I’m still making my way through Gilmore Girls. It’s been months, I know. And I like it, I do. It’s just not binge-TV for me. So far I’m two episodes into season 5. And finally, finally Rory has done something interesting. But I am most interested in Rory now because of Alexis Bledel’s performance in The Handmaid’s Tale.

In a piece for Vanity Fair yesterday, writer Joanna Robinson called Alexis the series’ “secret weapon” and Duana and I, on this week’s episode of Show Your Work also discussed how this role fits into Alexis’s career. Or, rather, how it will change her career. Because there is no Rory Gilmore in Alexis’s portrayal of Ofglen and, as Joanna Robinson notes, much of that has to do with how director Reed Morano shot her through the first three episodes, especially in the harsh light of this scene – which is DIFFICULT TO WATCH if you haven’t already but… if you haven’t, WHY AREN’T YOU WATCHING THE HANDMAID’s TALE???

Unfortunately that video cuts off before those affecting close-ups of her face. Like this one:

When I was watching it, and she made that face, I call it a “Marmaduke face”, for me I feel like I was seeing Alexis Bledel summoning all her powers, all her talent. Because her “Marmaduke face” isn’t unfamiliar. It’s a face that Rory Gilmore wore quite often… only this was a distorted, mangled, and totally contaminated version of it. Which is exactly the point. Which is exactly what would happen. You don’t become an entirely different person with an entire new catalogue of expressions. Rather oppression takes who you are and warps it. It warps your face so that what was once innocently goofy is now disturbing, grotesque. Alexis Bledel plays it perfectly. And now I’m excited, I’m excited to see what this will mean, what she will now be considered for, now that we know she can do this.

Attached – Alexis, Elisabeth Moss, and Reed Morano at 92Y in New York yesterday.