In defence Of "The Kennedys": Here Are 6 Good Things The Series Is Doing


“The Kennedys” miniseries, which is finally airing on Reelz Channel, has been taking knocks since the day it wrapped.

And the hits keep on coming: critics have almost universally panned the series as a tacky, lifeless take on Camelot.

So maybe Katie Holmes shouldn’t hold her breath for an Emmy.

But even though it’s kind of bad television, “The Kennedys” isn’t all bad. It may not wow anyone as art, but there are some quiet accomplishments going on.

Like it or not, there's a history lesson here.

Yes, there's been tons of controversy about the drugs, the affairs, the many implications. But a certain generation of viewers only has a vague idea of who the Kennedys are. At least the miniseries will help them get a grip on basic times, dates and family structures -- and thus, a major chapter of U.S. history.

Ask not what the miniseries can do for you, but what you can do for the miniseries.

Feel like you've been hearing about the award-piled 'Temple Grandin' (and its lead Claire Danes) for a decade? That's because quality miniseries are few and far between. HBO can't carry the load alone, guys. And if 'The Kennedys' does nothing else, it's reminding people that miniseries can pull big stars and create big buzz.

Conservative filmmakers can feel a little better.

Any Hollywood conservative will tell you: 'conservative' is a dirty word in Hollywood. Getting this project back on the air (after History Channel dropped it) was a coup for both filmmaker Joel Surnow and the conservative creative community at large.

Two words: Tom Wilkinson.

A miniseries, at its best, gives the audience a big, lovely dose of an actor they usually have to shell out multiplex fees to see.

1.9 million Americans found Reelz Channel on their dial.

The network is only five years old: obviously, this was a ratings record for them. This is their happiest day at the office, ever. And that's good for the rest of us because...

We could get another home for sweeping original content.

Cable and premium now rule the television innovation scene (hello, 'Mad Men'!) -- so there's no reason Reelz Channel shouldn't keep the momentum going and commission more originals.

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