John Adams on HBO

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.

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16 Responses to John Adams on HBO

  1. Ted says:

    I would like to the the Peter Blog of History’s Hottest Women. Come on Cleopatra!

  2. Ted says:

    Also, in the picture you are displaying Tom Wilkinson appears to be crapping his pants as he is descending the stairs. Now that is selling yourself to a character.

  3. LeVar Burton says:

    Kunta. Kunta Kinte!!!!

  4. Dred Scott says:

    I know all about emancipation. They should do a miniseries about me.

    You know Obama’s related to me. He’s like my 345th cousin!

  5. Chris Tucker says:

    Man they just ain’t got the afro right back then…

  6. Thom says:

    I would not call it “illegally burned”, so much as “burned without the expressed legal consent of HBO”. Outside of a warning at the beginning and end of the show warning against piracy, I did not see anything playing during the show itself saying it would be wrong to record, duplicate and distribute without HBO’s permission.

  7. peter says:

    Yes, Roots was indeed a miniseries. Beyond that, I have no idea what those three comments have to do with anything.

    And Thom, I believe your arguments are valid. I have forwarded them along to the FBI.

  8. Uosdwis R. Jawoh says:

    I think it is clear that those comments are a call for equal blog time for miniseries of all races, not just rich white miniseries. Racist jerk.

  9. Sarah says:

    Thank you!

    Actually there really was no point behind those comments. Just outbursts of boredom…..kind of like Turret’s.

  10. Chris Tucker says:

    Why you white people always got to be signing documents? Black man wants to declare independence, he just get himself a dee-vorce. You can keep da’ kids, I’m takin’ the TV. Put your John Hancock on that, b—-.

  11. Unspar says:

    You think HBO is accurate, you should see 1776, the musical depiction of the Congress’s drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s practically unwatchable (or at least unlistenable), and I can lend it to you if you ever want to see it.

  12. Ted says:

    I am guess at this point Chris Tucker has to be Kevin.

  13. Sarah says:

    That was pretty obvious Ted.

  14. tim hopps says:

    comment #10 has my vote as the new Best Comment of 2008.
    i think the last Best Comment was kevin’s too. so how come he does his finest work on peter’s blog and not his own?

  15. tim hopps says:

    and i love the thought of Tom Wilkinson playing the part of your cat and sitting on your lap.

  16. Anna says:

    I was watching the HBO series John Adams tonight and there was a nod at George Washington’s false teeth. It made me laugh because I remembered that those teeth are on display in Baltimore at The National Museum of Dentistry. Not only that, the map that the American delegation in France used to identify the United States of America at the Treaty of Paris, the actual map from George III’s library, is on display at the Maps exhibitions running at The Walters Art Museum. Check it out

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