Season Three of the Handmaid’s Tale has arrived (I haven’t seen any of it yet)- and I have to say, I am a bit nervous. I thought season one was remarkable and strong. I particularly loved the characters- with Serena Joy, Aunt Lydia and Emily being highlights. It was well acted and made, with fantastic writing.
*Contains Spoilers For Seasons 1 & 2 Of The Handmaid’s Tale.*
Season Two was not a bad season. However, it wasn’t as strong as the first. Things that were once affective (such as extreme close-ups and dramatic music) became jarring and annoying. What also didn’t help season 2 of the Handmaid’s Tale was some of the writing choices. This was apparent with how Nick was written. But as I said, it’s not a bad season.
Here are my hopes for season three:
- Character motives that make sense
- Great performances (although that’s obvious!)
- More information about Gilead and how it was formed
- More tension between Gilead and other countries
- An insight in how states that aren’t part of Gilead are doing
I think what would benefit Season Three of the Handmaid’s Tale is a strong sense of direction. Where is this story going? What is the future of this show in Seasons 4 & 5? What can we expect next? Often, The Handmaid’s Tale seems to be contained in single seasons. I would love to see a stronger focus within the show. The Handmaid’s Tale knows what it wants to say, but I feel the show could be alot more effective.
I also find comparing The Handmaid’s Tale to Breaking Bad. The first two seasons of those shows were tightly paced, yet Breaking Bad did not reach its heights until the later seasons. Introducing characters such as Gus Fring and allowing characters such as Skyler White to play key roles made for effective drama. Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale must shake things up in a huge way. I hope there is an event in this season that changes the course of the show.
A point of concern is that a constant criticism of The Handmaid’s Tale is that its too dark and bleak. Because of that criticism, I am worried that the next season will have optimistic events that may not make sense in the context of the story. I like it when The Handmaid’s Tale shows a kinder side- such as reuniting Janine with her daughter- because they have been built up and the payoff is satisfying.
Without being too snarky- people should know that The Handmaid’s Tale is a dark show, and must adjust their expectations accordingly. A show that tries to make everyone happy or content with the violence that unfolds would not be authentic. Narrative pay-off is important (I do want to see Gilead end, just like anyone else) yet it helps to have an organic build-up. Writers should not rush their ‘big moments.’
That being said, I’m looking forward to a change of pace. Constantly suffering your audience will only get you so far in terms of writing. What’s important is not the amount of violence you have in your story, but how you use it. If your story is logical, has consequences and is well written- then the use of violence will be justified in the eyes of the viewer. Something to keep in mind!
I am hoping that among the 13 episodes of season three of The Handmaid’s Tale that we continue to get fantastic storytelling.
What are your thoughts? What would you like to see in season three? Comment below, I’d love to read your thoughts!