|Image from IMDB.com|
So last night ReelzChannel premiered the much hyped, much talked about miniseries, The Kennedys. Originally created for The History Channel, it was picked up by Reelz after History decided it wasn’t right for their airwaves. After watching the first episode, I came to realize just why History decided it was “off brand.” My guess is because it’s not very good and it was boring as hell. I am generally fascinated by the Kennedy clan. I've spent hours at the JFK Library in Boston, watched narrative films, documentaries, read books, studied JFK’s presidency from an academic standpoint in a number of courses in college. I am generally a huge sucker for Camelot and the mystique that surrounds it. That’s why I was so excited to watch The Kennedys and then so disappointed when I found it beyond boring.
The pacing was so slow, after an hour of watching I thought I must be near the end of the first night, only to look at the clock and see it was only halfway through. Furthermore, the nonlinear narrative structure seemed uneven and forced. This type of editing should be used to educate the audience and divulge information in a specific way, but given that this is a historical account of a story many people already know, there was no need for this kind of narrative structure, and it greatly detracted from the storytelling.
I will say, however, that the casting was near perfect (although I’d contest the Tom Wilkinson casting as Joe Kennedy Sr.). I was very much impressed by how much Greg Kinnear fell into his role and fully embodied JFK. Even Katie Holmes, who I am generally not enamored with, held her own with only a few uneven missteps – but she had a very small role in this premiere episode, so we have yet to see how she will handle the more meaty parts. Finally, most films have a really difficult time recreating the Kennedy accent, but I will admit that overall the actors stayed true to the authentic Kennedy accent.
I will continue watching because, as I said, I devour most things Kennedy, and I hope it gets better, but I’m not very optimistic about it.