Wednesday, 25 May, 2022

Television Whitenoise: Handmaid’s Tale Season 3

When a story starts to run against the internal logic of a system that it has set up, the narrative really should be a believable account of the success of the dismantling of that system, or of the failure of those rebelling against it. I understand the need for an audience cypher to ease an audience into the world which you want to describe for them, but when that character repeatedly transgresses the rules of the totalitarian society that she is a part of, and suffers no consequences, when all of the supporting characters, with the merest of slip-ups find themselves dead or severely punished, suspension of disbelief begins to falter. At some point you reach a point of incredulity, and the story begins to suffer. The acting is, of course, superb. They are discussing important ideas, and you can see that they are trying to explore concepts that are pertinent to the changing world in which we find ourselves, but this unbelievable skipping stone effect where other stones sink, does a major disservice to reality, where people do die because of regimes like this. Satire is a hard master to serve with the televisual medium where the doubleness of images gets flattened out, and even the nuances of the acting fail to give you a singular option of how to interpret the narrative. I love the novel, and I look forward to its sequel The Testaments. I want this show to navigate its way out of the trap it has made for itself. June really cannot keep carrying the story forward if it is to remain believable.

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