The triumphs and tragedies of the most popular political family in American history.The triumphs and tragedies of the most popular political family in American history.The triumphs and tragedies of the most popular political family in American history.
I have always said about the tumultuous and tragic story of the Kennedys that even a fiction writer could not have fabricated it. This series took a saga that we all are already familiar with - at least for the most part - and synthesized it into a gripping drama. Moreover, points are brought out in the story-line that are downright eye-opening. In particular, Joe Kennedy Sr. comes across as a real S.O.B., someone who was utterly ruthless and who would stop at nothing to achieve his ends, and if this story WERE fiction, it would make for an epic cautionary morality tale. In all fairness, I must say that some of the scenes were so shocking in an ethical sense, I had to take them with a grain of salt.
Watching this program, it certainly comes to the fore that the Kennedy administration was so very much more than "Camelot." For such an "innocent" time, JFK was dealing with domestic and global issues that would make any man turn gray overnight. Not only was this series entertaining, but it served as a condensed history lesson, touching as it did upon topics such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Berlin Wall, the civil rights movement, and the beginnings of the Vietnam War.
The acting here was nothing short of extraordinary. Greg Kinnear as the President was downright eerie to watch as he looked SO much like JFK. As for Katie Holmes as Jackie, I must say I have a new-found respect for her as an actress; she was perfection in this role. Barry Pepper in the role of Bobby Kennedy was an absolute revelation. And if Tom Wilkinson, who played Joe Kennedy Sr., does not win an award for his portrayal, it will be a travesty. The actresses who played Rose and Ethel were likewise excellent.
I am gratified that the assassination was handled with such tact. We did not need to see anything more graphic than we've already seen dozens if not hundreds of times.
My only complaint is that the legendary wit and charisma of JFK did not come across as strongly as I would have expected.
I was also left feeling utterly baffled as to why Ted Kennedy was completely absent from the story-line.
Kudos to the writers, to the make-up artists (who did an amazing, AMAZING job in making the actors almost indistinguishable from the real-life personages we know so well), the set designers who captured the period so accurately (right on down to the scene of Jackie smoking while pregnant with John Jr.; let's face it, we've learned a lot over the span of 50 years...), and most especially the actors who did such a superlative job with the look, accents and mannerisms of JFK, Jackie, Bobby and Joe Sr.
If The Kennedys doesn't sweep the Emmys, it will be a miscarriage of justice. Bravo to all involved in this magnificent production.
- Apr 10, 2011