Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I’m Watching: The Kennedys (Miniseries Premiere)

The Kennedys: Parts 1 & 2 (C-)

I really try not to read too much about a given program before it premieres because I don’t want my opinion to be influenced by the perspectives of others. It was hard to ignore all that with this miniseries being rejected by the History Channel and then passed on by almost every other network until it ended up on the completely unknown Reelz Channel. It also appears that most of the criticism I’ve read of the miniseries is spot-on. Documenting the Kennedy family in a lengthy, multigenerational production sounds like a great idea, yet this product does not do justice to that at all. Things get problematic even at the very start, when the credits suddenly turn from a political drama into a thriller and the names of multiple members of the production team from “24” grace the screen. This is a very showy dramatization that emphasizes stark characterizations and embellishment of themes over anything else. Joseph P. Kennedy only wants to use his money to get power, while his son Joe wanted glory, John didn’t want much, and Bobby just wanted to get out of it all. The scenes dealing with Joe’s lack of faith are particularly irksome and overdone. This production is heavy on the nauseating accents, demonstrating that its creators value imitation over compelling performances. It seems like there’s a need to make every character as despicable and horrible as possible, and it’s hard to take this project seriously. Eight hours is an awfully long time, and with this as the product of the first two, I’m not impressed.


Unknown said...

You must be poiticaly motivated, becuase many people like myself watched it and we are very interested in seeing the family in this light, or the story behind the story we read in the press...I suppose when the story tells us about the relationship with crime family's or the story of both brothers sleeping with Marlyn Monroe you will tell us this didn't happen or to dramatic??? This was real life drama not told to the public, hence why so many are watching!!!

Movies with Abe said...

I have no political opinion on anything regarding the Kennedys - it just seems to me that the dialogue and performances are rather overdone. I don't find them to be believable characters, even if that's the way they were in real life. These portrayals aren't convincing, and the production isn't nearly well done enough to justify that.