Sunday, April 27, 2008

John Adams Series

We've been actively engaged in the HBO series, "John Adams." If you haven't seen this, catch it On-Demand or the DVD whenever it's out. It's filmed so vividly and realistically. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney are sublime as John and Abigail Adams. They are true actors as they became these two real people - gave them a breath, a body and flaws. I'm not a history buff and I had to dig into my memory from freshman year in college in US history to remember who was who and how the Revolutionary War took place. My only complaint about the series is that a lot of events were crammed into the 7 part series. So, episodes leaped over years of events and it was hard to keep track.

I was struck by some essential themes of this series:
1. The marriage of John and Abigail was so strong. She voiced her opinions, and he listened to what she had to offer. There was a strong vein of mutual respect, yet the ability to criticize the other. When Abigail was on her deathbed, I felt John's pain. What would he do without her? How could he even survive since he leaned on her for everything? They were married over 50 years and at that point, every thought and movement is entwined with another person. To me, he seemed weaker without the strength of his wife. The common thought is a woman is weaker without her husband. Yet, I see otherwise.

2. I'm delighted this series has been shown in 2008. Of course, it would've been nicer if this was out in 2001. This country needs to be inspired by the fire and drive these "Founding Fathers" had. We can see the thought process, the debates and arguments for different points for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as their intentions for the role of the Executive Office. Early Americans suffered so much and aspired so deeply towards a country of liberties that the world could not even conjure in its imaginations. They knew they had to break away from imperialism. And, they were able to do it! It's infuriating that in 2008, the US government is promoting one rule for themselves, and different rules for the rest of the world.

The John Adams series is definitely worthwhile and inspiring on many levels. Liberties and declarations aside, one becomes extremely grateful for modern day dental hygeniene and anesthesia!

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