Watch the first trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale season 2
The award-winning show returns for a second series, and the first trailer suggests that life in the Republic of Gilead will be even more bleak for women – but resistance could be in the air
The Handmaid’s Tale premiered in April 2017 and became one of the most talked-about shows of the year, not least for seeming to tap into the political bleakness brought about by Donald Trump becoming US President and the cultural shift represented by the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. A second series is set to air in April, and the first trailer suggests that life for Elizabeth Moss’s Offred and her fellow handmaids is going to get even more harrowing, although the trailer – which is set to a haunting rendition of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound) by Malia J – also shows that signs of hope and resistance are in the air.
Based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale imagines a dystopian near-future where women have been stripped of their rights, and the action of season two will extend beyond the book’s story. Atwood is still very much creatively involved in proceedings, however. “Margaret and I started talking about season two in the middle of season one,” showrunner Bruce Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. “She plays a huge role. She's the mother of us all. Usually when you adapt a classic book, you're not lucky enough to have the author around. We are very lucky to not just have her around, but very much energetic and involved.”
As we as a society continue to reckon with Trump’s presidency and problems of misogyny and sexual harassment around us, expect parallels to appear in what the characters in the show continue to deal with. “You can't avoid the influence,” says Miller. “Our writing staff is a news junky [sic] bunch, very politically active and thinking a lot about politics, very engaged in the world. Most of [the writing staff] has children and they think about what the world will mean for them. It's a big influence on the way you think about everything in your life, which definitely bleeds into the story-making process.”
Take a look at the trailer for season 2 in the player above (or on Hulu’s Youtube channel).
The Handmaid’s Tale returns on 25 April in the US; the UK broadcast dates on Channel 4 are yet to be announced
Scroll on to read Ceris Aston's feature on why dystopias such as Handmaid's Tale and 1984 are connecting so strongly in the age of Trump, and just how close a reflection of reality they are