"Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard
"But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."
In France, the different styles between Adams and Franklin became evident. I guess one could say Adams was sort of a chickenhawk.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
I picked this up on DVD today and watched episode 1. Excellent. I am amazed at how Giamatti gets the nuances of Adams' personality across non-verbally.
An idea for anyone that wants to watch it for free, if you don't already have HBO. With Time Warner, you can cancel HBO within 30 days of signing up. With HBO on demand you can watch the entire series when you want. Heck, I was so addicted to it that I watched all seven episodes (10 hours+) over 2 days. Then, watch as much on-demand as you can in the next few weeks before you cancel, unless you're like me and you like it so much you just keep the HBO.
I also love the HBO documentaries, especially the ones on Mickey Mantle, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Bobby Thompson home run.
Also, as I'm sure most know, Giamatti is the son of the late commissioner, Bart Giamatti.
So, there's a little Reds connection there.
He also portrayed Abigail Adams poorly.
The portrayals of Washington and Jefferson were by far the best that I've ever seen. The Virginia Gentleman was prominent in their personalities even though they were of different minds from the same area of the Continent.
But, back to John and Abigail Adams.
Both John and Abigail were children of parsons. Themselves, their parents, their grandparents, and their great-grandparents were of a strict protestant heritage and lived their lives from birth to death thinking of God first, Community second, and themselves last. Duty to God, the Community and then themselves drove their lives. Prayer and Godly virtures were not only a daily stream of concsciousness, but were an integral part of the Boston-area community that they grew up in as children. This was completely absent in the book and the series. It was shown more as an occasional treat for the soul rather than the daily main course for living.
John and Abigail Adams were extremely patient people. If you took 1000 people randomly out of today's United States, not one of the 1000 would be as patient as either one of them. Yet, it was not portrayed that way. It showed both of them constantly raising their voices to each other when discussing anything from political ideas to the household finances. On the contrary, their Godly and religious principles for living provided for them the virtue of kindness and total respect for each other in their private lives. They were gracious to each other while in discussion whatever the topic might be. In one of the letters that Abigail wrote to John, she noted how sad it was how the area (Braintree, Boston, etc.) had changed referring to the increasing number of people who do not have the virtues of graciousness, kindness, and compassion of others.
In one letter that John sent to Abigail from France on Nov. 6th, 1778, he wrote, "It seems to be the Intention of Heaven, that We Should be taught the full Value of our Liberty by the dearness of the Purchase, and the Importance of public Virtue by the Necessity of it".
As fiercely as author David McCullough and the series derived from his book tried to force the poor character quality of self-centered ambition upon Adams, John Adams was not a man who sought fame through public service. Here's a portion of his letter to Abigail from Dec. 2nd, 1778 while still in France. "Your Reflections upon the Rewards of the Virtuous Friends of the public are very just. But if Virtue was to be rewarded with Wealth it would not be Virtue. If Virtue was to be rewarded with Fame, it would not be Virtue of the sublimest Kind." Adams did seek to at all times be Virtuous in thought and in action.
He closed that letter in a manner that was the norm for all of John and Abigail's communications throughout the decades of their correspondences to each other, and there was never a harsh word. "I pray you to remember me with every Sentiment of Tenderness, Duty and Affection, to your Father and my Mother, Your and my Brothers and Sisters, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, and every Body else that you know deserves it. What shall I say too and of my dear young Friends by your Fireside, may God almighty bless them, and make them wise."
In McCullough's efforts to try to paint Adams in an ambitious manner, they took out of context a personal message that he wrote in a letter to Abigail and in the series made it come out of his mouth in the presence of the Court of France as if he had the arrogance to not care what the public thinks of him and that he'd let everyone know exactly how he felt about things. Adams kept these feelings to himself, and only shared them intimately in a letter to his dear and loving wife.
"[Paris, post 12 May 1780] (This is his second trip to Paris after having been in Holland and Spain since his first trip.)
My Dear Portia
(He speaks about the beauty of the "rural Scenes around this Town" describing it's Arts and Luxuries before writing...)
...It is not indeed the fine Arts, which our Country requires. The Usefull, the mechanic Arts, are those which We have occasion for in a young Country, as yet simple and not far advanced in Luxury, altho perhaps much too far for her Age and Character.
I could fill Volumes with Descriptions of Temples and Palaces, Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestry, Porcelaine, &c. &c. &c.-if I could have time. But I could not do this without neglecting my duty.-(and this is where the series and McCullough have Adams saying the rest publicly in the French Courts for public scrutiny, reprinting of his quotes, and negative scrutiny)-The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts.-I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.
To understand the True Character of John and Abigail Adams, you need to understand the character of their family and the community their family lived in. The community was very close knit up to the time that they were children. So much so, that a Grandmother of Abigail was the sister of a Grandfather of John, making them second cousins. Their Protestant community of the surrounding towns of Boston from 1680 to 1750, the years when their Great-Grandparents to themselves were growing up, was a community where everyone went to church and lived respectfully and virtuously with each other as they not only knew each other, but so many were related to each other in one fashion or another. They weren't the witch-burning Puritans of Salem, Massachusetts, nor are they the hypocritical Fundamentalist Christians of today. They were a blend of the best of both worlds. And these two were even more well-bread. Abigail's (Smith) Father was a well-to-do Parson. He, like many others in rural New England, owned a collection of books which he states in his diary that he loaded to friends and family. Her mother was a Quincy, and thus, was related by both blood and by marriage to many of the families longest established and most respected in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. John graduated from Harvard in '55 and didn't meet Abigail until '59 at the age of 23. As I said before, he was also the son of a parson and had some of the same patronage as Abigail. There's was a meeting of virtuous individuals from virtuous families in a virtuous society. Never a harsh word was spoken to each other as they were extremely capable of expressing whatever opinions they might have in a respectful and kindly manner so as not to offend or belittle the other.
***All quotes and letter references I made were written in the exact manner as they appear on the letters themselves along with capitalization, puncuation, and spelling.
I highly recommend that you watch the series whenever you can. It's the best I've ever seen done on that time period. Tom Hanks (executive co-producer) tried in vain to capture accurately all parts of the movie, from minor characters to buildings, to storylines, while having to omit an enormous amount of the timeline of Adam's life. Choosing which parts to omit had to be difficult.
My favorite parts of the series were the scenes where Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Adams spent moments together talking politics. Excellently done, whether I agree with how Adams was portrayed or not.
Last edited by Kingspoint; 06-14-2008 at 10:47 AM.