Wednesday, June 25, 2008

John Adams DVD *****

This last weekend I finished watching my DVD set of the HBO miniseries on the life of our second President John Adams. I highly recommend it. The first, second and seventh episodes are the best. The first deals with Adams marriage to Abigael and his career as a young attorney in Boston. It emphasis his defense of British soldiers who fired into a Boson mob killing several people. The second deals with the drafting and adopting of the Declaration of Independence. The seventh and final episode deals with the death of his wife and his correspondence with his old enemy Thomas Jefferson. The other episodes deal with his acting as an ambassador in France and the Netherlands during the Revolutionary War, his acting as ambassador to the British Court of Saint James, Vice President, and as President. The series does a good job of not glamorizing or romancing life in the 1700's. The primitive medical practices are graphically demonstrated and is not for the faint of heart. I thinks the series spends too much time on John Adams one son who was an alcoholic who abandoned his family and was "denounced" by his father. If I had one major criticism it would be the series emphasise on the sadness and tragedies of John Adams life over his many accomplishments. The man did have his weaknesses but his devotion to the United States and his willingness to make personal and family sacrifice to help establish this country should be something for which we are all thankful.The actress who plays his wife is very good and his relationship with his wife is a big part of the series. I also enjoyed the actor who played Thomas Jefferson. Listened to the duologue between Jefferson and Adams was worth the cost of the DVD.

The second episode about the Declaration of Independence was my favorite and is the best "movie" on it. Up until this John Adams HBO miniseries the musical "1776" had been the best dramatization;however, this is better.

As a side note, watching this series with my son, who is home from history graduate school for the summer , made it even more special.

My rating: 5***** out of 5***** Every school boy and girl should see this miniseries.