The Handmaid’s Tale will return to our screens this April with season two of the wildly popular adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. Atwood will continue to be involved in season two however, the plot will move past the covers of the novel and explore the themes of motherhood ‘in a whole new way’ according to actress Elisabeth Moss, who plays the story’s protagonist Offred, literally meaning the women belonging to or ‘of Fred’.
Audiences left season one on a poignant and disturbing cliffhanger. A pregnant Offred was taken away to an unknown fate by the resistance and Nick, whose allegiance is still ambiguous. Alexis Bledel will return as Ofglen, now Ofsteven, having undergone Female Genital Mutilation as punishment for being a lesbian, and who last made an appearance in episode five of season one, after driving a stolen security vehicle into a guard before being taken away in a black van.
Ofwarren, now Ofdaniel, played by Madeline Brewer returns after giving birth to a baby and surviving both a suicide attempt and an execution by stoning. In a happy event, despite some close calls, everyone from season one will be returning in season two with some welcome additions to the already impressive cast. Star of American political satirical comedy Veep Clea DuVall, and veteran actress and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei join.
Elisabeth Moss revealed, ‘Season two is going to be bad too, really dark – it’s going to get worse.’ Season one followed the narrative of Atwood’s novel although producers have stated that some key elements of the original narrative have been saved for season two, despite a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly in which Moss told the magazine ‘There is literally no way that anyone can guess what happens. You can try but you won’t do it… We have no intention of doing anything else than being even more balls to the wall than we were in season one.’
The season two trailer offers disturbingly tantalising snippets of a masked and petrified Offred, Moira in her new life as a refugee in Canada, and Janine being taken to the death camp Colonies. These ominous events are all made beautifully terrifying with a musical background cover version of the song’ For What It’s Worth’ by Malia J., one of the 1960’s most famous protest songs.
Due to clashes in her production schedule Reed Morano, who became the first woman in 22 years to win the Emmy for drama series directing and who set the tone and look of the series by directing the first three episodes, will not be returning in season two. In fact, there is a distinct lack of women on the production team compared to season one as executive producer Warren Littlefield revealed that only half the directors on the new series are women, as opposed to four out of five previously. Hopefully, season two can emulate the success of its predecessor despite this drop in female input, which no doubt contributed to the shows initial success.
Season one of the Handmaid’s Tale was released in a year of gender awakening throughout the globe, let’s hope that season two can not only live up to the high standards audiences have come to expect, but that it can also help make 2018 an even more progressive year. As executive producer Bruce Miller acknowledged; ‘The biggest barrier to season two is always season one.’ We wait with baited breath.