"Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write." ~John Adams
I have been desiring to watch HBO's series on John Adams based off David McCullough's book for some time, and just recently was able to sit down and see it. Started reading the book quite a while ago, though have not as of yet finished it. But from what I have read they did seem to follow it rather closely. How accurate the book itself is, especially of Adam's personal life and character is debatable. But I feel the did more accurately represent the lifestyle of the people living during the American Revolution. Showing it not as a time of freedom and victory as we often picture, but "... a year of all-too-few victories, of sustained suffering, disease, hunger, desertion, cowardice, disillusionment, defeat, terrible discouragement, and fear, as they would never forget, but also of phenomenal courage and bedrock devotion to country, and that too they would never forget." ~ David McCullough
In the reading and watching of it I actually lost quite a bit of respect for John Adams, mainly in how he cared for his family, or rather didn't care for them. Being gone for most of their childhood and so leaving his wife with the full responsibility of caring for and training them. Then even calling her away and sending them to schools. Also in how he handled other men, his lack of graciousness and tact. Not a particularly likable guy.
But as I look at it, in a way it is a good thing that they chose to portray all these things. Many look up to the founding fathers of our nation as very high-standing , exceptional men, and forget that, while they did do amazing things and had much courage and fortitude, they were fallen human being just the same as we are. They had faults and could be harsh and cantankerous.
I very much appreciated the filmmakers for showing things as they were. Not putting the Hollywood glamour into it, but showing hard times as truly being that.
I would not recommend it for younger audiences, because of the portrayal of the events taking place. It is a story of war and the brutality of men's actions to one another during such times.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." ~ John Adams