We're saying it now: The Handmaid's Tale will be your new TV obsession. The new Hulu series based on Margaret Atwood's book of the same name dropped three episodes on Wednesday, April 26 that will pretty much wreck you—in the best way possible.
Set in Gilead, a totalitarian society that was once the United States, The Handmaid's Tale follows Offred (Elisabeth Moss), a Handmaid (fertile women) assigned to a powerful man's house and assigned to bare him children. Environmental disasters and plunging birthrate plague this new world and lead to the new regime that has turned everything upside down.
"For me, I like to think of it instead of dystopian, like an alternate reality of where we are now. We can see in the show flashback scenes how this could be something that we could live in," Samira Wiley, Moira, a friend of Offred and fellow Handmaid, told E! News at the show's Tribeca Film Festival premiere. "It could be a society that if we're not careful could lead towards something like this."
Along with Wiley and Moss, the cast also includes Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy, the barren wife to Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), Alexis Bledel as Offred's Handmaid companion Ofglen, Madeline Brewer as Janine, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, basically the controller of the Handmaids, Max Minghella as Commander Waterford's driver Nick and O-T Fagbenle as Luke, Offred's husband from before the fall.
"The scariest part, I think, are the little tiny things that happen. Things that don't seem that scary, but scenes where all of a sudden someone's credit card doesn't work because she's a woman…little things like that," Wiley said. "I think that the society that we live in right now, we have come a very, very, very long way. I have faith in everyone around me, I have faith in society and as scared as someone can get I think that we need to make sure that we don't get too scared and have more faith than fear."
While filming The Handmaid's Tale the 2016 presidential election was taking place, leading many to draw comparisons. The series has been heralded as one of the timeliest shows around now.
"I spent a lot of my time trying to figure out why this woman—how this woman could behave the way that she does toward other people and it was difficult to sort of get there," Strahovski told us. "It was interesting seeing a lot of bad behavior happening in real life in the news and haven't that sort of impact my thought process with this project."
It will be easy for viewers to draw comparisons to the series and what's happening in the real world, but Moss said it's important to remember what The Handmaid's Tale is: a TV show.
"It's always important to sort of remember what this country was built on in the first place. At the same time, it's an entertaining story as well. It's funny at times, there's a love story—there's a couple love stories—it's also a television show," Moss said. "So I think we don't want to take ourselves too seriously and let the audience take what they want from it."
The Handmaid's Tale is now streaming on Hulu.