Last evening, I spent three hours engrossed in HBO’s awesome new miniseries, John Adams based on David McCullough’s fine book (which I reviewed here). Thanks to Thom who illegally burned and delivered a DVD of the first three episodes to me, I was able to sit in the warm comforts of my cable-less home and thank Providence for using Thom’s illicit piracy operation to bless me so bountifully.
Featuring Paul Giamatti as the intelligent yet stubborn Adams, and Tom Wilkinson as the crafty Ben Franklin, the cast for this film could only have been improved with the inclusion of Harrison Ford has a gruff, finger-pointing Alexander Hamilton.
With HBO’s financing and Tom Hanks as executive producer, the production and attention to detail was excellent – reminiscent of HBO’s earlier Band of Brothers, only with fewer explosions and more petticoats. Episode 2 was particuarly inspiring, as you watch Adams push the Continental Congress toward independance while Franklin tries to quietly keep the ship together and Thomas Jefferson stuns the both of them with his first draft of the Declaration. The only way this could have been better is if Chris Tucker would have been there to make fun of everything.
The filmmakers wisely don’t obscure Adams’s deeply held religious convictions and devote quite a bit of time to an examination of his famously loving marriage with Abigail. I was particularly touched by their famous letters to each other when reading the book, and their moments together thus far in the film have been among my favorites. She was a woman admired by Adams’s contemporaries (probably more than he was, to be honest) for her wit, intelligence, and fierce loyalty to her husband.
She was also super hot, for a 1700s chick.
At any rate, this miniseries has now been graced with the official JLP Stamp of Approval. Let me know if you want to watch it with me sometime – maybe we could arrange a historical viewing party where we all dress up in britches and watch it together and get smallpox.
And if you have HBO, tune in this Sunday for episode 4, when John Adams invents drugs.