Blessed be the fruit and may the Lord open; the grim and dystopian The Handmaid's Tale was renewed for season 3 on Hulu. The series, based on a book by Margaret Atwood, depicts a future United States that becomes a male-dominated theocracy called Gilead that limits women to certain roles: mainly wives and handmaids, though there are other roles like Marthas and Aunts. For those wives who cannot have children (something that became a problem for families in this version of America), the fertile handmaids must mate with those wives' husbands in an effort to create children.
The handmaids are essentially the slaves of the household, and even give up their names to take on the names of the men they belong to. They must live under the rule of the land, as well as that of the Aunts, a matron who makes sure that they fulfill their roles to the best of their ability or suffer the consequences. Meanwhile, there are the Eyes, the republic of Gilead's secret police force. Handmaids who do not fall in line get beaten, mutilated or sent to the Colonies, where they must labor hard under radioactive conditions without protection. The series stars Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, and Samira Wiley. It quickly became a hit for Hulu when it premiered in 2017, garnering both critical and fan acclaim. Season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale recently debuted on Hulu.
Related: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Review
Now, fans will get even more of Gilead and the stories of these women as Hulu announced the streaming service renewed the series for a third season. It's unclear when exactly season 3 will premiere, but it's likely to be in 2019.
This is not a huge surprise: Last year, The Handmaid's Tale won an Outstanding Drama Series Emmy, making Hulu the first streaming subscription service to win that award. The series also received the 2018 Peabody Award. Although it has only aired three episodes of its second season, critics and fans are already claiming that it's just as good the second time around. So far, this season has focused on Offred's attempted escape from Gilead, as well as following up on Emily's back story as a gay woman in an increasingly anti-gay world, as well as her present time laboring in the Colonies.
Although the series finds its inspiration from Atwood's book, a third season means that the show will need to find stories outside of the book to continue. But no one can deny that although it has already taken some liberties from its original material, that The Handmaid's Tale is required, if often uncomfortable, viewing.
The Handmaid's Tale debuts new episodes every Wednesday on Hulu