Wednesday, April 02, 2008

13 More Observations Concerning the John Adams Miniseries

While I did post my reaction to parts one and two of the HBO John Adams I didn’t post my thoughts on part three mainly because I was a little disappointed in the episode. I wasn’t disappointed in the story. It was very factual and most engaging, but it left me irritated and frustrated. I decided to wait until after I had watched part four before posting anything.

I’m glad I did. After watching part four I felt much better, and I’m looking forward to next Sunday.

However, the one word to describe part three was depressing.

1. It was depressing to see Abigail Adam’s anguish and fear thinking about John and John Quincy crossing the Atlantic to journey to France. How scary! If the British had intercepted them John Adams could have been taken to London and tried and executed as a traitor.

2. The amputation scene with a crew member was accurately graphic, but….ick!

3. It was depressing to see Adams mess up time and time again in his attempts to win over the French. I just wanted to shake him and say, “Stop being so serious. Make nice with the French, so they’ll give you what you want. Amuse them a little.”

4. Ben Franklin is portrayed very accurately, however, I’m just not used to dealing with his “dirty old man” side, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. :) Couldn’t he find a nicer looking French woman to bathe with?

5. It was depressing to see Abigail go through the pain of missing her husband, and how the separation caused her to go through so many varied emotions especially as her husband wasn’t sending letters as he should.

6. Abigail Adams’ bravery regarding keeping the home fires burning was so admirable. She endured much alone including the innoculation of her children and her daughter’s resulting sickness.

7. In the context of today’s world it is hard to understand why Adams would send the so very young John Quincy off to Russia.

8. Adams is recalled from France and sent to Holland. Another group of stern men to win over. More depression for me…..My husband kept reminding me that I was well versed in the entire story and to get over it, but my emotions prevailed.

Once the hour long part three was over I felt as if I had been through the wringer emotionally. I was soooo depressed.
The one word to describe part four was awkward. There was some form of awkwardness in most of the scenes.

9. Adams and his wife Abigail reunite after many months of being apart. They meet almost as if strangers….in a way they were. Very awkwardly they walk ustairs as Adams is showing her around his French home. Finally….they are behind closed doors and suddenly a more passionate kiss and then Adams’ wig slips down and falls to the floor. Up goes the dress and….oh my gosh! I asked hubby if we had just witnessed future presidential sex, and he stated he believed we had, but it sure was awfully quick, and Abigail looked like a deer caught in the headlights. One thing this miniseries has going for it is historical accuracy and “a certain accuracy with human action” as well.

10.Contrary to my awkward theme for part four is Thomas Jefferson. He is portrayed as deliciously charming. You expect him any minute to grab Mrs. Adams and steal a moment with her behind a door. I’m entranced when he is on the screen.

11.The awkwardness continues as Adams is sent to Britian where he has an audience with King George. What a powerful moment this must have been in real life! The rebel meeting the very symbol of government he rebelled against. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. You couldn’t even if you wanted to…..there were lots of moments in this scene where thoughts were conveyed by the movement of eyes, hands, and even the twitch of the mouth. It was very interesting to watch.

12.More awkwardness as Adams returns to America and is reunited with his children who are now grown. He didn’t even know who was who….What sacrifices this man endured for our nation!

13. Since we had never had a president before there was no real precident regarding an inauguration or how everyone was to carry out their roles. Aren’t we glad we have protocol officers now? Washington’s inauguration….what an awkward moment until the actual Oath of Office and then…..oh my gosh! They portrayed Washington saying it. He said “so help me God.” I've written about this a number of times.

So far I would say the entire series is outstanding! Bring on part five and more Thomas Jefferson, of course.

Here are my reactions to part one and two.

Locate other 13 lists here

5 comments:

kay said...

We are watching the series but have missed an episode and a few scenes here and there. Thanks for catching us up.

marcia said...

the book was so awesome

Dane Bramage said...

I avoided the series because I thought it wouldn't be accurate. But if you think it is worth watching I will look it up.

My #74 is up. I did a variation on the iPod list. 13 Songs by the Mystery Artist. Can you guess who it is? Okay it really isn't that tough since I give you three video clues.

The Tour Marm said...

I'm sooo depressed I'm working and unable to even access it on the hotel's cable; we get in too late!

I'll wait to buy it on DVD.

EHT said...

It is worth reading and watching...be it by reruns or dvd!

btw....I love the opening music score as well!