There are two sides to history, and much of it would be lost if no one kept records. From the Constitution to the dialect, the miniseries, John Adams, tells a very proper story of how no one got along in the beginnings of the U.S. nation. If you’re up for politics and the horrible lifestyle this great country had to endure to be independent, then place your tissue box next to you, because this is one of the best tear jerkers for patriots and historians who enjoy American history.
As most stories begin, there was once a time of peace. The colonies were prosperous, and Britain soon felt entitled to remind their people, living outside of the British isles, who was boss. Naturally, at this time, the Kingdom of England had the most liberty anyone had in the world of monarchy. Parliament ruled, and the King reigned, allowing the people to make their home a self made castle. The Colonies loved this deal, and gloated pridefully for being a part of such an amazing empire. That is, of course, until the taxes came…
John Adams starts off as an advocate for the crown. Figuratively speaking, his stance on what the King deemed necessary to continue in their economy was justifiable at all cost. His role as a Lawyer in defending English soldiers in the country of Massachusetts is a heavy testament for his loyalty to the crown before even his own brother, Sam Adams. The politics in this show escalates when greedy representatives try to ruin Sam Adams just so they can have a seat in the King’s court. I can give you further spoilers, but there is also the factor of drama that plays in this series that keeps you from pausing at all times while you experience the horror of the Boston mob. The scene of a merchant being tarred and feathered says it all. Capturing such as a scene makes your heart bleed, but pangs your mind for more curiosity. I, myself, found elation at seeing such an accurate reenactment of this torture – a sinful pleasure I will not apologize for.
Abigail Adams, or “my friend”, as John Adams calls his wife, is the pillar of this show. With her, John reflects his actions and thoughts – delivering powerful duet performances between the courtroom, family, and the idealism of the American people. Played by award winner, Laura Linney, she and actor, Paul Giamatti, pull your heart’s strings like a hot spanish guitar – pricking at the best notes of every period drama you’ve ever cried for.
Needless to say, this is no Michael Bay film…
You’ll wish to see the guns and the wounds, but you barely will. You’ll hope to see explosions and sexual tension, but you barely will. What you’ll find yourself in though is a lot of questions being answered, such as, did King George III really want to start a war, or where the heck did our credit come from after winning the Revolutionary War (spoilers!), and how the song Yankee Doodle is correlated to the long family line of Thomas Jefferson? Much like the miniseries of Sons of Liberty, though, Ben Franklin still sleeps around like a hound, but luckily, we’re spared from his wrinkles in this series… Huzzah.
Watching this series is satisfying, as much of it throws you around the world, in its current state before and after the Revolutionary War. You’ll enjoy the ritual of court life in Britain and France, the mannerisms of different colonies of that time and of your European Protestants, and realize where our history books went wrong in how this nation actually began.
Please do not watch this if you’re not familiar or interested in period dramas, as much of the storytelling will require you to be patient for closure. But if your heart is ready for an exercise, then please prepare yourself for one of the best performances for an American historical play! John Adams is a riveting series plagued with the best cast of your dreams. This show may be a gut wrencher, but satisfaction is guaranteed, all the way to the bitterest end.