Analysing The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 trailer and news

Alex Moreland
Contributor
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

The Handmaid’s Tale was one of the best new dramas of 2017; an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, it managed to be one of those rare few adaptations that in fact improved upon its source material.

It’s returning for a second season in 2018, which will be released on April 25th. Today, at the Television Critics Association press tour in California, showrunner Bruce Miller, executive producer Warren Littlefield and star Elisabeth Moss revealed some additional details about the upcoming second season.

A trailer for the second season was also released, which you can watch here:

Read on for some analysis and dissection of the trailer, as well as what Miller, Littlefield and Moss revealed at their TCA Panel…

How will the show work, now it’s gone beyond the book?

The Handmaid’s Tale’s first season ended in pretty much the same place as the original novel – with Offred being arrested – which in turn begs the question of just where the series will go now.

It won’t be entirely new material, of course. At the panel, Bruce Miller noted that “We saved a lot of things from Season 1. We kept a nice long list” and went on to describe Season 2 as “an expansion of that world. We’re not exiting that world [of the novel] at all.”

In some respects, though, season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale will act as a sequel to the original story – a very intriguing prospect.

Who is Marisa Tomei playing?

One thing revealed about The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 is that it’s going to guest star Marisa Tomei – according to showrunner Bruce Miller, she’ll appear in the second episode as the show begins to explore the colonies.

Obviously, the above isn’t a lot to go on in terms of working out who Marisa Tomei is going to be playing. However, the fact we know she’ll be appearing in the colonies could suggest that Tomei might be playing Offred’s mother. Mentioned only briefly in the television series, the original novel does discuss Offred’s mother a little more – and says that, as far as June knew, her mother was in the colonies.

Introducing Offred’s mother to the series could potentially be quite an interesting angle to explore – particularly given that, as Elisabeth Moss says, the main theme of this season will be motherhood.

What will the resistance look like?

One thing that stands out in the season 2 trailer is a brief clip of a protest sign bearing the legend “resist” – something that might seem a little out of place in the dystopian future of Gilead. Nonetheless, it’s a potentially very interesting plotline for the series to consider, particular given how it mirrors popular protests going on in America at the moment.

It’s worth considering, though, is when these protests are taking place. It’s perhaps just as likely (if not maybe moreso) that the above is part of a flashback, particularly given that season 2 is set to explore the origins of Gilead.

What might the fire symbolise?

The trailer ends with a few flames snaking their way across the screen, the logo appearing as the last remaining cinders rise up. It’s a potent image – one that might couple with the idea of the resistance, suggesting a plan to burn the regime to the ground.

Alternatively, it might be more metaphorical – alluding to how the events of season 1 acted as a crucible for Offred, and how she’ll start season 2 in a much different place.

In amongst all the speculation, though, one thing can be said for certain – The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 will be another fantastic piece of television.

Related:

The Handmaid’s Tale is most effective in its intimacy

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