Tag Archives: Dystopia

Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu

So this is the show that I need to find a way to watch. Everything that I have read about it makes  me want to watch it, but unfortunately right now we do not have Hulu. We ended up switching to Netlix because there were more original shows that we were watching and Hulu lost access to the CW. At the same time the question is will The Handmaid’s Tale become available to purchase somewhere else eventually or will it only be available on Hulu for such a long time that I want to just watch it there? It isn’t really like much can be given away because it is based on a book, but sitting around seeing these gorgeous visuals and hearing about the performances of some amazing actors and actresses just makes me want to watch it even more.

Actors

So the main character is played by Elizabeth Moss who everyone says is amazing, which I do not doubt. It sounds like much of her acting is about silent subtle facial expressions while her voice over tells the audience her true underlying feelings. That alone makes for such an interesting way to tell the story. In a world where saying anything against the ruling people could mean death our thoughts are the only way to rebel. Now Moss is joined with Samira Wiley, Alexis Bedel, and Ralph Fiennes all whom I have loved in other things. The little I have seen of clips and trailers all of the actors look incredible in their scenes.

Timely

There is an amazing timeliness to this series coming out now. When we see some groups who would probably be willing to see women no longer working and men should be in control it is hard not to imagine a world where this is possible because it happens. It is good to look at these dystopian futures and remember the perseverance, but also know that we do not want that to happen. These stories are important warnings about what has happened and what could happen. The ideas of many dystopias are not far off from things that have come before. People have turned a blind eye to small changes before until finally the world is on fire and they wonder how it got that far.

Hulu or Not Hulu

So the big question though is that do I want it enough to possibly pay for Hulu again. Now we could just plan for a month to try and watch the whole series, but do we really want to do that? If we get hooked then that means that we will want to pay again for the second season. The other option is to wait until it potentially comes out on DVD or to purchase digital and basically take the risk of just buying it. I am already watching so many shows, but this one just seems so poignant and the rave reviews just make it seem like a show that needs to be seen.

What do you think?

Introducing Science Fiction Saturdays!

Hello dear readers! We’ve been looking for some new ongoing series to run, and one that has been kicking around is a Science Fiction series. Since alliteration and the Internet are good friends, Science Fiction Friday or Science Fiction Saturday seemed good… and we’re going with Saturday!

If you’ve been reading us a while, you know that we love Science Fiction. We used to have a number of ongoing Science Fiction based series which we did not carry over to the new site necessarily, but which might be something you can expect to see on Science Fiction Saturdays. Here are some of the science fiction related articles you might see:

  • Science Fiction Today. This was one of the most fun series that we’ve run on Comparative Geeks. I think that the explanation of what the series was about was best explained as being about Wicked Problems: social or technological issues today that, in science fiction, we can look at the world after a resolution of the problem one way or another. We also tended to look at how science fiction often looks at both sides of a resolution, towards Utopia or towards Dystopia.
  • Science Fiction and Religion. This series kicked off after reading the book A Case of Conscience, and got us thinking about how science fiction either has religion but lacks aliens, or the opposite. There are some interesting topics or case studies there, and there may be some more to explore in the future.
  • Products of the Apocalypse. Okay, it needed a name, and here it is! This is a new series, exploring the thought that, if society started to crumble or we ended up in a post-apocalyptic setting or dystopia, what about our everyday items? What can we not survive without, or what would be good to have? We’ll see how this one goes, but there’s plenty to talk about here if all goes well!
  • Hannah’s Star Trek posts. Part of the reason that Saturday seemed like a good day for this is that Hannah already runs a Star Trek post each month, generally on the first Saturday. They’ve been great so far, and there’s a lot more Star Trek for her to watch as she goes through all the series!
  • And more! Yeah, probably doesn’t need an explanation.

So come back each week for more Science Fiction goodness! And do you want to write something for Science Fiction Saturday? Have an idea for something for us to write? Let us know in the comments below, or message us on Facebook or Twitter!

Audio

Comparative Opinions: End of the World Stories – Episode 19

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! It’s the end of the world as we know it, or at least, it might be with the election this week! In honor of that, hosts David and Holly – along with submissions from fans – lay out examples of End of the World stories, including some of our favorites. Spoilers abound for various apocalypses and post-apocalypses (and especially for the Final Fantasy XIII series)! Hopefully, we’ll all still be here to have an episode next week…

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

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Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Science Fiction Today – American Exceptionalism

One of the most American things I've ever seen...

One of the most American things I’ve ever seen… 

Something that has been a big topic this year has been America as a superpower – America the Great, It’s a topic probably in most presidential election years, but especially this year. The idea of American Exceptionalism is old, perhaps, tied up in revolution, manifest destiny, and all the rest; but it is most especially a result of the Cold War, and the need to posture from a position of strength against the USSR.

However, not a lot of Science Fiction includes a strong America. Indeed, often not a lot of nations at all. Sometimes a world government, and sometimes corporations are the new organization of power. Or some of both. Or a breakdown of society after an apocalyptic event. Or a new government arising after such a breakdown, like in The Hunger Games.

The main country I see showing up in a lot of Science Fiction is England, because England prevails. Takes them back to the Blitz I suppose. England just kind of keeps prevailing…

Still, throughout all of that, there’s not a lot of nations in Science Fiction. Instead, it tends to be a view past them, to either a united front or back to smaller and local force. Or perhaps to some form of future Americanization. Where does America go in all of this?

One answer might be that we still kind of see it, see democracy in action, when you get to multi-world governments. Like the Federation in Star Trek or the government on the Citadel in Mass Effect. In those examples, it’s the whole world being represented by the one agency, the one government. The whole human race.

And so maybe that’s the view we should be taking. It’s not about what’s only good for America. Not in the long run. The smaller and more local we’re thinking – even if that’s a nation – the more that we resemble a dystopia. The broader we look, the more we think of the whole world, the whole race – the more that we resemble a utopia.

Science Fiction and Religion – The Apocalypse

Is there just an apocalypse waiting?

From Avengers #3 by Jonathan Hickman.

I love Hickman’s Avengers. I’ve written about that fact before, and especially one of the things I love about his Marvel work – and his other comics – is how he works with both science and mythology. In Avengers, especially, he works on larger, over-arching mythology for the whole Marvel Universe. Its origins… and its ending.

That ending was last summer’s big crossover event, Secret Wars. I reviewed that recently. But it was a lot of time and comics leading into it, not just one crossover and everything is over. The apocalypse did not happen suddenly, although it may have felt that way if you were reading other titles… or just reading about the whole thing in the press about it.

No, in reading the whole thing, the buildup and then the collapse, I got to thinking of two things. One is the obvious, I suppose: other apocalyptic literature. Religious especially, the sort that seeps out into shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We were reading a lot of the book of Daniel recently at church, and it’s also just chock full of apocalyptic dreams and visions. So the end of the world: symbolism, signs, and things that are either super literal or completely metaphorical…

The second thing I was thinking of, however, was the Final Fantasy XIII series, wherein the world ends between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. In particular, at the end of XIII-2, time itself ends, and the power of death along with it… but as Mr. Fantastic might say, everything dies, and ever so slowly that world does too.

Taken all together, you get what I considered as the alternate title to this blog post: how to end the universe.

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