Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
Posts tagged "HBO"
Asker beetle-black Asks:
Did you ever watch the John Adams series by HBO? There are some inaccuracies but it's still a great show. I *cough*legally*cough* watched it at least three times.
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Yes, I’ve watched HBO’s John Adams and I loved it. In any film or television series based on history, it is never going to be 100% historically accurate because telling these stories in a limited amount of time and the need for heightened drama will always require taking some creative liberties and using composite characters. The historical accuracy never really bothers me with movies or television because I know what I’m getting when I go into it.

Anyway, back to John Adams, I’m a big fan of the series and I thought the casting was amazing with damn near every character. As I’ve said before, I’ve been crossing my fingers that we’ll eventually get a feature on George Washington with David Morse reprising his role (and hopefully the make-up artist reprising their role) or the chance to see Stephen Dillane (I finally learned his name) as Thomas Jefferson again. I thought Dillane stole almost every scene that he was in. 

So, I bought Season One of The Newsroom last night because they were all out of copies of House of Cards at Target, but haven’t really felt like checking it out yet because I have a ton of reading I need to catch up on.  However, I just decided to pop in the first DVD for a few minutes, see how Episode 1 starts out, and try to get a feel for the show, but had no plans to watch much of it yet.  But, of course, two minutes into the COLD OPEN The Newsroom features one of those awesome, brilliant Aaron Sorkin rants that makes you want to stand up and salute with Jeff Daniels channeling President Bartlet and now it looks like that reading I need to catch up on is going to have to wait.

I got the DVD and watched HBO’s Game Change last night and, even though I read the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, and even though I was pretty knowledgeable about everything that happened during the 2008 election with the McCain/Palin campaign, seeing scenes like Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin preparing for speeches, interviews, or the VP debate made me cringe as I was watching it.  I cannot imagine how frustrating it must have been for the McCain campaign’s staff trying to prep Palin and how much of a stomach punch it must have been to realize how incredibly unqualified she was for high political office.  I mean, none of this is news, but watching a portrayal of it in a film just made me shake my head — the same feeling I had when I originally read the book.

Anyway, I’m always months behind when it comes to watching things, so most of you have probably seen the film already, but if not, check Game Change out.  Ed Harris is REALLY good as John McCain (which seems like a tough role to pull off), Julianne Moore is awesome as Palin, and Woody Harrelson, who plays Steve Schmidt, is good in everything he does.

And, of course, don’t miss out on Heilemann and Halperin’s book, Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (BOOKKINDLE), which was the basis for the film and which also covered the Obama/Biden side, unlike the movie.

Everyone who responded to my question about whether HBO’s Rome got better than the first episode was right on.  Shit picked up after about two episodes and I’m all in.  Any other historical dramas that I should check out?

Did any of you watch HBO’s series Rome when it was on?  If so, did it get good?  I bought the DVD and completely checked out of the first episode while I was watching it.  I did the same thing with The Borgias and eventually ended up liking that series a lot.  I’m hoping the same thing will happen with Rome, but it doesn’t have Jeremy Irons to carry the slow episodes (and distract me with his ill-fitting dentures) like The Borgias does.

Anyway, does Rome get better or did I make a bad purchase?