Just wondering how many of you are watching the series. So far, I have really found it interesting.
I do have to say, though, that during the scenes when he was ill last week, John Adams looked a great deal like Homer Simpson.
Consider this an open thread.
Just Some Fuckhead
I’m a huge fan of historical fiction but I can’t watch it. I feel like they really screwed up by casting Paul Giamatti as John Adams. It just feels icky. I liked Paul Giamatti in Sideways but nothing else. I dunno what I expect John Adams to look and sound like but it isn’t Giamatti.
My wife is watching it. She thinks it’s great but she also watches Overboard with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn every time it’s on cable so take that under consideration.
I haven’t seen any of John Adams, but Overboard was hilarious back in the day… :)
Just Some Fuckhead
Overboard has a very immoral premise, that it’s okay to essentially hold a woman under false pretenses and have sex with her (kidnap and rape) as long as she develops Stockholm Syndrome. Watching it gives me the creeps but the mrs. loves it.
I ask her, what if it was Ricky from Better Off Dead instead of Kurt Russell and she gets pissed off and changes.
But I’m a fuckhead, what do I know?
Nope, not watching it here either. I am rebuilding my motorcycle carburetors and surfing on my cigarette breaks. It is nice to have a computer in the garage…lol
Just Some Fuckhead,
I thought the whole deal was that she stiffed him on a job, and then hit her head and got amnesia. He then lies to her and tells her that she’s his wife. And it’s all fun and games because it’s in the Comedy section, ca. 1987. I imagine that your description on the back of the box would be interesting as well, although it might attract a whole ‘nother audience…
I’m watching it, but usually later in the week. I like it fine, but I’m not chomping at the bit to watch it like I was The Wire, or like I will be when BSG comes back on this week.
Tom in Texas
Just got home. I am starting the third episode as soon as my girlfriend goes to bed. I’ve enjoyed it so far more than any of the founding fathers type films I’ve ever seen. My biggest criticism would be the damn hand held herky-jerky-camera crap during battle scenes. It was kind of original with Blair Witch, but the technique is stale IMO. Ben Franklin’s character also needs to develop beyond Poor Richard’s quips, which disappoints me since he is my favorite of the fathers.
Giamatti has been great, and I’ve really been impressed with Laura Linney.
Here’s a Homer Pic that I can’t get out of my head. Those eyes are seared into me!
Just Some Fuckhead
Yeah, but she’s NOT his wife, see. And he’s holding her hostage under false pretenses AND screwing her (not to mention making her do all the household labor.) And the movie suggests this is payback because, as a “bitch”, she had it coming. That they made it a comedy about this is the really creepy part. I can see it as a Lifetime movie. I wouldn’t watch it but I can certainly imagine it on the Lifetime channel.
I don’t have any feminist cred but I’ve always had a pretty good sense of right and wrong.
The scene in which Adams presents himself as the ambassador, to the king, is a classic. Cinema gold.
The British are fools to continue with the monarchy. What a waste of energy.
Ok, on the basis that this is an open thread…
I’m a long time lurker from Australia (a land where we have already (but only just) managed to get rid of our right wing, anti freedom, pro Iraq war Government jackasses)…
I come here for my daily dose of vitriol, although by the time I get online, you lot have usually exhausted yourselves arguing against the inanity of myqu2xpants and Rarely Posts and gone to bed…
Anyhow, from here in the Antipodes, I haven’t been able to track down the video online of Olbermann’s “Commander-In-Chief Threshold Test” screened tonight, and I was wondering if anyone had a link to where I might find it… (the nbc and msnbc web sites don’t seem to be of any assistance).
As I recall–and I haven’t seen that movie since 1987 or whenever it came out–Russell doesn’t actually have sex with her until the end of the movie when they’re “in love,” if it even happens then. They don’t even sleep together, I don’t believe. She has her own room.
I like John Adams a lot, but WTF is up with David Morse’s George Washington nose? It’s just… weird.
Just Some Fuckhead,
The Lifetime movie version would surely be a lot creepier–because in that version, he probably clearly would be “holding her hostage” / “kidnap and rape”, etc. Then again, it probably wouldn’t be a comedy, either.
Incidentally, it seems that the original 1974 film that it drew from saw more of this sort of criticism, probably rightly so (I haven’t seen it):
[nerd moment]Any ideas who the fifth cylon might be?[/nerd moment]
I’ve been watching it, liking it a lot. I disagree with whoever didn’t like Giammati in the role…I think he’s great. David Morse as a totally dignified Washington, despite the fake nose.
The only thing I just don’t get is why they decided to throw in that little soft porn moment when John and Abigail, uhm, reunite. Talk about icky.
Just Some Fuckhead
Well, two completey different folks from entirely different backgrounds who arrived at the same opinion years apart can’t both be wrong, right? (I’m assuming Mr. Kaufman doesn’t share my Fundamental Baptist upbringing.)
Or, ya know, whatfuckever. :)
…about two different movies… :)
Unfortunately, I think I fucking do. There was some website that slashdot linked to that had a spoiler on who was the cylon. Jeezus, I was so fucking mad. I just read that and I was like “fuck!!”. I’m only on the second season at the moment. I’ve been netflixing the rest of the season. I’ll probably bitorrent the season so I’ll be ready for it. Since I do’t think they’ll have the DVD by teh time I’m done.
Oh well, back to watching back episodes of Forever Knight on Netflix.. I’ve started to get addicted to “Watch Instantly”. After this will be a marathon of Knight Rider and Airwolf. :-)
Just Some Fuckhead
.. built on the same premise, which is what I objected to, no?
File this under: Good Ideas, Bad Timing
The only thing worse then the unregulated shit that got us into this economic mess is regulations set by the people who don’t believe in regulation and got us into this mess.
There is no good idea that Republicans can’t turn into a horrible nightmare that they use as an example that ‘government can’t work’.
War is good for R&D, right?
MOAB and the pain ray – Iraq’s war-missing wonder weapons
Only the media were shocked, awed and pacified
On a completely different topic, the History Channel produced a two hour show titled “Crude.” It’s the story of oil, and the best thing I’ve seen on “educational” cable in a very long time. In many ways, it’s the story of our modern world – which would not be possible without oil.
My wife is a geologist and a high school science teacher, and will be using it in her classes.
I thought last night’s was the best part in the series so far. Ending was fantastic, as well as watching Franklin, Adams and Jefferson in Paris.
I’m loving the John Adams series. I think they nailed the characters, as I understand them, anyway, and the production quality is excellent.
John Adams: Farmer Idealist posing as a cynic.
Thomas Jefferson: Idealist posing as a Farmer.
Ben Franklin: Francophile, Genius, Womanizer
That about sums it up, right?
I saw Taxi to the Dark Side over the weekend, here in the land of the dirty fucking hippies aka. Portland, Oregon (my beloved home). Anyway, nothing new there, we basically tortured a bunch of dark skinned people. Ho hum. Yea, it was all US policy, handed down to save the Cheney administration’s ass from the embarrassment of being exposed as complete and total fuckups. But when you are a complete and total fuckup, you really fuck up in everything, hence the “complete and total fuckup” moniker. So that torture thing…..
If you want to go spend an afternoon going through the various stages of grief I highly recommend it.
Yeah, the whole run up to the audience with the King of England is priceless. Here’s John Effing Adams, firebrand of the American Revolution, learning how the proper fucking decorum of when and how to bow before His Majesty. Giamatti’s obvious irritation with the whole event is hilarious as is Linney’s bemused shocked bewilderment about the necessarily and frivolous protocol.
Best moments: when the King’s attendant suggest that Adams change his attire to something “more British.” LAFF. And the lip-quiver as the irony and surrealism of the moment comes crashing down on Adams as he appears before the King. Final thought: how much of that exchange was sincere? I suspect none.
Adams: archetypical New Englander; equal parts Puritan, David Hume-esque naturalist, and antidisestablishmentarianist.
Jefferson: untypical landed Virginian elite; equal parts Feudalist, Immanuel Kant-ian rationalist, and self-reflective idealist. A walking contradiction and my favorite character of the series.
Franklin: atypical hedonist genius.
It should not be surprising that Jefferson and Franklin feel completely at home in France while Adams does not; Adams craves the British tradition of social order while innately rejecting the dehumanizing construct of its Feudal traditions. Jefferson is attracted to the ongoing romanticism and philosophy of the French condition and it’s ability to allow self-reflection yet resistance to change of any sort. Completely in line with his slave-owning existance and his self-hatred of taking part in it. Franklin is just looking for the next cocktail where he can duly impress the natives with his mental prowess.
And yes, in a nutshell the producers and directors have captured an essential essence of each man. Without going into greater depth on each character this is the bare minimum of understanding we’ll need for the context of the plot.
Here’s John Effing Adams, firebrand of the American Revolution, learning how the proper fucking decorum of when and how to bow before His Majesty.
This beautifully set up the moment Washington came into the room before the inauguration. It showed how different the English and American governments were going to be, but there was still that sense of decorum that Adams had a hard time handling.
Indeed. Better yet was the stoic yet engaged deference that Washington displays. The response of the crowd to his understated and near-silent taking of the oath of office stood in great contrast to the overly-formal audience with the King. I really enjoyed just how much Adams was out of sorts in both situations. The lip quiver and fleeting eye contact with the King of England vs. his unsure nature in regards to the inauguration of Washington. I mean, here is Adams giving a speech to both houses of Congress only to be interrupted by the President-elect entering the chamber. Talk about your unexpected yet unprecidented moments! This episode was TV done well (as opposed to needing to be well done…).
The Commander Guy
I think the Adams series is pretty good minus the soft porn scene.
I was half expecting a Sally Hemmings reference last night when Jefferson and both Adams were discussing the number of servants their contemporaries have on staff. Reportedly, Jefferson had a couple members of the Hemmings family with him at this time, i.e, Sally and one of her Brothers who was there to learn the art of French Cuisine so that it could be employed back at Monticello.
I only saw the first part of Adams (so far), or the part where they sign the Declaration.
I can see they were trying to “modernize” the debates in the Congress, showing “real people” arguing rather than cardboard figures. Unfortunately, they made the same mistake as the film “Thirteen Days” and turned them into college sophomores yelling at each other, instead of skilled debaters. The constant groaning and carping did not suggest the most respected adults in the colonies. Rutledge in particular was not believable as a “gentleman”
Tom Wilkinson has been able to really do Franklin justice beyond the “Poor Richard” writing, but David Morse is playing Washington with a hushed nobility that is painful to watch. And Jefferson comes off very weak in terms of characterization. Other than Wilkinson, isn’t there anyone here who can play an adult who is both intelligent and great -spirited, but also earthy and human? If there is, I can’t see it.
Oh, and Laura Linney, who annoyed me ten years ago, has become a truly valuable actress. She’s totally won me over.
Jerky camera? Interesting choice. Ultimately annoying.
Just read the book, but I don’t have HBO, so I’ll wait for the DVDs. McCullough’s an engaging writer, but his biographies tend to turn into hagiographies. Jefferson and Franklin both come off poorly in the book.
I think they would have to in a book written about and largely from the perspective of Mr. Adams.
They have not so far in the movie.
little fact checking on John Adams (which i am enjoying)
the “conversation” in paris with franklin, jefferson, and adams was actually taken from the correspondence that adams and jefferson had near the end of their lives. while i’m certain that these were things that were discussed there isn’t any record of them since none of them were diarists. still, the viewpoints they were expressing were of men at the end of their lives trying to explain themselves to each other, and us. the letters of adams/jefferson should be required reading.
the presentation to george III was not their first meeting. adams (with jefferson at his side as a supporting friend) was presented in court with his credentials. george III stood up and turned his back on him. the presentation where they were civil and constructive took nearly a year to happen.
those are forgiveable artistic license moves. all in all, the history being presented is well done. i’m not a huge giamati fan, but he is doing a yoeman’s lunchpail job with it. giamati doesn’t seem able to carry adams’ absolute confidence once, by sifting through the arguments, studying every side and running things though his filter of self-doubt and assesment of his own bias he decided on a course of action.
The series is great. Giamatti is superb as well as Linney. It makes me proud to be an American. I wish our current pResident would watch and learn. But, I’m sure it goes right over his head, either that or it’s on too late for him to watch.
So far, I’ve found the series excellent. Oh, and:
If they discontinue with the monarchy, tourism drops sharply. You may not like it. It may be an anachronism, but it brings in billions a year in tourism.
I don’t have cable (no time to watch it), but I am mighty tempted to get the DVDs when they become available, given many of the favorable posts here.
Movies are often about fantasies. And since Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn were (and are) a real-life couple, some viewers got off on the frisson of wondering if the on-screen chemistry was similar to the off-screen stuff.
I think “Pulp Fiction” is one of the best films of all time. This doesn’t mean that I approve of drug dealers and hit men in real life.
Tom in Texas
Wow. Imagine how much money the Egyptians would be making if they just reverted to living under a Pharoah. Tourists still go see Versailles and the Kremlin you know — even if France and Russia don’t have kings.
You mean Hosni Mubarak isn’t one? The things you learn on the Internet….
I thought Tom Hollander as King George was just right.
He seems to specialize in playing insufferable twits – Mr. Collins in “Pride and Prejudice,” Lord Cutler Beckett in “Pirates of the Carribean,” etc.
On the other hand, Adams was all for calling the President “His Majesty the President.”
I saw only the first part also, and Wilkinson was wonderful. Linney was fine as usual, too. My problem is that I can’t watch Paul Giamatti – he is not to my taste in leading roles, or supporting ones, for that matter. He doesn’t hold my attention even when he’s well cast and acting decently. I feel bad commenting on his appearance, but whenever he’s on I just want to look elsewhere. Terrible choice to carry a miniseries.
On the other hand, if you like him, you’ll probably enjoy the show.
Haven’t seen it for years, but I have fond memories of the late George Grizzard in The Adams Chronicles.
In the book, as Adams travels to the first Continental Congress, he travels from Braintree to Philadelphia on horseback (during the winter) staying Inns (taverns) and listens closely to the conversations of the local patrons and comes to the conclusion, he later shares with his fellow delegates “the people are closer to Revolution than we are”…
I have a Greatx4 Grandfather who was a Captain in the Continental Army…I have read all the documentation, tax records, pension papers and have researched the family tree, etc. I would love to have been able to hear the conversations at the table, in the tavern and with the troops. to have been privy to that would have been priceless!
So, I thought Americans didn’t bow to royalty. Did Adams really have lessons in protocol and bow elaborately to the King as they portray it in the HBO series? Does anyone know when the protocol about Americans not bowing came into being? I figured it was around, oh, I don’t know, like maybe the Revolution?
And as for Overboard, I’m a chick, and I gotta say, I love that movie. I get the criticism, but I suppose the romantic in me irrationally thinks that as long as they end up in love and together, the kidnapping, hostage taking, and such are A-OK.