret Atwood once spoke to The New York Times about her thoughts on Handmaid Tale's modern-day realness. She explained,
"Back in 1984, the main premise seemed — even to me — fairly outrageous. Would I be able to persuade readers that the United States had suffered a coup that had transformed an erstwhile liberal democracy into a literal-minded theocratic dictatorship? In the book, the Constitution and Congress are no longer: The Republic of Gilead is built on a foundation of the 17th-century Puritan roots that have always lain beneath the modern-day America we thought we knew."
Hulu's 10-episode adaptation is certainly a scary, and perhaps a much-needed wake up call for many people living in this country today. The book alone has most certainly has caught the attention of a great majority since the recent election. According to Rolling Stone, though released over 30 years ago, sales of the The Handmaid's Tale novel increased 200% from the year prior to Trump's election and rose to the top of Amazon's bestseller list.
In our new reality, it makes complete sense that the recently released series is giving many something to think and talk about. It's ultimately up to us to ensure that what was merely meant as a dystopian tale does not become a memoir from women of current and future generations.