Praise be: The Handmaid's Tale season 4 is bringing all of the heart-pumping dystopian drama you've come to expect from the series.
The action-packed finale of season three of the Hulu hit, which is based on the acclaimed 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, aired all the way back in August 2019—yes, in the B.C. or Before COVID times—and fans have been waiting with Offred-like fury for the show's return ever since.
Like most TV productions, filming was delayed due to pandemic restrictions last year, but now The Handmaid's Tale season 4 is finally here to answer all of our burning questions, like 'How will Mayday strike next?' and 'What will happen with June and Nick's baby?' and 'Will Gilead and Canada go to war?'
And from the looks of things, the cast and crew are gunning full-speed through all of the twists and turns this new batch of episodes will be throwing at us. Here's everything you need to know about The Handmaid's Tale season 4, including how to watch in the US and UK.
How to watch 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 4?
In the US, The Handmaid's Tale season 4 is currently streaming on Hulu, as are the previous three seasons of the show. The first three episodes of the fourth season dropped on the platform on April 28, 2021; each subsequent episode will be aired individually every Wednesday until the season 4 finale on June 16.
Unlike the previous two seasons, which were 13 episodes each, The Handmaid's Tale season 4 is only 10 episodes.
For UK viewers, the previous three seasons, The Handmaid's Tale season 4 was broadcast on Channel 4 starting on June 20, 2021
Watch 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 4 trailer
Who is in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 4 cast?
The central character of June/Offred is played by Elisabeth Moss on the series, who also serves as an executive producer and director of three episodes on The Handmaid's Tale season 4.
Also returning to the cast for the fourth season is Joseph Fiennes as Commander Waterford, Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, Max Minghella as Nick, Samira Wiley as Moira, Alexis Bledel as Emily, Madeline Brewer as Janine, O. T. Fagbenle as Luke, and Amanda Brugel as Rita.
Bradley Whitford has been upgraded to the main cast in season 4, playing Commander Joseph Lawrence, as has Sam Jaeger as operative Mark Tuello.
Fresh faces in The Handmaid's Tale season 4 cast include McKenna Grace as Esther Keyes, a teenage girl married to a much older Commander, and Zawe Ashton as Moira's new girlfriend in Canada.
What is 'The Handmaid's Tale' about?
Like Atwood's seminal book, the TV series centers on Offred (Elisabeth Moss), née June, a strong-willed American woman who has been captured as a "handmaid" in a near-future New England that's been taken over by a totalitarian, patriarchal state known as Gilead, in the aftermath of a civil war with the United States.
The series follows June's struggles while serving as a handmaid for a powerful couple, Commander Fred Waterford and his wife Serena Joy—both of whom were instrumental in Gilead's founding—as well as traversing new social classes, stomaching the everyday violence of the ruling elite, and plotting her escape from this oppressive world. And yes, some of the show does hit a little too close to home these days.
How many seasons of 'The Handmaid's Tale' are there?
There are currently four seasons of The Handmaid's Tale. The first season kept to the plot of Margaret Atwood's book, however, subsequent seasons of the show have deviated from and fleshed out storylines far beyond her original tale.
Atwood published a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, titled The Testaments, in September 2019, but it remains to be seen if any of those plot developments will make their way from page to screen.
Will there be a 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 5?
Yes! In December 2020, even before season 4 dropped, it was announced that The Handmaid's Tale was picked up for a fifth season.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner and executive producer Bruce Miller said: "I certainly don’t [have a number of seasons in mind]. I always thought I did and that, I think, is a pandemic change. I thought I had a beginning, a middle, and an end—and I still feel like I very much have an end—it’s just that I’m finding more interesting paths along the way and more interesting things to do as we move towards more fascinating parts of the story."
Miller did clarify that he's down for more Handmaid's Tale so long as series star Elisabeth Moss is. "She deserves to have me there writing for her as long as she wants. She earned that this year," Miller said. "I will write beautiful words for her to say for as long as she wants to say them."
You'll hear no complaints from us!
Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life.
More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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