There isn’t much in common between a book and subsequent television show about an authoritarian theocracy that has removed all civil and human rights for women and a men’s professional soccer league, but after I blithely suggested doing a “Which character from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is your MLS team?” feature and got entirely positive feedback on Twitter, what the hey.
Of course, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which cleaned up in the Emmys on Sunday after a fantastic debut season on Hulu, is absolutely worth a watch. No, the show doesn’t spend an inordinate time talking about using butter pats as face moisturizer like the book, but the show has really taken the source material and built a world.
And since you’re not a real cultural phenomenon until someone lamely tries to shoehorn the pop culture du jour to a sport, here we go. Of course, given the topics at hand, we’ve put our own spin on this.
Note: Some vague spoilers ahead. If you haven’t watched and don’t want to learn about the show, don’t read ahead. You’re been warned.
[INSERT YOUR MLS TEAM HERE]
Look, we’re not going to pick a team that is “good” and then assign varying degrees of evil to the other teams in the league. Think of this as a “Choose your own adventure” version of this “Which character represents your team” exercise. Plus, if you pick any of the many, many evil characters as your team, you must have pure evil in your heart, so we’ll just assume your team is June/Offred.
[THIS SHOULD BE A TEAM THAT YOU MAY HAVE SOME WARM FEELINGS ABOUT, BUT IN ACTUAL FACT IS HORRIBLE AND A GOOD INTERACTION OR TWO SHOULD NOT CLOUD YOUR JUDGMENT]
(As an aside, can we talk about Joseph Fiennes in this role for a moment? His main feature as an actor has been shouting and being as bombastic as he can get away with, and here he reins it in and holds his own with a good cast.)
[THIS SHOULD BE THE INVERSE OF THE COMMANDER WATERFORD TEAM, A TEAM YOU KNOW IS HORRIBLE BUT YOU ACTUALLY HAVE CONFLICTED FEELINGS ABOUT THEM AND MAYBE THEY AREN’T SO BAD? OK, THEY ARE BAD, BUT MAYBE THEY AREN’T THE WORST? OK, JUST KEEP ALL THIS TO YOURSELF]
[AN OBVIOUS ONE: AUNT LYDIA IS NOT THE DIRECT, ORIGINAL SOURCE OF EVIL ON THE SHOW, BUT AS THE PERSON WHO MOST DIRECTLY INFLICTS PAIN ON THE PROTAGONISTS, SHE IS THE MANIFESTATION OF EVIL. THIS SHOULD BE THE MLS TEAM YOU HATE THE MOST — HEY, THEY DON’T MAKE THE RULES, THEY JUST TWIST THEM TO THE EXTREME, RIGHT? STILL EVIL]
Serena Joy Waterford
[SERENA JOY IS THE MLS TEAM THAT MAYBE HAD A PRETTY OK COACH AND PLAYERS THAT ONE YEAR, AND YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE OK TO BUY THEIR SCARF ON A WORK TRIP ONE TIME, AND THEN THEY CHANGED COACH AND PLAYERS AND THINGS GOT WORSE, OH SO MUCH WORSE AND YOU CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WERE SUCH AN IDIOT FOR THINKING THAT TEAM MIGHT BE DIFFERENT THAN ALL THE OTHERS]
[EMILY IS THE TEAM THAT TAKES RISKS AGAINST THE ODDS, THAT YOU CAN’T HELP BUT ROOT FOR, THAT SOMEHOW SURVIVES WHEN ALL SIGNS POINT TO DOOM, BUT IT’S ULTIMATELY DOOMED TO FAIL IN IT’S PURSUITS, JUST LIKE ALL OF US ARE DOOMED AT SOME POINT ON SOME LEVEL. LIFE ISN’T FAIR]
[MOIRA IS THE TEAM THAT ACCOMPLISHES ITS GOALS TO AN EXTENT, BUT IS ALSO ULTIMATELY DOOMED TO A BITTER, UNWANTED EXISTENCE THAT IS PERHAPS WORSE THAN THE ALTERNATIVE. LIKE A TEAM THAT WANTS TO WIN NOW BUT OVERPAYS ON PLAYERS, BARELY REACHING THE PLAYOFFS BEFORE CRASHING OUT AND HAVING TO DISMANTLE THE TEAM THE FOLLOWING YEAR BECAUSE OF THE SALARY CAP]
[THIS IS THE TEAM HAPPY TO BE HERE. LIFE BEFORE MLS WASN’T ALWAYS ROSES, IT’S GOOD TO BE HERE, THERE’S NO RELEGATION, AND YOU CAN KIND OF COAST FOR AWHILE UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT IF YOUR LOT IN LIFE IS OK OR NOT.]
Yeah, let’s skip this one since this character is too problematic to joke about.
Which teams did you pick for the characters? How problematic is this whole exercise? Leave a comment below!