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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must see" for every red-blooded American., June 2, 2008
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This review is from: John Adams (DVD)
John Adams: deeply principaled, no-nonsence, ornery, lawful good, brilliant, fallible, passionate founder of our country. This is the story of the unbridled defiance, the shrewd intellect, and the angry pounding fist that tore the American colonies from British rule and gave birth to one of the greatest experiments in the history of the world - the United States of America. Stunning and haunting, this is John Adams like you've never seen him. Myth and poetry have been stripped away to reveal the far-more-fascinating, truly-human story of one of the greatest men who has ever lived.

Giamatti is simply brilliant as Adams. If he doesn't win the Emmy for this, I may declare my own independance from the "dark tyranny" of the ATAS. Linney is equally wonderful in her portrayal as the groundingly sapient Abigail. Their love story is one of the greatest in American history, and it's been marvelously recaptured here.

If it's even possible to have "spoilers" for a factual historical drama, then the following might qualify, but if you want to see what each eposide covers, here's my stab at it:

Episode 1: Join or Die.
Begins with the Boston Massacre, and covers the period leading up to Adams departure for Philidelphia to represent Massachusettes in the First Continental Congress.

Episode 2: Independance.
Covers the First Continental Congress, the beginning of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord, the nomination of GW (by Adams) to serve as general of the new Continental Army, the Second Continental Congress, and Adams collaboration with Jefferson and Franklin to bring forth the Declaration of Independance.

Episode 3: Don't Tread on Me.
Covers the journey of Adams and Franklin to France to secure support against the British, Adam's tone-deaf approach to French diplomacy, his painful separation from Abigail, his dispatch to Holland (where his approach is somewhat better receive), and a terrible illness that befalls him.

Episode 4: Reunion.
Covers the defeat of the British forces, Adam's return to Paris and reunion with Abigail, his appointment to represent the new nation to the English crown, his frustrating absence from the Constitutional Convention, his return to America, and his election as Vice President.

Episode 5: Unite or Die.
Covers Adam's Vice Presidency under George Washington, the ongoing British and French conflict, his strained relationship with Jefferson over their very different ideas about how the new nation should be governed, and his narrow victory over Jefferson to become the second President.

Episode 6: Unnecessary War.
Covers Adam's uneasy presidency, including the retention of Washington's cabinet, largely controlled by Hamilton (mistake #1), the imfamous Alien and Sedition Acts (mistake #2), his arrival at the White House in the new capital of Washington (both still under construction), his estragement from his son Charles, the XYZ affair, his successful prevention of war with France, his loss of the Presidency to Jefferson, and his somber return to Massachusettes.

Episode 7: Peacefield.
Covers Adam's post-presidency, including the death of daugher Nabby, followed by Abigail, his reconciliation with Jefferson, the election of John Quincy as President, his long and introspective reflections on his life and legacy, and his death on the same day as Jefferson - the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration which they masterminded together.

I hope you enjoy this rare masterpiece as much as I did. I watched every episode as they aired, and plan to watch them all again as soon as the DVD is available. This is television at its finest, and I give it my highest recommendation.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 5, 2008 10:24:07 PM PST
This HBO series on John Adams went over the top. Superb casting by seasoned actors who gave outstanding performances. I truly believed Giammatti was Adams in every scene. Tom Hanks and his crew should be proud for making Mc Cullough's book come alive on screen. J. Gagliano
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