Watch John Adams

The beginning of the show takes the viewer to the city of Boston. British soldiers are murdering citizens in a horrific massacre. John Adams is a well-known respected and honorable attorney. Due to his excellent record in bringing hope and justice to people, he defends the commander of the Redcoats believed to be the murderer. John Adams is not comfortable initially, but then decides to take on this complicated case. The community does not like it and much controversy follows this decision.

John Adams is also shown as a great driving force to bring independence to the United States. He is determined to show his fellow Congressmen that independence from Great Britain will bring the States to a new and better level. He played an important role in the election of George Washington as the leader of the new Army. Many did not agree with his actions. In the process and passion of convincing the community and Congress, he begins to question and even rudely accuses members of being cowards and not for the forward movement of the country.

After his trips overseas, John Adams begins to forge deep international bonds with European nations. John Adams is not comfortable with the lavish European ways. He was nothing like Benjamin Franklin who was a direct, reserved and serious man that loved his wife deeply. He refuses to engage in the wild party like atmosphere of the French nation. He did not want to use it as a tool to get the countries to have a political and economic relationship with each other. He loses his position to be the diplomatic liaison between the two nations because of his ethics and beliefs.

Even though all of this takes place, John Adams still becomes the second president.

John Adams chooses Thomas Jefferson as the Vice-President but the relationship between the two is very distant and strained. He actually loses the election against his own Vice-President. The interesting part about both presidents is that both passed away on the same day on the half-century anniversary of the celebration of Independence.

Sundays at 08:00 pm on HBO
1 Season, 7 Episodes
March 16, 2008
History
8.6/10
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett, Stephen Dillane
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John Adams Full Episode Guide

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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