During a meeting last week I visualized flipping over a desk, smashing a Perrier bottle on the window sill, and holding its glinting, jagged points millimeters from the throat of man who said he “didn’t love” Margaret Atwood and had “less than no interest in watching The Handmaid’s Tale.” Reed, I tell you this not just to illustrate how a verdant imagination can help one survive Hollywood meetings, but also to say how much I’m enjoying The Handmaid’s Tale.
I had heard the show would be “pretty” and that a director-née-cinematographer would be doing the first three episodes and I thought, “okay fine just mainline Margaret Atwood into my veins I don’t care how it looks.” But then I watched and WOW. It’s beautiful, but not always. It’s funny, which I didn’t expect. And it’s brilliant at conveying the whole point of The Handmaid’s Tale – that oppression isn’t just our past and maybe future, it’s very much our present. Props to the writers OF COURSE but you created a world that’s the perfect mix of naturalism and formalism— beautiful airy memories contrasted with lenses so wide and oppressive Elisabeth Moss must have hit her head on them four times a day.
When I looked you up I realized I already knew you from the “You Are Not Safe” episode of Halt and Catch Fire which is very, very good. Aside from writing gushy letters to female directors, my other life’s work is to get people to skip season 1 and dive into seasons 2 and 3 of Halt and Catch Fire with their whole hearts. I haven’t yet seen your feature Meadowland because I can’t handle bad-things-happening-to-kids movies anymore but co-founder Laura says it’s excellent and she’s the one who told me about Halt and Catch Fire. Reed, have you ever fallen so hard for someone you can’t wait to see what they’ll be like in 5, 10, or 20 years? Because that’s how I feel about you.