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'John Adams' HBO Miniseries
60 replies to this topic
Posted March 18 2008 - 06:11 AM
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.
Posted March 18 2008 - 06:31 AM
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
Posted March 18 2008 - 06:36 AM
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.
Posted March 18 2008 - 07:21 AM
I have the second one on the DVR but haven't been able to watch it yet.
Posted March 18 2008 - 07:54 AM
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.)
Posted March 18 2008 - 08:51 AM
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.
Posted March 18 2008 - 08:51 AM
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.
Posted March 18 2008 - 09:26 AM
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.
Posted March 18 2008 - 01:33 PM
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.)
Posted March 18 2008 - 01:44 PM
I saw the first 2 episodes and enjoyed them both.
Posted March 18 2008 - 06:16 PM
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.
Posted March 18 2008 - 10:41 PM
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.
Posted March 18 2008 - 11:56 PM
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.
Posted March 19 2008 - 12:29 AM
"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.
Posted March 19 2008 - 03:10 AM
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.
Lawn Ranger Motto: You're only young once, but you can be always be immature.
Posted March 19 2008 - 05:01 AM
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.
Posted March 19 2008 - 10:12 AM
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."
Posted March 19 2008 - 02:53 PM
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.
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. )
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. )