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If you, like over 100 million others, will be gathered around an array of nachos, pretzels, and brats this Sunday; then you might catch a few of the acclaimed and illustrious Super Bowl commercials. This prime time TV spot for ads and trailers not only reaches millions of viewers, but also costs millions of dollars.
But it’s not surprising that Hulu is willing to invest in promoting The Handmaid’s Tale, which is the first Hulu original series to be given the immense advertising opportunity of the Super Bowl, according to Variety. The show is based on Margaret Atwood’s novel by the same name: a mysterious dystopian story that seems both futuristic and archaic. Each woman’s place among the rigidly controlled sexual, religious, and class politics is now literally worn on her sleeve. Women in red are simultaneously envied, shunned, abhorred, valued, and resented. The “Eyes of God,” or “the Eyes” as Atwood describes them, could be anywhere at any time and resemble Big Brother more than any deity. Offred, our protagonist, lives under the constant threat of death. But then again, so does everyone else. Like The Man in the High Castle, The Handmaid’s Tale asks “What if…?”
Though Margaret Atwood’s novel was published in 1985, this new series will not ignore current events; including Donald Trump’s election. Emma Dibdin reported for Esquire and quoted lead actress Elisabeth Moss in saying that the team was “fascinated and horrified by the parallels” to modern society. Joseph Fiennes (playing The Commander) also expressed that in terms of gendered relationships and power, there are “so many takeaways politically, but also domestically.”
The Super Bowl trailer also features Alexis Bledel who Gilmore Girls fans know as Rory, but they will hardly recognize her in this uncanny and hair-raising world of Atwood’s.
Although Hulu consistently trails in subscribers compared to Netflix, The Handmaid’s Tale will certainly help boost subscriptions, as the series is a Hulu exclusive and won’t be available on your traditional TV networks.
So, “What if… an extremist Christian society overthrew the United States government and established a total and rigid rule?” The answer is tantalizingly teased in the appropriately spooky voice over of Elisabeth Moss in the scenes of the trailer. Viewers will have to wait until April 26th to get the details, but if you can’t wait that long then there is always the novel, or even the 1990 film of The Handmaid’s Tale, to hold you over.
If you’re planning to use your commercial breaks to heat up wings and break out a second round of onion dip, or you won’t be catching the Super Bowl this year, then check out the trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale here: