John Adams: Season 1, Episode 6

Unnecessary War (13 Apr. 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | History
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 189 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

After Adams becomes President continues Washington's policy of neutrality between England and France despite opposition inside his own cabinet.

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Kevin Trainor ...
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White House Construction Foreman
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Storyline

Following the peace treaty with England President Adams struggles to avoid war with France despite pressure from his Federalist cabinet and French provocation. John finds the price of peace to his career and the price of his long career of public service to his family is indeed high. Written by David Foss

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13 April 2008 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Although the Undeclared War with France, or Quasi-War, the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the XYZ Affair are part of the plot, they are not named as such. See more »

Goofs

When John Adams arrived at the White House, he arrived alone in the late evening on November 1, 1800, and at the south front of the house, which did not yet have the famous semi-circular portico, but which had the only functioning staircase. His famous blessing, which endures on the mantle of the State Dining Room, was written in a letter to Abigail, who was still in Massachusetts and arrived some weeks later. The episode also shows the Adamses occupying the East Room as a parlor/office/dining room. This was not the case; the only use of the East Room at the time of Adams' short occupation, was as a drying room for laundry. The present Green Room was used as a dining room, the Blue Room was the entry, and the Red Room was used as a combination office/parlor. The Adams family used these three rooms almost exclusively, with the exception of the one bedroom on the second floor which was accessed via the servants staircase, due to the fact that the grand staircase was not yet completed. Aside from these errors, the depiction of the White House as it stood in 1800-1801 is accurate and well represented. See more »

Quotes

Abigail Adams: [reading The Federalist Papers] "The reign of Mr. Adams has hitherto been one continued tempest of malignant passions. As president, he has never opened his lips without threatening or scolding. He is a repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite, one of the most egregious fools upon the continent, a hideous, hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."
John Adams: It is beneath the President of the United States to take any notice of ...
[...]
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Connections

Version of The Adams Chronicles (1976) See more »

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Hail Columbia
Written by Joseph Hopkinson and Philip Phile
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User Reviews

 
President Adams!
23 July 2009 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The election of John Adams to the presidency of the new nation, was the culmination of a life dedicated to serving his country. Unfortunately, this period proved to be quite unsettling for Mr. Adams. He had seen his son John gone abroad as a representative of the United States, a source of pride for him. On the domestic front, he had to deal with problems at home.

His son-in-law, Colonel William Smith, who had worked at his assistant announces his departure as he and Nabby separate. His son Charles, who was a rake, succumbs to a life of self-indulgence and alcohol. Before parting for trip overseas, John entrusts Charles with two thousand dollars, something that in those days was a fortune, to be invested wisely. Charles wasted the money and his life and pays a high price with his own death, something that profoundly affects John. Abigail, who is inconsolable about the loss of a child, thinks her husband is a hard man for not even crying when they receive the news. In his solitude, we watch that on the contrary, this untimely passing deeply affected him as well.

The years of his presidency were marked for a split in ideology with his close friend, and ally, Thomas Jefferson, a man with whom he, and Abigail had spent many hours talking about their views about what they wanted their country to become. It is also the period in which Mr. Adams has to move to the new capital, named after George Washington. The new residence of the head of the nation was quite unfinished by the time they move and had to put up with the construction of what became known as the White House.

The sixth chapter of this magnificent series marks one of the highlights of the book because John Adams is reduced to being a mere citizen as we watch him board a horse driven carriage in the company of ordinary citizens, who are surprised at seeing him. He puts them at ease by reminding him he is just someone like them.

Tom Hopper's direction is exceptional in the way he captures the atmosphere during the period being examined. One of the most moving moments that come alive thanks by Paul Giamatti's sensitive approach to his character. Laura Linney is perfection herself as the aging Abigail. Stephen Dillane does well with his Jefferson. Rufus Sewell is as pompous as his Alexander Hamilton. Sarah Polley and Kevin Trainor do a wonderful job as Nabby and Charles Adams.


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Amazing series, minus one thing. keenvj
Was George Washington a jackass? homer_it
Other Figures in history that ought to get the 'John Adams Treatment' Writerchamp13
Jefferson Predicted the Civil War skybailey16
Good, but jarring too doughdee222
Phenominal casting, except for... mrbsays
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