On John Adams

The HBO series, I mean. I watched the first episode last night, and yeah, it’s pretty good. Giamatti, Linney and all the other actors are great, as are the sets, and the “thrilling” and “compelling” courtroom drama that makes up so much of this first episode is gripping in the way compelling courtroom dramas are supposed to grip. So I don’t know if it’s just me, or something I ate, or too little Sam Adams while watching, but the whole HBO series thing is beginning to seem pretty formulaic to me. Actually, I’m sure the problem is that I just watch too many of these things. The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Rome, Carnivàle, The Wire … there’s just no end to great television these days. But it’s too much. And yet, I can’t help myself. It’s an addiction. I need help. Here’s an idea: let’s read the SK bio this summer, and as we’re doing so sketch out one of these HBO series based on his life. It’ll all be there: the Fork, Regine, The Corsaire Affair … the same shot, over and over again, of SK hunched over a desk, writing and writing and … writing. The Golden Age of Copenhagen, “the squalor and the splendor”, as it were … this has nothing to do with John Adams, I realize, and everything to do with … I don’t have time for this any more.

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