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So I get this phone call at some unearthly hour of a Sunday night, and I, being of no life, am awake to answer it:

"Does John Adams die in Holland?"


"I remember that you had this stupid picture of him on your office door, so I'd figured you'd know. I'm watching the HBO miniseries, and he's in Holland, and he keeps coughing ! And then they ended it for the week! I won't watch next week if Tom Hanks kills him off!"

I assured my former co-worker that (SPOILER ALERT) John Adams had to go and be President first so that Abigail could hang the laundry in the East Room of the White House, and lived to the age of 90, dying on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, just a few hours after Thomas Jefferson. She hung up, much relieved. Just as my political science degree only becomes of service every four years when nobody understands the electoral college again, so, for the first time, has the Playtone miniseries made the fifteen-year fascination with my Founding Father boyfriend actually useful. People I haven't spoken with in years now turn to me in their moments of Adams uncertainty.

Apparently the show features, at some midlife midway point, a John Adams sex scene. You can ask me about the Boston Massacre, the botched diplomacy in Paris, the Alien and Sedition Acts-- but please, please, people, don't ask me to justify that. In the same way we don't want to watch our biological moms and dads go at it (I simply showed up on the doorstep one day, myself), it is quite impossible to envision some Founding Parents action.

shuddering at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (17)

I wish I had HBO solely so I could watch that miniseries. (John Adams is my Founding Father boyfriend, too.) I don't know how I'd feel about the sex scene, though. On the one hand, the John-Abigail love story is practically the best part about John Adams. And of course, the sexual allusions in 1776 are pure (historical) comedy GOLD. On the other hand . . . Paul Giamatti.

April 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Well, here's something that will cheer you up: http://www.nkotb.com/" rel="nofollow">a NKOTB reunion.

Are you too high now? Okay. Your old friend Sasha Cohen http://www.cbs.com/primetime/secret_talents_of_the_stars/contest/vote/brackets.php" rel="nofollow">advanced past the first round of CBS' "Secret Talents Of The Stars."

There, now you should be on an even keel.

BTW, how's Paul Giamatti in the title role?

"CONTORTIONIST?!" That's the worst "secret talent" EVER. On certain skating forums, Sasha Cohen is referred to as "The Vagina Hinge" due to her reputation of having based her career largely on her ability to deliver stunning spiral sequences, and now she's revealing that she's... get ready... prepare yourself... *flexible*.

April 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

I have been watching the John Adams miniseries and have really, really enjoyed it! It reminds me of trinkets of information long forgotten and also reminds me of the slacker I've become for having forgotten those trinkets in the first place.

It is well produced and executed and the intimate scene was not a horrible experience... as I was not given the privilege of viewing Paul Giamatti's backside - or any other side... John and Abigail were, for the most part, fully clothed.

He and Laura Linney are both excellent in their respective roles.

April 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Bell

I am enjoying the John Adams miniseries, too. I guess you could say I'm addicted. I record it on the DVR since I can't catch it when it airs. I know that I can see it on HBO On Demand on Monday, but that's not soon enough. I record it so I can watch it THE HOUR AFTER IT AIRS. Hey - you can't watch it - and really enjoy it - with the knee-biters running about. Besides - I didn't want to have to explain the wars scenes, the tar-and-feathering, OR the sex scene (my kids aren't quite that old yet....). I am hoping that they will eventually make it available on DVD - it's that good. (I was a political science major, btw, but even my sci-fi loving husband is enjoying this miniseries).
Hey, MB - any other interesting historical tidbits you could share that might make John Adams even more interesting?!?

April 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Southerner

"In the same way we don’t want to watch our biological moms and dads go at it (I simply showed up on the doorstep one day, myself), "

I almost did that myself *shivers* 8-(

April 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

I would have thought that you'd have gotten used the idea of our founding fathers having sex what with a musical like 1776.

April 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertruetitipudlian

Something about singing it makes it less gross, though.

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

I'm thinking I need to go back and watch 1776 again, because the only time I ever saw it I was in 6th grade, and my teacher must have cut out the sex stuff because I'm pretty sure a room full of 12- and 13-year-old boys would have noticed and made a big deal out of it.

I too am hoping that HBO will put John Adams on DVD. I love him too, and have loved him even more ever since my high school youth group trip to Boston. We slept in the church where he and Abigail and John Quincy are entombed in the basement.

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura in Virginia

on a side note...it's totally not 5:45 pm here, but rather 9:45 am.... what time zone is your blog in?

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura in Virginia

I'm sadly disturbed that anyone needs to call anyone else late at night to find out if the second president of the United States died before becoming President. Thank goodness you were there in that time of need.

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

Since I happily dumped HBO after Sex and the City ended, I'm currently reading David McCullough's excellent book. I'll wait for the DVD because it's gotten such rave reviews, but the book's pretty darn great too. I even took it (all 4 million pages of it) with me on a recent business trip, which is how involved I am .. I actually had to CARRY the thing to North Carolina and Back!!

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatsFan

I am so jealous of the other "The Readers" who have HBO and can watch the miniseries. I am a big fan of John. My founding father boyfriend is still Jefferson or "TJ" as I like to call him, though, something about the red hair. Anyway, I have never seen 1776 and might just go in search of that DVD. I am hoping the John Adams goes to DVD too. I jst reread his bio by "David Mc (I forget but he writes the best history books, including 1776)" I hope the movie is as good as the miniseries.

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKell Belle

You can preorder the DVD on amazon if you want to. It comes out on June 10th.

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

So asking for it for whatever gifting occasion presents itself next! Thanks, Katy, for the info!
Hey, Kell Belle (and anyone else who is a TJ fan) - he's pretty good in the JA miniseries. Interesting relationship between the two of them and Ben Franklin.

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Southerner

[...] man.  Not a perfect one.  Although I could have done with sightly less shipboard hurling and Abigail-humping, he does well in beginning the story on the eve of the Boston Massacre (those of you interested in [...]

Thanks for the heads up on TJ, Another Southerner

April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKell Belle
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