I've been watching 'The Handmaid's Tale' on a streaming service. Evidently, it met with at least some small bit of critical acclaim, and the original text was written by a known author. As a wanna-be author myself, it seemed like a reasonable thing to waste some time on. I have to admit, it does seem to be very well-written, and the acting and production value isn't bad either.
It is, however, a pretty tough watch from a thematic point of view. I really can't say I understand why so much of the stuff we see in pop-culture anymore is so brutal. I'm no flower child, and I read the description before I clicked on the show, so I had an idea what I was getting into, but...
Did I need to see a guy getting his arm cut off? How about the rapist that the girls beat to death with their bare hands? The bottoms of Offred's feet after she was beaten? All of the bodies hanging from the church ceiling?
I know one of the most basic rules of writing is 'show, don't tell'. It kind of seems like taking the easy way out to use all of this gruesome imagery instead of writing through it. I'm not the published author that got my work picked up by a hot-new studio and made into an award-winning mini series, but there has to be a way to make the depiction of hardship and violence more situational and a little less visual.
Don't get me wrong, Offred/June is an interesting character. The thing I'm discovering through my on writing is the hero needs to have luck break her way every once in a while. I think the closest Offred got to having things far in her direction was getting away with having sex with Nick.
You can't JUST beat on even your hero. NO ONE has bad luck all of the time. Gotta let a little light in sometimes - it actually makes a story more real.