If you’re looking for an accurate portrayal of the titular American dynasty, you should look away now.
Perhaps try the acclaimed Thirteen Days, also showing this week (see below), for a more meticulously researched rendering of JFK, 50 years on from his assassination. Definitive history The Kennedys is certainly not, which might explain why the History Channel declined to run the miniseries, although rumours abound that the Kennedy family (what’s left of them) exerted pressure to have the show dropped. Whether or not the conspiracy theories are true, the show will certainly have Kennedy historians spitting mad, not least for its cartoonish portrayal of Kennedy patriarch Joe Senior, who is seen fondling a secretary in front of his sons, bribing Jackie and smashing a crucifix – all in the first episode.
“A ham-fisted mess” according to The Hollywood Reporter, it seems as though the series was doomed from the get-go, attracting scathing criticism before it had even been cast. Ted Sorensen, a former speech writer for President Kennedy, declared the script a “character assassination”, wading in with outraged historians and critics alike.
On the surface, The Kennedys doesn’t look that bad, at least as far as the casting is concerned. Greg Kinnear cuts a dashing Mr President, while Katie Holmes bears an uncanny resemblance to Jackie O, right down to her fondness for Chanel. But that’s as far as the similarities go, according to the reviews. The Hollywood Reporter slates the acting as stiff and leaden, marveling at the odd accents. “It’s like The Kennedys hired Diamond Joe Quimby from The Simpsons as its voice coach,” it notes.
But really, the only way to find out what all the fuss is about is to watch The Kennedys and decide for yourself, if only just to see what it is that the current Kennedy clan could so badly want hushed up. Ridiculous high drama and White House high-jinks are guaranteed.
Say what you like about Facebook, but every day people see photos of themselves they didn’t know existed. Sometimes, the photos are personal, shedding light on the sketchy recollections of youth, and for Americans, the images in The Lost Kennedy Home Movies will strike a similar note, as they watch a family so familiar in private.
The doc is one of several marking the 50th anniversary of the Dallassassination, along with others like JFK: The Smoking Gun (DRK, Fri 20:00) and Inside JFK’s Assassination (DRK, Fri 21:25).
Staying with matters of homeland security, Top Secret America: 9/11 to the Boston Bombings (DR2, Thu 23:00) is about the immediate threat, and Hard Times: Lost on Long Island the future’s threat: the disaffected unemployed.
Elsewhere, The Deep (DR1, Sun 00:15) is a dull BBC miniseries; and God Loves Uganda (DR2, Tue 20:30) a compelling doc about the Christian Right in Uganda. (BH)
The future doesn’t look good for LA’s finest, at least according to JH Wyman (Fringe), the creator of Fox’s new sci-fi drama Almost Human.
By 2048, the crime rate in Los Angeles has risen by 400 percent and run-of-the -mill beat cops are being outmatched and outgunned at every turn by crime syndicates … bring on the robots.
New LAPD protocol dictates that every police officer has to be paired with a robot, whether they like it or not. John Kennex (Karl Urban from Star Trek) – a downbeat, emotionally broken man – definitely does not.
The Hollywood Reporter has called the show “an ambitious and entertaining visual feast” – pretty much what you would expect from anything with the JJ Abrams seal of approval. Mackenzie Crook (The Office) and Lilli Taylor (Six Feet Under) play supporting roles. (CJ)
Sport of the week
There was needle in the last Bundesliga meeting between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich a week before May’s Champions League final, so expect another bad-tempered affair here. The Merseyside derby of Everton vs Liverpool in the English Premier League is also a fixture in the ascendancy and liable to light up our screens. Elsewhere, don’t miss the World Cheerleading Championship and the Chicago Bulls taking on the LA Clippers in the NBA (DR3, Sun 21:30). (BH)
Film of the week
Nobody does a bitch better than Nicole Kidman, and one suspects Margot at the Wedding’s score of 6.0 is down to how many IMDB users recognised themselves in her portrayal of a narcissistic dysfunctional mom intent on ruining her sister’s wedding plans. Boasting similar scores, Texas Killing Fields and The Disappearance of Alice Creed are eerie enough in places to be watchable. And don’t forget to cheer on deathday boy JFK on Friday on TV3 Puls in his finest hour in 13 Days (20:10) 13 months before his demise in JFK (22:00). (BH)