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Sons Of Liberty

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Episode Synopsis:

 

In Boston, Sam Adams--brilliant but deeply in debt--incites the anger of the British crown after accidentally provoking the destruction of the royal governor's mansion. With the British authorities on his tail, Sam is forced to turn to a wealthy socialite--John Hancock--for help. But when their association ruins Hancock's British business connections, together, Sam and Hancock establish an ingenious black market smuggling operation only to have it swiftly shut down by the royal governor. Once again, riots consume the streets of Boston. Sam engineers a protest of loyalist businesses, but when a young boy is murdered by a British supporter, the conflict with the British goes from a dispute about money and taxation to a fight for freedom.

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Episode Synopsis:

 

The British Crown responds to the colonists' destruction of 600,000 pounds of tea by sending the ruthless General Thomas Gage to Boston to snuff out the rebellion. The general's tumultuous relationship with his wife, Margaret, leaves her vulnerable and soon, she engages in an affair with Sam Adams's close friend, Dr. Joseph Warren. To combat the growing British threat, Sam, John Hancock and John Adams meet with the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. But when the other colonists refuse to aid Boston, Sam and Hancock take George Washington's advice and begin training their own army. When Margaret divulges Gage's plan to capture Sam and Hancock, Paul Revere sets off on his legendary ride to warn the colonists. Revere arrives in the nick of time, but while Sam and Hancock flee from their safe house, they hear "The Shot Heard Round The World" as the British face off with the colonial militia.

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Episode Synopsis:

 

As Sam Adams and John Hancock barely manage to escape, the superior British Royal Army massacres the rest of colonial militia at the famed Battle of Lexington. The two forces clash again at Concord, forcing the British to retreat back to Boston. While both sides prepare for an inevitable war, Sam and Hancock work with Ben Franklin to desperately convince the rest of the colonial representatives in Congress to support their cause--independence. When General Thomas Gage learns of his wife Margaret's affair with Sam's friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, Gage launches a full-out assault on the colonists at Bunker Hill. Sam uses the news of the battle to persuade the rest of the colonies to vote for independence. As British warships fire on Manhattan, The Revolutionary War begins, but the rebels will now face their enemy not as individual colonies, but as a single, united country.

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Ho boy.

I have a problem with historical anachronisms, perhaps an occupational hazard of a career as an historical interpreter, and this show was so rife with them, I fear I am done with it after the first episode.

If I could set all that aside I still probably couldn't enjoy the program with the huge History logo in one corner of my screen and a big #Sons of Liberty in another.

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I recorded it and took a quick look at it today.  The overrsized  History "bug" in the lower right corner is annoying enough but now you have to see a damn idiot static hashtag in the top left corner as well?  What the hell is History Channel thinking about?  Do they really think that the prime audience for this series is going to be teens and those in their early 20s?  Those of us with Plasma sets are always concerned about static logos causing image retention.  My Panny VT60 set has, fortunately, not fallen prey to IR but why push my luck? 

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One hour, twenty-three minutes, and eleven seconds?   I guess I'll watch the whole thing eventually.  Someone at The History Channel must have said, let's do Vikings, but in America without any of that pesky foreign talking, hire some guys with British accents, to make it sound classy, and while we're at it, let's not have any women in the show at all, and let's get Dean Norris to reprise his role on Breaking Bad, but we'll say he's Benjamin Franklin.  Add some drab costumes, some magical non-shitting horses, and film the whole thing by candle-light, and I'm sure we'll have a hit. 

 

OOPS!  A woman appeared 24 minutes into the episode, and surprise surprise it's Abigail Adams, and she was there for at least two minutes.   I thought the only woman was going to be General Gage's wife or daughter.  Shame on me for underestimating them.

 

Well, at least the bad guys have some nice bright red uniforms.

 

I guess it's Les Miz set in America, with little Gavroche getting killed, but without any of the tunes.  Uh oh!  Crispus Attucks bit the dust as well, and everything turned into slow motion.  Oh look, red blood on white snow, wait, what month did that happen? 

 

Next episode, another woman!

 

Don't forget Sam Adams bludgeoning a British soldier to death during The Boston Massacre.

 

Also, all the stubbly early 21st century beards made me wanna cry.

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I enjoyed it as far as fiction goes, but I'm not even a particular history scholar and the anachronisms (like the background piano music at John Hancock's King George 3's birthday party) were pretty obvious.
 

Inasmuch as it might spark an interest in people to learn how things really happened, yay!  Inasmuch as it's a fun, fluffy fiction piece, yay!  But I worry too many people are going to thing this is how it went down.  And that's a shame.

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Oh look, red blood on white snow, wait, what month did that happen?

It actually happened March 5, 1770.  And there was snow on the ground because according to some documents, people were throwing snowballs at the British Regulars. 

 

There are a lot of inaccuracies and 21st century Michael Bay-type action, but it's interesting enough to keep watching.  It's hard for me to not roll my eyes when I watch dramatic interpretations for historical events because I am a huge US History buff.  I live in Boston and I've been a Revolutionary War nerd since 3rd grade!

 

I haven't looked her up yet, but I think the actress playing Abigail Adams is the same woman who plays Sarah Bunting on Downton Abbey.  If it is it may give me another reason to dislike this series.  Abigail Adams has been a personal heroine of mine and that Sarah Bunting is a real PITA.  My brain may not be able to separate the two!

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I liked it! I can separate the history from a mostly fiction show and just enjoy the pretty. I will tune in for the rest.

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I haven't looked her up yet, but I think the actress playing Abigail Adams is the same woman who plays Sarah Bunting on Downton Abbey.  If it is it may give me another reason to dislike this series.  Abigail Adams has been a personal heroine of mine and that Sarah Bunting is a real PITA.  My brain may not be able to separate the two!

I noticed that too! I think you are correct and the Sarah Bunting character couldn't be more awful on Downton Abbey if she tried.

 

Completely agree with others that the history part is a bit lacking. You would think the History channel would have done a better job. Still entertaining enough to watch.

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Dr. Warren and the captain of the British guards are kind of cute.

 

IMDB has failed me: Who was that playing Lord North?

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I enjoyed the series.  I wasn't too familiar with the actors with the exception of the ones playing John Adams and Paul Revere.  

 

The ending seemed a bit rushed.  I would have liked another night to show more of Washington and the war and an epilogue of what became of the main characters after the war.

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Well, i certainly wasn't expecting anything resembling "historical accuracy" when the trailers were accompanied by "Paint it Black." Thanks for the spoiler "warning," yeswedo. :)

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I haven't seen the whole mini series, but I have to wonder if sponsorship had anything to do with the script. I vaguely recall being interested in American history, and Sam Adams wasn't as prominent as some of the others.

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"The Shot Heard Round The World" -- and it was. And here we are.

 

I wish more people had enjoyed this mini series. We're losing this history.

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I'm watching *and* enjoying, but I've been working tons of OT so my online time is limited.  It's *not* bad, but the 2nd Continental Congress bits kind of drove me batshit. What happened to any mention at all of the South nearly walking out over slavery??

And the bit with Dickinson was unpardonable.  He when it became evident he was going to lose the issue of independence, he quit Congress and went to fight FOR independence.  There's lots more wrong with that whole bit, but they sullied his good name, imo.

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I was really wanting Hancock to say "So Fat George can read it without his glasses!"   Might be apocryphal, but it's pretty damn funny.

Rafe, you are as fine an actor as your dad.  And wayyyy cuter.

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I enjoyed the series.  I wasn't too familiar with the actors with the exception of the ones playing John Adams and Paul Revere.  

 

The ending seemed a bit rushed.  I would have liked another night to show more of Washington and the war and an epilogue of what became of the main characters after the war.

History Channel had a miniseries about the American Revolution in 2006. Maybe they're rerun it?

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Ben Barnes might have brought the pretty but Rafe brought everything else.

 

That's a pretty good review of all of it, right there.

 

Though I also throw in a good word for Jason O'Mara's Washington and Whathisname as Franklin.

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Ben Barnes might have brought the pretty but Rafe brought everything else.

 

 

Sam Adams stuck out like a sore thumb among the delegates of the Continental Congress. Everyone else there was clean shaven and appeared to be well kept. Sam looked grungy. He looked like he should be at a concert instead.

 

In any case, those scenes of the meeting of the Continental Congress were weak, poorly written and badly acted. Sam Adams, at least the History Channel version of him, may have been a credible action hero but that speech that he gave in front of the delegates was just awful. It was hard to watch.

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My favorite character is Hancock for sure. I was not a fan at the beginning, but he really grows on you. Great actor, I will have to see what else he has done. Mini series was pretty good, I just took it as entertainment.

 

Bring on Texas Rising

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My interpretation of these shows is that a) we weren't there to know how accurate it might be, and b) they do an excellent job of portraying the emotion. Revolutions don't come from accountants, they come from passion ("nothing against accountants, some of them are lovely people" -- Mathis, Casino Royale).

 

Oh, and, as always -- it's a drama, not a documentary. 

Edited by ennui
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Extensive records of the proceedings of the two Continental Congresses exist, in the form of minutes of the proceedings, letters of the delegates, letters from Washington to the Congress.  We have a plethora of information about what happened and who did or said what.

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Samuel Adams was a prominent founding father--but yeah, I rarely heard about him in school, either. It was George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Paul Revere. 

 

Even though this is history-lite to say the least--I'm enjoying this incarnation of Sam Adams. :)

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I think it's a given that the History channel hasn't been about real history for over a decade, if not longer. 

 

I can stifle my inner history nerd long enough to enjoy the show for what it is--a fictionalized, sensationalized, and modernized account of the starting of the revolution. However, I can totally see how this mini-series could make someone break out in hives from the inaccuracies and anachronisms. Also the slow mo. 

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Lots of anachronistic dialogue ("Thug" and "boycott" didn't enter the English language until the 19th century), some hilarious casting (in his one scene, Thomas Jefferson is portrayed as being about six inches shorter than John Adams, when in fact he was close to a foot taller), and General Gage is portrayed so villainously that it might have been the best role that George Sanders never played, but all in all pretty entertaining.

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I liked it too. Despite the historical inaccuracies, I think anything that gets people interested--and hopefully researching and digging deeper on their own--can only be a good thing. F. ex., I never learned much about Joseph Warren (or, if I did, he somehow didn't register in my LT memory) so I read up on him since he's featured so prominently in the series. But I definitely understand that it could be annoying to watch for those who are really well-versed in American history. 

 

Question for those more in the know re. dialects: There was a mixture of both British and American dialects among the founding fathers. Were there already people speaking in an American dialect at that time? I would have expected that everyone still spoke fairly traditional English, or maybe a slight variation thereof. Or maybe I'm just expecting too much from this series to get the dialects right.

 

ETA: Decided to do my own research, instead of cheating off of others' homework. Interestingly the "American accent" is more similar to the "English accent" of that time than the current English accent is to the English accent of that time. Mind kind of blown. http://www.anglotopia.net/british-history/did-the-founding-fathers-have-english-accents/

Edited by ElleBee
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I enjoyed it.  I liked the Massachusetts aspect of it.  Although I was aware of Samuel Adams, I had never heard of Joseph Warren prior to this miniseries.  My sixth grader is currently learning about the American Revolution in his social studies class, so the timing of this was good (he didn't watch the miniseries but it jogged my memory of the time period).  Having lived in the Philadelphia area as a child and living in Southeastern Virginia for the past 25+ years, I have visited the Virginia and Philadelphia sites many times.  It makes me want to see some of the New England historical sites in the future.  

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ETA: Decided to do my own research, instead of cheating off of others' homework. Interestingly the "American accent" is more similar to the "English accent" of that time than the current English accent is to the English accent of that time. Mind kind of blown. http://www.anglotopi...nglish-accents/

 

Mind blown, indeed. 

 

I knew zero about Joseph Warren. Considering I minored in history in college, I wonder how he slipped by. Or maybe I just fell asleep during that part of the revolution lecture in class. 

 

I noticed the height differential with Jefferson and Adams, too. Washington was also too short but the actor made up for it. But Henry Thomas isn't that tall--they couldn't have found a guy that's at least four or five inches taller to play Jefferson? It's not like he had a big part in this story. And yeah, General Gage was a hair short of Snidely Whiplash here. I've never seen the actor and I thought he did a great job with the role as written, but this series definitely wasn't nuanced. 

 

I think my only complaint is that I thought this third episode had too much of the Bunker Hill battle, violence wise. Then again, I don't have a lot of patience for battle scenes.

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Over in Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod looked at a bottle of beer & exclaimed: "That's not Sam Adams, that's Paul Revere."   Indeed, the beer company's logo resembles John Singleton Copley's painting of Paul Revere.  Here's Copley's Samuel Adams; he really doesn't look like he's ready to knock off for a beer...

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"The Shot Heard Round The World" -- and it was. And here we are.

 

I wish more people had enjoyed this mini series. We're losing this history.

The history is still there.  Mostly in books--although there's some good stuff on the 'net.  

 

TV? John Adams is quite excellent.   I've snarked about Turn but it gets some things right--and some performances (like the 3 main redcoats) are just fun.  

 

Sons of Liberty is ludicrously inaccurate & the stupidity is aggressive.  

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I thoroughly enjoyed this miniseries, historical inaccuracies and all. I, too, asked my husband about the use of boycott, back then, and there was another word I'm blanking on (similar vein) that sounded anachronistic (have to re-watch to remember...). I loved that they showed people of color and Irish and Scottish indentured servants joining the fight. Also, enjoyed learning more about Sam Adams and Joseph Warren, and kept wondering is Elizabeth Warren a distant relative? Looking forward to more, definitely got my patriotic flag waving,  including Texas Rising!

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I really, truly try to watch shows like this with a huge grain of salt, knowing that liberties (no pun intended) are taken to make things more palatable and entertaining. But when a large percentage of the citizenry do not know the basics of their country's history, as is true for the USA, it is so very, very harmful to not stay a bit more in the realm of truth in these productions.

But that's just my opinion and all my friends would tell you I can be a bit of a pain in the ass about historical inaccuracy. Don't even get me started on the movie Shakespeare In Love!

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I watched the marathon on the 4th of July -- loved it. I hope this becomes an annual tradition.

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The more I watch this series, the more I like it.  It's currently running on Starz/Encore (no commercials!).

Happy 4th!

Edited by ennui

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