Ambassador John Adams meets King George III

Ambassador John Adams meets King George III:


HBO has disabled embedding of clips from this series, but I’m posting the link anyway because I have been thinking about this scene a lot, and the things I love about it, namely:

  • The deeeeply uncomfortable bows and Adams’ sword sticking out from his side
  • The awkward daring of the phrase “kindred blood”
  • Adams glancing off to the side constantly
  • George staring off to the side steadily
  • How can he stare so long? Is he like that just because he always has the right to be that bold or is his mind threatening to go off?
  • Adams actually seems like he’s about to cry at one point, which is part of
  • the uncomfortable sincerity of the whole thing. From a dramatic perspective, you can debate how much to believe Adams that this is his favorite appointment, considering that Giamatti’s performance was much more full-throated in the Philadelphia and Boston parts of the story; King George seems to be struggling to find an appropriate sentiment to express among the many he’s feeling; but they also want this meeting to go well, and good diplomacy means telling the truth. This is all much more awkward than if they just lied their way through the whole scene.
  • And then the king basically compliments Adams on telling the truth!
  • And they get on the same page for about twenty seconds, until the king just waves Adams out of the room and then peers at him as he goes
  • and makes the remark about the US not suffering too much for want of a monarchy, which
  • how do you respond to that.

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