The Handmaid’s Tale is a famous novel by Margaret Atwood. It is a favorite among fans of the dystopian genre, and, as a result, the book has never been out of print since it was published in 1985. When fans learned Hulu had picked it up and were going to make it into a television series, there was much excitement. Except for Australian fans.
The Handmaid’s Tale will be available from April 26 as a Hulu Original. This is great news for fans of the book within the U.S. However, for Australian fans (and others considered outside of Hulu’s official region coding), this means not having a chance to view the new series.
While Esquire may be calling Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale 10-part series the dystopian hit of 2017, Australian fans will not be able to decide if they are correct in their assessment of the new series. Esquire discusses the parallel between “Trump’s America” and the world within The Handmaid’s Tale as well as delving into the perennial divide over male privilege. However, Australia will just have to wait and see if Hulu eventually sells the rights to a provider available within Australia at some point.
When asked how Australians can watch The Handmaid’s Tale, the following statement was issued via their support account on Twitter.
“Sadly, Hulu is only available in the U.S. at this time, but we’ll share your interest in bringing our content to Australia!”
At the time of publication, Hulu had not yet relied to the further query as to how Australians will be able to view Hulu Originals within Australia.
So, will Australia ever get a chance to watch Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale?
In the past, Hulu has certainly onsold viewing rights to providers within Australia. 11.22.63 is accessible to Australians via Stan, a premium cable service. The Mindy Project can also be viewed on free-to-air programming within Australia. However, Australians sometimes have to wait until after the show has aired on Hulu before it turns up on other providers within their country. And, sometimes that wait is substantial. This means that fans run the risk of spoilers cropping up on their preferred social media platforms well before they will ever get a chance to watch the show.
Many Australians will attempt to bypass Hulu’s region coding by using a DNS proxy or VPN to gain access to U.S. content in a somewhat legal manner. They will then pay for a Hulu subscription and watch their content that way. However, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, a recent crackdown by Hulu to “block non-US viewers,” might be an indicator that Hulu is expand their service into the Australian market. As yet, there has been no official word from Hulu in regard to this and unfounded statements suggesting Hulu would expand into Australia have been around since at least 2011.
Of course, for those who wonder why Australians illegally download so much content, this is a perfect example of why. For many Australians frustrated at being prepared to purchase content legally but not being able to access it until well after the rest of the world, pirating content as it is made available online quite often seems like the only answer. Many Australians will risk fines in order to view content in a timely manner. However, if given the chance, most would happily pay for the content if it were offered at the same time — or close to — as the U.S.
For those who can watch it, here’s Hulu’s official synopsis for The Handmaid’s Tale.
“The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values’. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.”
The trailer for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale is below.
Are you in Australia and sad you cannot watch The Handmaid’s Tale at the same time as the U.S.? Let us know by commenting below.
The Handmaid’s Tale will air exclusively on Hulu from April 26.
[Featured Image by Hulu]