The Least Understood Founding Father

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.

  • trumpetbob15

    I don’t have HBO, but I happened to spot the book on sale at Wal-Mart and it looks like it should be a worthwhile biography. The author is the same one who wrote 1776 and Truman if anyone read either of those two, or one of his few other books.

  • UCrawford

    I’ll be DVRing it tonight.

  • UCrawford

    They aired the first two episodes tonight…I give it a solid “B+” so far. Excellent portrayals by all of the leads…particularly Giamatti, Linney and Wilkinson.

  • Nitroadict

    Giamatti? Wilkinson? I must see this; Giamatti has been on fire lately (I noticed such when he was doing most of the excellent acting in The Illusionist; Norton was good but the movie just couldn’t beat out The Prestige). I will try and not download any eps after the one I missed, seeing as I have access to HBO.

  • UCrawford


    Episodes are on Sunday nights with replays throughout the week. They played the first two episodes this week. Giamatti has been excellent for awhile…been a fan of his ever since he played Kenny Pig Vomit in “Howard Stern’s Private Parts” :)

    Didn’t see “The Illusionist” but enjoyed “The Prestige” (only felt like seeing one magician film that year). Of course, Christian Bale’s one of the few actors I’ll buy a ticket to see regardless of the film because he always does solid work (particularly in “The Machinist” and “American Psycho”).

  • UCrawford

    And Tom Wilkinson plays an excellent Benjamin Franklin :)