If you had any misconceptions about what “The Handmaid’s Tale” is about, Hulu has some marketing that’ll drive its point home.
According to one new character poster released by the streaming service on Thursday, it’s a “f—ing nightmare.”
Hulu released nine new character posters the day after the show’s premiere, featuring each of the main characters standing in front of a gray background with a blunt message behind it. The one featuring series lead Elisabeth Moss is the most jarring, saying that “the future is a f—ing nightmare.” Others almost rip from today’s headlines, with slogans like “this is not ordinary,” and “your body is no longer your own.”
Based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, “The Handmaid’s Tale” takes place in Gilead, a brutal theocratic state established after fanatics overthrow the U.S. government where women are stripped of all rights and enslaved by the state. To deal with a population crisis stemming from a declining birth rate, fertile women are enslaved and forced to become handmaids, surrogate mothers for the rich and powerful whose subjugation is justified on religious grounds.
The show doesn’t pull any punches, forcing audiences to confront directly the abuse and the discomfort of living in a nightmare like that. The marketing for the show isn’t pulling any punches either, with real-life installations and performances, such as one exhibition in New York featuring 4,000 copies of the novel that people can remove, or groups of handmaids walking around recent festivals like SXSW and the Los Angeles Festival of Books.
Check out the character posters below.