You Probably Missed This Huge Detail In 'The Handmaid's Tale' Set
The visuals on The Handmaid's Tale are stunning, but you may not know just how much thought went into every detail.
It wasn't just the remarkable color scheme the creators of the show paid attention to while making it. There are actual real-life references being made, especially in the Waterford house, where main character Offred lives.
The Waterford house is super fancy, with lots of beautiful furniture and ornate stylings.
Book author Margaret Atwood and showrunner Bruce Miller discussed the house at a panel during BookCon in New York City.
They have that stuff, but it's not new stuff that is being made. It's old stuff that they have got... And when you think about how those things work, a lot of old stuff changed hands under the Nazis because they stole it, and then they had it.
Miller said The Handmaid's Tale creators thought about how Nazis took over houses and stole things during World War II when designing the Waterford house.
Bruce Miller explained,
They're sucking off the bigger economy that came before... But you also there's no computers, there's no TVs. There's a lot of expensive things that they don't have so they have money leftover for this kind of opulence.
So in addition to it being full of older stylings, the house is full of looted items -- namely, the paintings on the wall.
All the pictures on the wall in the Waterford house are pictures from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.. They've all been taken.
A "very nice anonymous gentleman in China" painted all of the art pieces for the show, and most of them are life-size.
Miller added that "the one writing you have in the house, is the signatures of the artists in the corners of the paintings."
In addition to the paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, The Handmaid's Tale team paid special attention to sounds.
In the show, the government that took over takes care of the environment, which makes a strange feeling for liberal viewers -- you don't like everything else that government is doing, but you do like taking care of the environment.
To add to that feeling, the show's creators changed the sounds.
We cut out all the sounds of cars -- even in the distance -- there are no planes, and there are probably 10 or 20 times the number of bird-songs... We added birds that don't really exist in that part of Massachusetts anymore.
The intention of adding the birds, Miller said, was to indicate birds had come back to Massachusetts thanks to the improved environment. Plus, all of the cars -- except for the military vehicles -- are hybrids, which makes it even quieter.
"The sound guys put together a world that sounds very different from our world. You may not have noticed it when you watched, but you do feel it," Miller said.
"You feel it, it's eerily quiet," Atwood said.