'John Adams' HBO Miniseries

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by ScottH, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    I'm very surprised there isn't already a thread on this. I've only seen the first episode and enjoyed it very much. I have heard some complaints about Paul Giamatti playing the lead due to his physical appearance, but I know what I saw was great.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Did you miss the second episode that came on right after the first one? A great mini-series so far.






    Crawdaddy
     
  3. PatH

    PatH Second Unit

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    I wanna see this, but I don't have HBO. In 4 or 5 years the inevitable DVD set (always a good thing) will drop in price to a reasonable level from HBO's exorbitant initial cost and I will see it then. In the meantime, in May I'll have the excellent PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles, which follows the whole Adams line through lives of public service.

    PatH
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I'll probably try to catch the first three episodes during the free trial Comcast is doing this weekend, but who knows when I'll see the rest; the cost of the eventual BD collection already scares me.
     
  5. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    I have the second one on the DVR but haven't been able to watch it yet.
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I dropped HBO after John from Cincinnati ended in a cost-cutting move, so I'll have to wait for the DVDs. (And in the meantime I, too, will enjoy watching The Adams Chronicles for the first time in thirtysome years.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    Exactly my plan. Have the DVR set to record the 3 airing during the free trial. I guess if it's that good I could order HBO for one month and then cancel it. Or wait to rent the rest later. We'll see.
     
  8. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    Have these people never seen a portrait of Adams? He was short and stocky so I think Giamatti is physically just right for the role.
     
  9. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    He does then go on to say that "it's not about looks," but "screen presence." Not sure what he's talking about but I only saw the first hour.
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    When Adams was Vice President he was given the mocking title of "His Rotundity", so I don't see what the problem is, either. (Both William Daniels - who created the role of Adams in 1776 on Broadway and reprised it in the film - and George Grizzard - who played Adams in The Adams Chronicles - were notably better looking and trimmer than the actual Adams.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I saw the first 2 episodes and enjoyed them both.
     
  12. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Yeah, I read the review and thought: did Giamani kick him down a flight of stairs somewhere?

    Because (being a history major) I thought he was damn near dead on casting; he may be a touch to "pretty" for how people of the time period really were, but he much more closely matches the way I would perceive of John Adams based of all we know in comparison to almost any other major actor I can think of. I have been really pleased with his subtle, open performance that I think very well captures John Adams.

    Very solid series. Has "EMMY" written all over it.
     
  13. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

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    Love this series so far. The criticism of Paul Giamatti is unfounded IMHO.

    I especially liked the scene where Jefferson, Franklin and Adams are starting to fomulate the Declaration of Independence, the looks that Adams and Jefferson exchange while Franklin is "editing" the declaration was priceless.

    Looking forward to following this one - about time HBO put something worthwhile on their programming docket.
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Watched Join or Die this morning off my Tivo. Would
    have continued with Independance but a scheduling
    conflict with the recording forced me to tape the non-HD version
    which I quickly shut off within 5 minutes. I am awaiting the HD
    replay this afternoon.

    In a word, OUTSTANDING!

    I am not only thoroughly enjoying it, but find myself emotionally
    attached to Giamatti's performance. I have always loved Paul
    Giamatti and to watch him do such an incredible portrayal
    of the man that would become a courageous founding father of
    our Country is a real treat. I am captivated by his performance.

    The first episode was rather fascinating for me because I never
    realized that Adams had been a lawyer who defended a British
    commander in a massacre incident. At first glimpse of Adams,
    one would never have suspected that he would one day join
    the rebellion and the Continental Congress.

    Anyone that has HBO ought to give this series a look. It's easily
    digestible in 1 hour segments and there are plenty of replays this
    entire week that would enable one to tape the first two parts.

    Looking forward to watching Independance Later today.
     
  15. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "Looking forward to following this one - about time HBO put something worthwhile on their programming docket."

    Ive basically given up on their series, but they seem to do these sort of things well.


    Im still looking foward to The Pacific.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yes, it was interesting to see Jefferson as the writer of the Declaration with Franklin and Adams acting as editors in order to get the Declaration approved by the whole Continental Congress.
     
  17. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I watched both episodes on Sunday and can't wait for the next episode. I had not read the book so I was surprised to see the Thomas Jefferson had to be persuaded to write the Declaration of Independence. I never learned that in any of my History classes in school.
     
  18. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    I haven't started watching this yet, but am collecting it on the dvr. I think Giamatti would be doubled over laughing if he read all the complaints that he is too pretty for the role. Has to be the first time in his life "Pig Vomit" heard that.
     
  19. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    Because (being a history major) I thought he was damn near dead on casting; he may be a touch to "pretty" for how people of the time period really were, but he much more closely matches the way I would perceive of John Adams based of all we know in comparison to almost any other major actor I can think of. I have been really pleased with his subtle, open performance that I think very well captures John Adams.

    I'll bet that's the first time Paul Giamatti has ever been accused of being "pretty."
     
  20. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Guess you've never seen the musical 1776, either. They get a big number out of the reluctance of all the members of the Declaration committee to actually write the thing. [​IMG]

    The play itself is surprisingly faithful to the real history. There is one major structural change - the vote on the Declaration and independence itself are combined into a single event. But that was pretty much unavoidable because debating the text of the doument after the issue itself was decided would have been fatally anti-climactic in the context of the play.

    They also combined some characters in order to keep the number of speaking roles manageable. (Some of Sam Adams' words and actions are attributed to John in the play, but the personality is all John. One famous comment of Sam's is omitted however - because the playwrights knew that nobody would believe he really said it and that they hadn't put the words in his mouth. During the debate over slavery Samuel Adams said, "Mark my words - if we give in on this issue there will be trouble a hundred years hence." He was only off by fifteen years. [​IMG])

    The DVD of the film version of 1776 is gorgeous, and they restored several scenes and one entire musical number that were cut just before it was released. It would make a very nice companion piece to the current John Adams mini-series. (BTW, I also heartily recommend McCullough's book, along with his 1776 and - oh, hell, everything the man has written starting with The Jamestown Flood. You won't be disappointed. And history buffs will also enjoy McCullough's narration of the Ken Burns Civil War and a number of other presentation from The American Experience on PBS. [​IMG])

    Regards,

    Joe
     

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