“A plain horse, for plain John Adams.”

Better late than never, right? I’ve come to the conclusion that HBO is the best cable network EVAR. With networks like Showtime and even AMC biting at their heels, HBO delivers a quality of entertainment that you’re really not going to find anywhere else. Especially now, with shows like The Sopranos and The Wire having joined the ranks of the dearly departed, and with the television landscape having gone nutty nuts in the past few years, big productions are what it takes to snag viewers. Luckily, John Adams delivers. In fact, you could say, it’s revolutionary! Oh I hate myself.

Adams takes a look at America’s second president unlike anything we’ve seen on-screen. And unlike coach whoever’s class in high school, you actually come away feeling like you’ve learned something. In part 1 of a 7-part miniseries, we see Adams begin as a simple, Baystate lawyer who rises through the ranks to become a simple, Baystate lawyer on his way to join the Continental Congress. The journey from point A to point B is interesting, as we see anti-British sentiment rising throughout Boston. Adams’ decision to represent a group of British soldiers charged with massacring innocent civilians shows us both his character and his desire to see justice served. The fact that the soldiers weren’t found guilty and strung up shows us exactly how good a lawyer he was. After the trial, Adams, having made a name for himself, is singled out by the British and Revolutionaries both as someone they want on their side. Of course, we know who Adams chose to go with.

The production value here is fantastic. And that’s all around, costumes, sets, FX. As far as Revolutionary War-era films go, you won’t see anything that looks better than this. Of course, there aren’t that many to choose from, but still. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney are brilliant in their performances. In the beginning, their scenes together seem so short, but we get such a sense of how much they relied on each other. So far I’ve really enjoyed Danny Huston as Samuel Adams, a character who seems at once both sinister and benign. Next up is Part 2: Independence. Will Sam Adams finally give the others a taste of that new ale he’s been raving about? Join us next time and find out!

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