HBO’s John Adams: Review


David Loraas, Contributor

252 years ago John Adams would return to his home in Massachusetts to witness the major historical event of the Boston Massacre. This is what starts off the show “John Adams,” directed by Tom Hooper and based on the book by David McCullough. John Adams is shown to be a man of the law but a good man. He also is shown to care about his family, moving them a few times to get them away from the impending revolution. Abigail Adams, his wife, is shown to be someone who does not care what others think, so much so that a majority of John Adams’s decisions, political or not, are because she had something to say about it. 


This show takes place from the years 1770 all the way up to Adams’ death on July 4th, 1826. Even though that seems like a lot to cover for a 7 episode mini-series, it manages to do it, with a shocking amount of quality to it. We get to see a different perspective apart from what we read in textbooks. Some of the events we get to see are Washington’s inauguration, how Americans reacted to King Louis XVI’s death, and much more.


There’s this effort behind it that makes it seem real, even though it is impossible now to see how life was like before, during, and after the revolution. It’s sort of like time-traveling back to that time. If you’re a history nerd or not, “John Adams” really gets you hooked onto it in its first 40 minutes. Paul Giamatti’s performance as John Adams really helped the show. The supporting cast is no different, seeing as they had to get all of the Founding Fathers, and those around John Adams represented one way or another. If you have any interest in history or the United States, this is probably one of the best shows that’ll fit your interest.