Hester Prynne, the Puritan character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, never misses an episode of #TheHandmaid’s Tale. While the show, famously based on the book by #MargaretAtwood, has been touted as showing what life would be like for women under an ultra-conservative regime (think Reagan era on steroids), Hester sees it more as a stark portrayal of gender politics. Men traditionally want women to fall into one of four categories: sexual objects, wives, maids or fertility totems. In Gilead, they have achieved their desire. The heroine, June Osborne, is played by #ElisabethMoss with gutsy stoicism. June is first imprisoned within the Gilead system, forced to be a red-clad child-bearer or “handmaid” for the upper echelon, then later rebels; either way Moss is always in control. Her no-nonsense acting style and unconventional beauty (you want to look at her face) work for the role. The show has always been steeped in darkness, literally broken up only by the handmaids’ scarlet cloaks and the wives’ teal day dresses. Unfortunately in this, the last season of the tale, even Hester has found the show to be a dreary torture-fest. We don’t need to see yet another “Martha” pushed off a wall or June waterboarded. The love affair between June and fellow-rebel Nick (the only sympathetic male character) provide bursts of lyricism yet are executed–forgive the word–with unforgivable clumsiness. However, the subject matter still makes for compelling TV.
Hester, who also loves to watch classic movies, cannot help but compare the masochistic quality of June to characters played by #JoanCrawford, the 40’s screen idol later accused of abusing her own children (in real life she might have had borderline personality disorder, as did #MarilynMonroe). When you think of Ofred aka June you might not automatically channel Mildred Pierce or Blanche Hudson (Joan’s character in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane), but once you do the images remain. Depicting June, Moss gives off some of the same masochistic vibes not to mention superior cheekbones.