Hulu stands on precarious footing at the moment as it strives to develop into a genuine threat to Netflix in the streaming wars. Though the former struck a nice blow when The Handmaid’s Tale claimed the streaming industry’s first-ever Best Drama award at the Emmys, but despite Hulu’s rapid growth, it is still considered the little sibling to Netflix’s vast library and unmatched content budget.
Hulu isn’t suddenly going to jump from 17 million worldwide subscribers (the service is currently available in the U.S. and Japan) to anything approaching Netflix’s 118 million, but a second season of The Handmaid’s Tale which manages to meet the built-up hype would boost its cultural cache.
Nothing can kill brand appeal like a disappointing follow up; just ask True Detective.
That is why it was crucial for the series to have a strong showing at PaleyFest in Los Angeles over the weekend, and by all accounts, the cast and crew effectively whet the appetites of hungry fans by teasing what’s to come in the fast-approaching second season.
“Her character’s a lot more of a rebel and feistier,” showrunner Bruce Miller said of Elisabeth Moss’ Offred/June, according to THR. “She’s having a lot more of trouble as Offred hiding June, so that stuff comes out more. She’s also getting to know and building a relationship with Serena that even though they wouldn’t like it to turn out that way is getting more honest.”
Speaking of Serena, the calcified wife of Commander Waterford played with icy steel by Yvonne Strahovski, the character was shown to be making a fiery declaration to Moss’ protagonist in exclusive footage shown at PaleyFest.
“I’d like to be clear. I will not have any more recalcitrance. All of your disruptions and all of your games and secrets, all of that smart girl bullshit is finished, you hear me?” Serena bellows. “Don’t get upset, Serena, it’s bad for the baby,” Offred answers.
According to the powers that be, season two will mostly focus on the dueling narratives of motherhood and the idea that “Gilead is within you.”
“When we start the season [Offred] has a child and in this explosive, volatile chess game of season two, all her moves are for that unborn child and what life will be for that unborn child,” executive producer Warren Littlefield said.
He also revealed that the sophomore effort will detail how the United States of America fell and Gilead rose in its place. In addition, fans will get a first-hand look at the Colonies, lands outside of Gilead that have been destroyed by toxic waste and nuclear exposure. It is there where we will find Alexis Bledel’s Ofglen in season two.
Given the heightened stakes of each character’s situation at the moment, it’s no surprise that Littlefield warned the audience that “anyone could die.” However, Miller had a keen counterpoint.
“The terrible thing about Gilead is that sometimes the worst-case scenario is that they don’t die.”
The Handmaid’s Tale season two will debut on Hulu on April 25.