Parents' Guide to

The Handmaid's Tale

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Outstanding drama has sex, violence, scary implications.

TV Hulu Drama 2017
The Handmaid's Tale Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 15+

Watch this with your sons, as well as your daughters

If this show doesn't trigger you, you're asleep. ALL the negative comments are from people who are triggered by it and I'm laughing. It's a satire and you're tough enough to look at the reality it reflects. Watch a few episodes - in fact, just watch the first and see if you aren't slapped in the face with an astounding check and intrigued. Prepare yourself for amazing floods of emotionally-charged adrenaline and conversations. This show is deep on all levels, carrying strong social and political messages. It would benefit anyone to watch it, for personal reflection. It might change the way you look at things and motivate you. Amazing messages, conversations and bonding have come from this. I will be watching with my son - these issues are pertinent to everyone and it doesn't stop with women. On younger viewers: I haven't recommended it for younger viewers, who are too young to grasp the complexities of the characters motivations as well as the issues being on a mature level, (that is aside from the graphic nature of the program). You know your teens and when they're ready for this. There are also sexual assault/rape triggers. I'd suggest you watch some, first and judge. Enjoy! Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
2 people found this helpful.
age 15+

Civil liberties can be taken away so easily

“The Handmaid’s Tale” challenges our views on the state’s extreme control on women’s bodies and reproduction by using the rationale of continuing humankind. Its brutal violence and intense surveillance that impose on women within the episodes seem fictional and surreal. However, it has become a cautionary fable in modern America, especially after the overturn of Roe vs. Wade. The Handmaid’s Tale serves as a fearful reminder for all women who live in free countries today. Freedom of speech, religion, and reproduction can be taken away easily through the change of laws and governmental intervention.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23):
Kids say (19):

Creepy, multilayered, and expertly spun out, this spectacular drama makes its vision of a potential future seem all too possible. Offred had another name, another life, before she was captured and turned into "breeding stock." She went to college, she had a boyfriend, she took Uber rides. But when she tried to escape to Canada with her husband and her daughter, her husband was killed, her daughter taken, and Offred only spared death because she had proved herself fertile. Now her present consists of going to the market (where groceries are labeled with pictures, because women shouldn't read), cloaked in a blood-red dress and modest bonnet, always in the company of Ofglen, another handmaid on loan to another rich household.

Once a month, she has sex with the Commander (Joseph Fiennes) and hopes that it results in a child, because this is Offred's second posting. If she doesn't become pregnant soon, she'll be labeled an "unwoman" and sent to the Colonies to clean up radioactive waste until her skin peels off in sheets. Yes, as you may have gathered, this is a pitch-black tale. But Moss' deep, layered performance, the beautiful visuals, and powerful storytelling keep The Handmaid's Tale from being depressing. Instead, it's scary, discomfiting, and all too plausible.

TV Details

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