Who is the best actor in The Handmaid's Tale, a show that only features good actors?
The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 on Hulu may be fascinating, but so much of it is so damned bleak that it wasn't really fun to watch. It was far bleaker than Margret Atwood's novel that inspired the series. The finale may have rectified that. With the Emmy nominations coming out on June 12, it will be interesting to learn who the "professionals" think should make it into the home stretch.
In a cast where there are no stinkers... Really, everyone is very good. Even the extras work well. It is very hard to differentiate between good and great and in this season, everyone was good. Heck, most were even great, but only one was exceptional and that was the least celebrated member of the regular cast and that person is Yvonne Strahovski.
Elisabeth Moss, Ann Dowd and the show itself reigned supreme at awards shows last year and it will likely do the same thing this year.
In fact, Season 1 earned eight Primetime Emmy Awards from 13 nominations. It won five awards and was the first streaming series to win the award for Outstanding Drama Series.
Similar accolades took place with the Golden Globes. And Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, Alexis Bledel, Cherry Jones, Sydney Sweeney, Amanda Bruegel, Madeline Brewer, Bradley Whitford and everyone else is fantastic too.
Awards and accolades have benefited everyone associated with the show, but subtlety isn't appreciated as well as it should be. How hard is it to portray someone both loathsome and likable in the same hour show? That honor only goes to Yvonne Strahovski, aka Serena.
Serena is nuanced, complicated and often unsympathetic. The acting chops brought to this character took a special amount of finesse and restraint.
The episode seemed to follow in the bleak trajectory of this season, but the moment Serena got the other wives to band together to complain to the leadership, the tone of this one was a little different.
It didn't go well. She got punished. She recalculated her position...
Using Eden's bible with handwritten notes in the margins was an exceptionally nice touch, but the results didn't end up so well.
Emily seemed like she was going to be tortured or worse by her new Of-man, but in reality, he, at least for now, appears to be a decent man who wished, for now, harm to come to Of-Lawrence--uh, Emily.
June appealed to Serena's sense of decency and begged for her to take the baby away because she couldn't grow up in this awful place.
What are you prepared to do to best ensure the welfare of your child? Well, these women of Gilead worked together for the benefit of one person. The Three Musketeers would be very proud.
The final scene is riveting, but the best part about it is the fact that disparate women worked together to help baby Nicole aka Holly.
However, the show ended on a better note than almost all of the entire second season was on, and for that, I am incredibly grateful. The big moments for me in this season all involved Yvonne Strahovski and I hope she gets professional recognition for them.
Still, anyone who may be head-to-head with Diana Rigg's last moments in Game of Thrones will have a fight ahead of them.
The Handmaid's Tale streams on Hulu and the Emmy award nominations come out on July 12.