Ah, yes — The Kennedys.
I see we’ll be running it up here on our History Channel.
(At least the American History Channel has earned the nickname “the Hitler Channel” by showing lots of documentaries about actual, you know, history. The Canadian History Channel, on the other hand, mostly airs programs that should really be retitled Deep Sea Divers Don’t Find That Shipwreck (Again) or Our Catapults Never Work or People Didn’t Take Baths Long Ago.)
I think I’ll pass. I’ve endured a number of Kennedy miniseries, and they’re always awful. People strike familiar poses and utter expository dialogue (in dubious accents) on the level of “Hello my brother the Attorney General!”
I realize the Boston accent is dying out, but the English one of Chaucer’s and Shakespeare’s time is long dead; like the Slate.com writer, I can’t believe Kennedy-movie producers rarely bother to spring for a competent dialogue/dialect coach. Is this the sort of thing they’re for?
I wonder if, love them or hate them, the story of the Kennedys is so dramatic that producers figure it can just write and produce itself through some kind of alchemy. (It’s practically the Underpants Gnome school of cinema: Step one — Grab a bunch of old Life magazines and a few million bucks. Step two — ??? Step three — Movie!)
Anyway, speaking of expository dialogue, the following doesn’t seem to be a joke. It pains me to even paste this in — then again, why should I have to suffer alone? — but here is the Slate.com writer again:
In its seventh hour, The Kennedys finally lurches toward Dealey Plaza. (“Hey, Lee,” an employee of the Texas School Book Depository calls out to a colleague, “we’re all headed down the knoll. …”)
The person who wrote that should be shot or have the decency to kill themselves. How does someone like that sleep at night, and consider themselves worthy to continue eating and breathing?
However, I take less exception to this Slate.com complaint:
It supposes that, after the embarrassment of the Bay of Pigs, he rescued his public-approval rating by going on TV to apologize.
JFK’s poll numbers indeed improved after that speech, leading him to observe that, “The worse I do, the more they seem to like me.” I don’t see how that reflects badly on the miniseries as it does on the American people’s sometimes excessive ability to forgive and forget. So that’s a forgivable inclusion on The Kennedy’s part, assuming the story is being told from JFK’s point of view, which, come to think of it, it isn’t. In fact, the miniseries doesn’t seem to have one POV. Could that be the trouble…?
Anyway: whose idea was Barry Pepper as RFK? Holy crap. They couldn’t just get the guy from Thirteen Days? Just on sight, Pepper is the worst RFK since Martin Sheen (who almost singlehandley ruins the historically inaccurate [after all, much of the information was still classified] yet entertaining old chestnut, Missiles of October.)
PS: the family always called him “Eddie,” not “Teddy.” Read a book sometime.
I’m glad we have two TVs in this house, is all.