Return to Gilead: 10 shows to check out if you miss The Handmaid’s Tale

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Black Mirror

What it’s about: This buzzy anthology series presents all the different ways technology will ruin (is ruining?) humanity. Occasionally, there’s an episode such as “Hang the DJ” or “San Junipero” that isn’t completely bleak, but they’re definitely the exceptions that prove the rule.

The Gilead connection: Well, for one thing, the little cuff June cuts out of her ear in Handmaid’s season 2 premiere (which is eventually replaced, by the way), could be straight out of Black Mirror. It’s a tracking device that makes sure no one ever gets lost and treats adult women as children, or cattle. There’s a Black Mirror episode if I’ve ever heard one.

The real bond between the series, however, is their shared sense of foreboding towards the future. The various situations of Black Mirror are set in a not-too-distant future, or, depending on your interpretation, a parallel present. Same goes for The Handmaid’s Tale. Neither is exactly optimistic about our prospects, but this is the rare case in which THT is actually the more hopeful show.

According to Black Mirror, we’re all screwed. But, while The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t sugarcoating anything — humanity has messed up, royally — it suggests things can be repaired. Gilead can be taken down as long as June and the resistance refuse to give up.

So, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but after a Black Mirror marathon, The Handmaid’s Tale might actually be the thing to lift your spirits.

Where to watch: All of Black Mirror’s episodes to date are streaming on Netflix. It has been renewed for a fifth season.