Do you think that Nick is being praised a little too much? I mean is that how low a bar a man has to go over to be eligible to be the "good guy"? Personally I am disgusted by him. He literally did nothing, he was an accomplice. Why do fans of the show like him so much? Because June could have sex with him every once in a while to hold onto something real, to keep her wits about herself? I think he is a traitor and the worst kind at that. Being an ally is being more than what Nick ever was! :<
There’s quite a few things here to reply to so I’m gonna try to do my best.
First of, male characters definitely have a much lower bar to be considered a “good guy”, this is clear across lots of fandoms! It’s not right, but it’s certainly not exclusive to Handmaid’s Tale.
I feel like the fandom disagrees on a whole, but yes, I do mostly agree with you anon. I definitely wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m disgusted by him (for me personally) but I don’t like him as much as everyone else, nor do I ship him and June. I will of course reblog gifs of them and gifs of Nick to keep a fair balance on the blog, but they’re not my cup of tea. (Side note: I’m currently drinking tea out of my Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum mug which seemed appropriate to mention).
We don’t know what the outcome of season one was yet, whether Nick did betray the system he supported into creation to give June a chance at being saved, or whether he was tricking her. It was left open in the book as well. If they were the resistance, he was taking a huge risk and going against the system and potentially risking death. If they were to find out he was involved, of course.
I do think he regrets his involvement in the creation of Gilead, at least to some extent. I don’t know if he started to think this way before June, or he slowly started to see how awful it was after he met her. Because of what happened to the previous ‘Offred’ and how he found her, I’m inclined to think the latter. Although I don’t ship them, I do think he - at the very least - cares for June immensely. He wouldn’t be with her otherwise because she could sell him out at any moment, and the proof would be in the baby in her stomach, so it was a risk for him to maintain the relationship too. He has a vested interest in keeping June and the baby alive.
June’s decision to be with Nick is definitely, in my opinion, a way for her to give herself choice and agency back, something that Gilead has ripped away from her and other women, particularly Handmaids but also Marthas, econwives and - for some of them - the wives (not all of them).
He did willingly join the Sons of Jacob on his own, he wasn’t forced into the regime like a lot of the population was, despite joining it initially because he needed a job and wanted to support his family. Could he have left before it all went to shit, when he really started noticing the cracks? Of course.
I do think he regrets his involvement of Gilead personally, but it’s hard to know. He hasn’t ever outright said anything about his involvement in the beginning, all that was said that he was sorry it was happening to June specifically.
So while I agree in a sense, that I do think he gets praise for some things he hasn’t done and I don’t like him (or June/Nick) as much as other people, I don’t think he’s a wholly irredeemable character. It really depends how the show proceeds from here. I’m interested to see!