Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale is a model of longform worldbuilding

Sometimes, discovering a new fictional world is like forming a crush on a relative stranger. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement for something fresh and unique. In fiction, that can mean discovering a new universe that feels revelatory. But often, the more you learn about that world, the less it holds up, and the less time you want to spend with it. Reading the next book in the series, or watching another episode, you become disappointed, because this shiny new world doesn’t make nearly as much sense once the details are filled in.

The secret comes down to ensuring that each new detail introduced, each new development, not only makes coherent sense within the narrative’s established framework, but actually enhances the audience’s…

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