The Least Understood Founding Fatherby Doug Mataconis
Starting tonight, HBO will begin running what looks to be an amazing mini-series about one of America’s most misunderstood Founding Fathers:
When in the course of media events, a network devotes six Sunday nights, more than seven hours of airtime and $100 million to a miniseries, it’s likely that the show will be awash with sex and violence.
HBO, however, is about to depart radically from just that sort of thing and take a brave, glorious gamble. “John Adams” dramatizes the life of the second president, a Founding Father whose name is familiar but whose persona isn’t.
That is about to change.
“Adams” is the kind of classily intelligent production that can be happily recommended to everybody. The filmmakers, including executive producer Tom Hanks, have attempted to re-create and enliven history — and they succeed grandly.
Adams’ reputation has suffered over the years mostly because of some of the actions he took as President, most notably the Alien and Sedition Acts, and he was largely overshadowed by the man who succeeded him in office, but his role in the American Revolution was as crucial as Jefferson or Washington, if not more so and his commitment to liberty was second to none.
This miniseries looks to be well worth the attention of anyone interested in the men and ideas that gave birth to this nation.