John Adams

Watch John Adams

  • TV-14
  • 2008
  • 1 Season
  • 8.4  (36,863)

John Adams is a historical drama television series, which was broadcasted on HBO in 2008. It is a seven-part miniseries based on the biography of the same name written by David McCullough. The show chronicles the life of John Adams - one of the founding fathers of America and the second president of the United States.

The series opens in 1770, with Adams (portrayed by Paul Giamatti) defending British soldiers who were accused of killing five colonists in the Boston Massacre. The show then follows Adams throughout some of the most important moments of his life, including his role in the revolutionary war, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, his term as vice-president under George Washington, and his presidency itself.

Throughout the show, we see both the personal and political aspects of Adams' life. We see his relationship with his wife Abigail (played by Laura Linney) and their letters to each other that offer intimate glimpses into their lives. We also see his strained relationship with Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane), particularly over the issue of slavery, as well as his friendship and respect for George Washington (David Morse).

The show also portrays the intricacies of American politics at the time, with Adams often at odds with his own party and fighting against the idea of political parties in general. The fourth episode, titled "Reunion," sees Adams and Jefferson meeting in Paris for negotiations with the British, and they end up in a heated debate on the future of the country.

The cast is exceptional, with Paul Giamatti delivering an exceptional performance as John Adams. He expertly portrays Adams as a difficult yet principled man who is often his own worst enemy. Laura Linney is equally impressive as Abigail, providing insight into their relationship, while also showing Abigail's strength and independence. Supporting actors such as Tom Wilkinson, Rufus Sewell, and Danny Huston also deliver powerful performances, bringing important historical figures to life.

The show is well-researched and beautifully shot, with excellent attention to detail in terms of costumes, sets, and historical accuracy. The writing is top-notch, based on McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and written by Kirk Ellis, who won an Emmy for his work on the show. The music, composed by Rob Lane, is also a highlight, adding to the drama and emotion of each scene.

Overall, John Adams is an engrossing and educational watch. It gives viewers a glimpse into a critical moment in American history, and the people who risked everything to create a new nation. It is both a personal and political drama, with fantastic performances, elegant writing, and meticulous attention to detail. It is a must-watch for fans of historical dramas and anyone interested in the founding of the United States.

John Adams is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (7 episodes). The series first aired on March 16, 2008.

John Adams
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Part 7 - Peacefield
7. Part 7 - Peacefield
April 20, 2008
In retirement, John Adams begins to write his memoirs and works on mending his relationship with Thomas Jefferson through a series of correspondence. John Adams also sees his son, John Quincy Adams move forward on his political career.
Part 6 - Unnecessary War
6. Part 6 - Unnecessary War
April 13, 2008
President Adams struggles to keep the U.S. out of a war with France. But his retention of Washington's cabinet and his support for the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 cause much controversy and effectively end his bond with Jefferson. Adams is upset over the death of his son, but plans his reelection after moving to the new capital city.
Part 5 - Unite or Die
5. Part 5 - Unite or Die
April 6, 2008
Having been elected as the country's first vice president, Adams is disappointed by the small role in the government he has been given, and sees his friendship with Jefferson hurting due to the disagreement between England and France. Adams needs the help of Abigail when he succeeds Washington as president in 1797, in making sense of this job ahead and the country's future.
Part 4 - Reunion
4. Part 4 - Reunion
March 30, 2008
In 1781, while recovering from an illness in Holland, Adams is informed of Cornwallis's surrender to Washington and is eventually reunited with Abigail in Paris. Later, Adams meets King George III while serving as ambassador to England, finally returns home to Boston and his now-grown children, and considers a position in the new government.
Part 3 - Don't Tread on Me
3. Part 3 - Don't Tread on Me
March 23, 2008
In an effort to land support the colonist's revolt against the British, John Adams and Ben Franklin head to France. Finding only mixed results in Paris, John heads to Holland to continue his mission.
Part 2 - Independence
2. Part 2 - Independence
March 16, 2008
Debates are spurred among the Continental Congress after the British attacks on Lexington and Concord in 1775, but Adams is met with skepticism by some of his colleagues for his arguments for Massachusetts and for independence.
Part 1 - Join or Die
1. Part 1 - Join or Die
March 16, 2008
Adams' reputation as a crusader for justice is enforced after the Boston Massacre in 1770, and is invited to join as a member of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
Where to Watch John Adams
John Adams is available for streaming on the HBO website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch John Adams on demand at Max, Amazon Prime, Amazon, HBO NOW, Vudu, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 16, 2008
  • IMDB Rating
    8.4  (36,863)