The stars of Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" escaped Gilead long enough to attend a special screening of the season finale Monday night in Los Angeles, followed by a question-and-answer session.
The series has proven incredibly prescient this season, with episodes that felt more ripped from the headlines than ever, touching on everything from women's rights and #MeToo to child separation. Always a politically-charged series, the cast and creators didn't shy away from talking about the current political climate after the screening.
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While much of the content was rife with spoilers for the finale, which streams Wednesday on Hulu, and thus whithheld, The Los Angeles Times did manage to capture a few of the less specific comments. More details from the event will become available soon after the episode airs, including some details and teasers to what fans can expect in Season 3.
Considering how brutally bleak the entire series is, a joke from comedian Jon Lovett actually turned into a serious question. All he did was ask Elisabeth Moss, who plays the titular Handmaid oft-brutalized in the totalitarian theocracy of Gilead, if she was okay. But it's a question viewers often find themselves asking after every episode. Is she okay? Are we okay? Is anyone going to be okay ever again?
Luckily, Moss is fine, and went so far as to call the filming experience "fun." She explained, "Honestly, it's what I love to do. It's a great outlet for my feelings. We do it together. It isn't just me crying alone in the corner. ... I like it. It sounds perverse, but it's what I love to do and I love the challenge."
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As we mentioned in our latest review, the characters of "The Handmaid's Tale" have started carving out their own happiness in this terrible world they find themselves trapped in, because what other choice is there? Janine, portrayed by Madeline Brewer, was the first to do this, though it appears she did so through a kind of joyful madness.
Or perhaps she's not as mad as she seems, just someone who is resisting in her own way by refusing have her spirit beaten down, even after she's been raped and mutilated by this patriarchal madhouse. "On certain days Gilead is not all just sadness and horror," Brewer said. "For Janine specifically, that's why she has to look for the good in everything, otherwise she'll let it destroy her."
Brewer then took Janine's in-show philosophy and offered it to modern America, saying, "I think that's where we are politically right now. If you let things get to you every single day and you don't take a moment and reflect on the good, then we're no use to anyone else."
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If a show about a near-future oppressive regime dominating America, stripping away human rights and brutally abusing and massacring its own people feels a little too close to home, creator Bruce Miller has some advice. He also isn't quite as cynical as the rest of us.
"People say this show is uncomfortably present. I don't see it," he said. But if you see it, he urged everyone present to "do everything you can to make our show irrelevant ... and vote in November." Which kind of sounds like he sees it a little, if we're being totally honest.
The season finale of "The Handmaid's Tale" will be available for streaming starting Wednesday on Hulu.