Along with Texas Rising, Sons of Liberty emerges as the History Channel's latest attempt to dramatize history in a manner that will appeal to modern audiences with little or no concept of true historical facts. Utilizing historical figures such as Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and John Adams, Sons of Liberty follows these men as they stoke the fires of rebellion against the British and ultimately win their independence in 1776. (If you want a great review of Sons of Liberty that compares it to recorded history in a wonderfully detailed manner, you can click here.) I, however, will focus mostly on the aspect of Sons of Liberty that irritated me most: the dialogue.
Take, for example, these exchanges between characters on the show:
Samuel Adams: Who is that?
John Adams: George Washington.
Samuel Adams: ... He's intense.
(on being told the Continental Congress wants an explanation for the exchange of gunfire at Lexington)
John Hancock: They want it right now?
Samuel Adams: In case they hadn't noticed, we're in the middle of a fight here.
Now compare the above to an actual sentence articulated by Samuel Adams:
"He who is void of personal attachment in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections."
|Ben Barnes as Samuel Adams|
The results probably would have been the same.
That being said, the acting of Ben Barnes (Samuel Adams) was a (the only?) redeeming quality of the show. The cinematography and opening sequence was beautifully done, as well. Hans Zimmer, as always, composed a magnificent main theme. Even the costumes and CGI were pretty well done.
But, being the grammar Nazi and writer that I am, the horrifically anachronistic language just about ruined the show for me. Plus, after reading about all of the historical inaccuracies, I can conclude that while Sons of Liberty may have been mildly entertaining, it was far more fiction than fact. And if you're writing a show about America's liberation from the British, that ain't what you should be aimin' for.
I give Sons of Liberty a 5 / 10 and will now resume reading inspiring quotes about freedom and independence from the real Samuel Adams.