Stand-up comedian Norm Macdonald posted to his Twitter Wednesday about “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which he called a “sub-par piece of science-fi trash.”
Others have taken to Twitter to echo Macdonald’s criticisms, which say that the show — and in turn the source material– is unrealistic.
But what is Macdonald actually mad about? He seems annoyed by a few things concerning the show.
I've just read an incredible article where "The Handmaid's Tale", a sub-par piece of science-fi trash, is defended by its author.
The author, who rightly should be apologizing for her execrable prose, not only defends it but calls it "timely".
The book has been made in to some sort of cable mini-series.
He seems partially mad because he had to read Atwood in school. A lot of other users echoed this sentiment.
I'm Canadian, so had to suffer through this book as a young person. It's one of those cheap, dystopian tracts.
But generally, he seems bothered by how unrealistic “The Handmaid’s Tale” is in regards to its portrayal of a fundamentalist future. There’s also the issue of how relevant it is in our political age and how many people — including the showrunner and actors — are making the parallels to current events.
The difference with this one is it has a deeply paranoid feminist look into the future.
The story is as impossible as most of these " frightening looks into the future".
But to call it timely, when the possibility of this fiction ever becoming fact even more of a joke, is just a cynical cash-grab.
Margaret Atwood wrote her famous novel in 1985 with the Iranian Revolution in mind. In a 1986 interview with The New York Times, she said that she got the idea for the book first and then started writing because she saw more and more of it coming true.
“I started noticing that a lot of the things I thought I was more or less making up were now happening, and indeed more of them have happened since the publication of the book,” she said. “There is a sect now, a Catholic charismatic spinoff sect, which calls the women handmaids. They don’t go in for polygamy of this kind but they do threaten the handmaids according to the biblical verse I use in the book — sit down and shut up.”
While Canadian, she also referenced the immigration of the Puritans to the Americas in the 17th century and the fundamentalism they pushed.
“We’re often taught in schools that the Puritans came to America for religious freedom. Nonsense. They came to establish their own regime, where they could persecute people to their heart’s content just the way they themselves had been persecuted. If you think you have the word and the right way, that’s the only thing you can do.”
Reviews of the show have only pointed at how real the story has become. NPR wrote, “As the fight over abortion rights intensifies in America and authoritarianism rises across the world, it’s tough to imagine a better time for Atwood’s story to come to television.” We have an administration that wants to limit what women do with their bodies, wants to refuse trans people the right to use the bathrooms prescribed to their gender identity, and wants to defund Planned Parenthood. We have a vice president who won’t be in a room alone with a woman who isn’t his wife and a president who says it’s okay to grab women wherever he pleases.
But it’s unrealistic.
Related stories from TheWrap: