The Golden Globe-winning series, "The Handmaid’s Tale," will return Wednesday, April 25, 2018, on Hulu. The series is an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel of the same name. It is set in Gilead, where members of a religious cult known as the Sons of Jacob have destroyed the United States as we know it. Women are considered property of their husbands and are forbidden to read. Homosexuality is punishable by death. In the face of an infertility crisis, fertile women, known as handmaids, are enslaved and given to powerful commanders to bear their children.

The series stars Elizabeth Moss as Offred, one such handmaid, whose family was destroyed during the formation of Gilead. She navigates the physical and emotional challenges of the oppressive new society and joins a forbidden resistance movement called Mayday. Her ultimate goal is to be reunited with her family, even as she struggles to survive the regime. Moss won a Golden Globe for her performance. Joseph Fiennes, Samara Wiley, and Alexis Bledel co-star.

Adaptation of dystopian novel

Atwood’s award-winning novel was originally published in 1985. For the most part, the story in the series is similar to the one in the book, but there are some discrepancies. The series has incorporated technology such as cell phones and laptops to modernize the story.

Other characters are given a point of view that didn't exist in the novel. However, not all the differences are minor. For example, race is much more involved in the book than it is in the show. Gilead from the novel is basically an all-white society, but in the series, several major characters are people of color and aren’t discriminated against due to their race.

The decision to not comment on race has drawn criticism for the Hulu series.

It is unclear what the second season will entail since the first season left off where the novel did and there was no sequel. It is said Bledel's character will take on a larger role. Whatever may be in store for Offred, fans are excited to see what new direction the show will be taken in and are eagerly awaiting the first episode.

The secret to the series' success

The show is widely popular. Some attribute the series’ success to the political climate in which it was released. With the polarizing election of Donald Trump in the US and the controversy surrounding his treatment of women, it isn’t hard to see why. President Trump has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple women and has made crude remarks concerning women in general. Many voters feel his election was a step in the wrong direction for women. Similarly concerning to voters were the allegations of homophobia against Vice President Mike Pence.

Atwood's novel is considered a feminist literary masterpiece which warns about the dangers of foregoing separation of church and state.

The series seems to offer an ominous look into a future that doesn’t respect women or people of different sexual orientations and has been specifically tailored to mirror today's social and political movements. One of the first season's most powerful scenes features a protest march which is eerily similar to the Women's March of January 2017, until it turns violent and Gilead's militant forces take over.

This tone has resonated powerfully with audiences in a time of political uncertainty and polarization. There's no indication that this will change any time soon, so it's safe to say "The Handmaid's Tale" will enjoy a second successful season.