Yes, we can: 10 shows that challenge America to be better

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The Handmaid’s Tale

What it’s about: Based on Margaret Atwood’s feminist dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the totalitarian, fundamentalist Christian regime of Gilead, formerly the United States. The series is seen through the eyes of June/Offred, a handmaid, or a fertile woman who is routinely raped and forced to bear children for Gilead’s leaders.

What it’s fighting for: If American Crime Story emphasizes the importance of remembering the past, The Handmaid’s Tale is a warning about what could happen if American life keeps going in its current direction.

The world of The Handmaid’s Tale is a nightmare. Women have no rights and their bodies are considered property of the state. They aren’t even allowed to read. Queer folks are executed as gender traitors — unless they lie about themselves, that is. There is no separation of church and state. The government can do whatever it wants with you, no questions asked.

On good days, Gilead seems far removed from America today. On bad days, there’s a clear, direct line between our current policies and those that the Commanders and Serena Joy put in place. A woman with an unviable pregnancy was just denied medication at an Arizona Walgreens. That’s only a few moves away from calling infertile females “unwomen.” June’s daughter was taken from her, as her baby will be. The same thing has been happening to thousands of other families at the border.

Overall, the message of The Handmaid’s Tale is very simple: America, you need to do everything you can to avoid this.

Where to watch: The series is streaming on Hulu. New episodes of season 2 are released Wednesdays.

Next: Missing Killing Eve? Add Fleabag to the top of your watchlist

So yes, America can do better. These shows help us understand how.