Neighbourhood hub helps viewers who are still to access latest TV technology

A neighbourhood house has begun streaming the Handmaid’s Tale, allowing people without access to the latest home streaming technology a chance to see the blockbuster TV series.

The Bendigo Neighbourhood Hub’s movie group streamed episode one last week and planned to stream the next two episodes this Thursday.

SBS began showing the 10-part series through its streaming service On Demand in June, months before its Australian TV air-date next Wednesday.

The series focused on a dystopian future in which the few remaining fertile women are treated as property of the state.

Offred (Elisabeth Moss) has a flashback to the birth of her baby. Photo: George Kraychyk/Hulu

Offred (Elisabeth Moss) has a flashback to the birth of her baby. Photo: George Kraychyk/Hulu

The show proved a hit with SBS audiences when it began streaming, helping On Demand to its strongest weekly rating of 9.5 million chapter views.

The hub’s Angelique Whitehouse said one reason the group streamed the Handmaid’s Tale was to allow people access to new forms of technology.

“In terms of live-streaming, we recognise there are a lot of people – especially older people – who don’t have access to the internet at home,” she said.

Others were yet to learn about or feel confident with the new technology.

It’s a good place to come and have a coffee and a chat, maybe even have something to eat. - Angelique Whitehouse

Yet the most important reason the group streamed the show was the same reason it had been playing other movies and TV shows on DVD.

“It’s a good place to come and have a coffee and a chat, maybe even have something to eat,” Mrs Whitehouse said.

“You can be with other people when otherwise you might be home and feeling a bit isolated.”

Regulars included neighbourhood hub dog Ben, who had seen every movie and TV show since the group started last year.

Mrs Whitehouse said the group had mixed opinions about the Handmaid’s Tale pilot when they watched it last Thursday.

“It was probably a little hard to follow, some did not like it full stop,” she said, explaining people were encouraged to talk to each other during the screening.

“The theme makes it hard to keep up with because it bounces back and forth over different timelines.”

Despite these reviews Mrs Whitehouse expected a number of people to return this week.

The show will be played in installments every Thursday from 12.30pm at the Bendigo Neighbourhood Hub.

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