An ambitious mini-series, and a not-altogether-successful one, The Kennedys
nonetheless has enough in it to make it worth checking out. Its ambitions are bold, as it tries to follow the stories surrounding the Kennedy family. That, in turn, takes in some significant events in American history, from the Bay Of Pigs through to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the faint whiff of controversy that always appeared to follow the Kennedy clan. There’s no shortage of material for The Kennedys
to get its teeth into.
Its ambitions, however, are perhaps too great for the show to ever fully gel as a television project, as it’s all perhaps just a little too slick. Still, there are compelling reasons to watch the show, not least the excellent lead performances; both Barry Pepper as Robert Kennedy and Greg Kinnear as Jack are quite brilliant, and they’re surrounded by a strong supporting cast.
Besides the headlines of old, there’s a lot of story covered here that you might not be so familiar with. It’s to the credit of the creative team that they were keen to cover so much ground, and it’s that, combined with the aforementioned performances, that makes The Kennedys work. It’s a warts and all recommendation, certainly, but this is a good stab at a complex subject, and few will find nothing to enjoy here. --Jon Foster
The story of the most fabled political family in American history, told in a manner similar to The Godfather
: a manipulative, egocentric father determined to live out his own ambitions through his sons, who in turn spent their lives dancing to his tune while at the same time trying to stand on their own. This is history through personality - the tangled relationships through which paint a picture of one of the most turbulent periods of the modern age. Viewers will be upstairs at the White House, not in the Cabinet Room. Through iconic events in history - the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil rights struggle, the mob connection - viewers will learn about the lesser known, yet critical personal stories. Episode 1
– Joe’s Revenge
The Kennedys rally to put Jack in the White House, but their difficult past illuminates a deeper struggle. Episode 2
The Presidential election comes down to the wire; Bobby tells Joe Sr. he’s leaving politics. Episode 3
– Us Against Them
When the Bay of Pigs invasion proves disastrous, JFK makes a difficult decision he must later atone for. Episode 4
– Who’s in Charge Here?
The Russians build a wall separating east and West Berlin, while Bobby prepares to go after Sam Giancana. Episode 5
– Life Sentences
Riots over desegregation in the South force JFK to act; Jackie's use of amphetamines continues; Joe Sr. suffers a stroke. Episode 6
– The Brink
The Cuban missile crisis brings America and Russia to the brink of war; Jackie leaves JFK after one infidelity too many. Episode 7
Jack and Jackie suffer the loss of their newborn child; she and JFK are in Dallas on that fateful day in November. Episode 8
– How are Things in Glocca Morra?
Bobby blames himself for his brother’s death. Five years later, tragedy strikes again. Bonus Features:
45 minute ‘Making Of’ feature