Wednesday, March 19, 2008

FanBoyWonder Television Spotlight: John Adams

FanBoyWonder would like to draw your attention to what we see as the television mini-series event of the season—the historic bio-drama John Adams this month on HBO.

Based on the amazing book by Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough, John Adams is a 7-part mini-series starting this past Sunday which traces the life of Founding Father, 2nd President of the United States and all-around unsung hero of the American Revolution John Adams.

Here’s The Upshot From HBO Films: Starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, executive produced by Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and directed by Emmy®-winner Tom Hooper, John Adams is a seven-part epic miniseries event that explores American history through the eyes of one of its greatest founding fathers, John Adams (Giamatti), a fiercely independent spirit whose unwavering vision steered America through a tumultuous period.

John Adams taps into the uncertainty and intensity surrounding the birth of the American republic and its first 50 years. With the fervent support of his wife Abigail (Linney), and through a lifelong political rivalry and friendship with Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane), Adams rose to be the leader of the American independence movement, the nation's first ambassador to Holland and England, the first American Vice President, the second American President, and father of the sixth American President.

Drawn from an extensive collection of letters, diaries and family papers, David McCullough's biography of John Adams was a New York Times best seller, and proclaimed by Time magazine as a "masterwork of storytelling...a rollicking ensemble drama featuring a collection of giants." The New Yorker hailed it as a "stirring history. [McCullough's] vivid storytelling will surely persuade a generation to look again at this obstinate, brave, and most deeply philosophical of American patriarchs."

We’re excited about this mini-series. We very much enjoyed McCullough’s book and from what we’ve seen and from the author’s enthusiastic endorsement, the filmmakers have gone way out of their way both to do full justice to McCullough’s book but to the entire historical period as well.

For much of the last two centuries, John Adams has suffered as the Rodney Dangerfield of the Founding Fathers—he didn’t get any respect.

His name, if remembered at all as he does NOT enjoy a marble monument as does Washington or Jefferson—is linked to the scandals such as the Alien and Sedition acts of his presidency or overshadowed by his sometime friend and life-long rival Thomas Jefferson.

Adams’ reputation seemed to rebound virtually overnight following the publication of McCullough’s biography. McCullough performed a similar feat for another President of the United States about 15 years ago.

McCullough’s biography of Harry S. Truman—Truman—remains one of our favorite books of all time. HBO Films also made a bio picture out of that book in 1995 staring Gary Sinise and it remains a favorite of ours.

We have high hopes for John Adams. This is a story and a period of history that really needs to be told. As he did with Band of Brothers, Tom Hanks is using some his Hollywood clout to tell a story that needs to be told in a top shelf Hollywood way.

This is a story worth taking the time to watch.

John Adams has already premiered with Parts 1 and 2 and we like what we’ve seen so far. Paul Giamatti is especially good as Adams—it’s hard to believe this was the same guy who was “Pig Vomit” in the Howard Stern movie. He’s come a long away and he is more than capable of carrying this mini-series. Ditto for his on-screen wife Abigail played by Laura Linney.

You can find out more information and times of encore broadcasts at its website while Part 3 airs Sunday at 9 p.m. (EST) with the mini-series running through April 20.


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