1. The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-present)
Hulu’s golden egg, and the first-ever streaming series to win Best Drama Series at the Emmys. Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s classic speculative fiction novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale was a risky endeavor. The book is short, and purposely nonspecific about location, physical appearances, and timelines. On page, that vagueness is a boon: the story feels timeless and insidious, like it could happen at any moment. But a show has to be more physically literal, and The Handmaid’s Tale ran the risk of being too seen.
Luckily, the series was in excellent hands. Elisabeth Moss -- as both producer and lead actress – was perfectly suited to the material. As the “handmaid” Offred -- a fertile woman tasked with providing a child to a commander in a dystopian world where environmental issues have made reproduction difficult, and the government is ruled by a totalitarian Evangelical regime -- Moss is pure feminine rage in a porcelain box. The storytelling is brutal and unflinching, depicting the physical and emotional suppression of female autonomy at every turn. But it’s also hopeful, aspirational, and the perfect series for Trump-era America.