The 18 Best TV Episodes Of 2017
Created by GameSpot Staff on
4. "Offred" (The Handmaid's Tale)
You won't find a more brightly lit TV show in 2017 than The Handmaid's Tale. This luminescence is an essential contrast to the darkness and oppression that permeates throughout much of the show. Superbly adapted from Margaret Atwood's 1985 speculative fiction novel, The Handmaid's Tale follows the life of Offred in the aftermath of an American civil war in the 21st Century. Along with establishing the characters and setting the themes, the inaugural episode--named after Offred--effectively reveals a frightening world were fertile women are politicized and managed. These are the handmaidens, whose function is to bear children on behalf of women at the top of the social hierarchy. Flashbacks to Offred's initial days as a handmaiden and life before the civil war adds engaging context but more importantly, gets you more invested in an already enthralling character, superbly portrayed by Elisabeth Moss. Her deliberate facial close-ups by director of photography, Colin Watkinson capture her anguish and contemplation. Yet before despair has a chance to completely set in, the episode ends showing Moss' determination to escape, conveying a sliver of optimism in a show that only gets darker as its 10-episode season progresses. And before the cut to credits, the quietly defiant Offred declares her resolve by reminding the viewer of her real name: June.