There are some shows you just don’t forget about. I’ve been thinking about 3, in particular, ever since I first watched them. I thought I’d clue you in, just in case you haven’t given them a chance yet. Filled with racism, gender discrimination, sexual assault, genocide, war, domestic violence, and addiction, none of these are light topics, so tread lightly.
Let me just throw a big disclaimer out there – these ain’t clean. They’re what you would consider… explicit shows. Big Little Lies and Westworld are HBO, which means they’re very HBOish. AKA, they’re usually known for having some pretty rough scenes. But! As I’ve mentioned a million times in the past, I believe you can learn something from everything, and if you’re able to move past some graphic content, I think you can enter into some really necessary conversations. On the other hand, I don’t know what triggers you. I don’t know what your convictions are. So if you feel like you shouldn’t watch these, then absolutely follow that. 100% respect there. My personal experience has been a positive one, where I was left with many thought-provoking questions, more empathy, and a few challenging ideas, but I could totally see why you may not want to watch these. I’m in agreement with you that the majority of the explicit content is pretty unnecessary.
Okay enough disclaimers, amirite? Let’s go!
The Handmaid’s Tale
Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, this series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude.
Holy mother, was this crap INTENSE. I was sucked in from the very beginning. Like, I don’t think I breathed at all for the first 4 or 5 episodes. The storyline freaks. me. out. I seemed to notice a central theme of using religion as an (1) excuse and (2) form of manipulation. Obviously not to the extent of this show, but I do see subtle hints of this in society today, and I think that’s why this shook me so badly. Honestly, I still think about it. They’ve used religion as a way to control people. I saw this type of spiritual abuse while counseling in domestic violence and it’s this overwhelming question of, how can you say no to God? I’m so intrigued and interested, because more often than not, faith starts in a pure form. And somehow, someway, it ends up being more about the power and control, and the point is completely missed. Where does it shift?
The storyline = fascinating, terrifying
The actors = incredible
Season 2 starts April 25th.
The Handmaid’s Tale swept the Emmy’s and took a million other awards home over the last few months as well.
Big Little Lies
“Big Little Lies” weaves a darkly comedic tale of murder and mischief in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey, Calif. Amidst doting moms, successful husbands, beautiful children, and stunning homes exists a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-nots, exposing fractured relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors.
I watched this last year in real time, and there were a couple times when I almost had to stop watching. I was counseling both survivors and abusers of domestic violence at the time, and it was incredibly hard to watch. Although the stories my clients were telling me were true and real life, for whatever reason, Big Little Lies heightened the severity of what so many go through everyday. I was now seeing what I had been hearing and it scared me. In the end, I did finish. I found this show to be one of the most accurate depictions of DV I’ve seen portrayed on TV. They did a really, really excellent job. Word on the street is Meryl Streep is joining the cast for the upcoming season, so YAY. Didn’t think it was possible to make the cast even better. Apparently it is.
The storyline = necessary
The actors = STACKED
Season 2 doesn’t start until ‘at least 2019’……………… (don’t ask me how I feel about this.)
Like The Handmaid’s Tale, Big Little Lies also won a million awards.
Westworld isn’t your typical amusement park. Intended for rich vacationers, the futuristic park — which is looked after by robotic “hosts” — allows its visitors to live out their fantasies through artificial consciousness. No matter how illicit the fantasy may be, there are no consequences for the park’s guests, allowing for any wish to be indulged.
Gosh. This was such an interesting show. It’s very smart, filled with subtle clues, and major plot-twists. The central theme of this show just baffles me. Creating a story where people are allowed to indulge in whatever fantasy they choose? Fascinating. It was intriguing that even after the character’s continual gratification in their fantasies, there still seemed to be something… lacking. I heard a super impactful message one time about how healthy rules and guidelines actually leave you feeling freer, as opposed to this “live free, do what you want” lifestyle so many in our society have adopted. I’m curious where this next season will go, and how this concept will unfold.
The storyline = very intriguing
The actors = I mean…James Marsden. What else do I gotta say?
Season 2 starts April 22nd.
Have you seen any of these shows? What did you love? What did you hate? Do you think watching mature content is okay and why?
I’d really love to hear your thoughts.