5 years ago

American Dynasties: The Kennedys

You know their name. You don't know their whole story.

I hear you thinking. Another Kennedy drama series? Documentary? Feature film? How much is there still to explore from this American, royal family. CNN’s “American Dynasties: The Kennedys” is different. You know their name but you don’t know their whole story.

The docuseries, narrated by actor Martin Sheen (who played John F. Kennedy in the 1983 miniseries “Kennedy”), is distinguished by commentary from several Kennedys, including Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Patrick J. Kennedy and Stephen Kennedy Smith, along with noted historians and Kennedy confidants.

That level of cooperation helps explain the presence of so many home movies — the Kennedys were doing selfies before selfies — that give heft to the insights here. This isn’t a valentine smothered in honey. The first three episodes at least weigh virtues and vices, for example, explaining how patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy took the torpedoing of JFK’s PT-109 boat in 1942 and refashioned it into a story of heroism that ultimately became big-screen propaganda.

Explore the Kennedy family’s rise to power and how personal relationships within the Kennedy dynasty shaped national and global events from the Cold War to the Wall Street crash

It tracks the history of the Massachusetts Irish Catholic clan starting in the premiere, “The Power of Wealth,” with Joe Sr. as his own presidential ambition was derailed by his decision to advocate for appeasement when dealing with Hitler during World War II.

While Joe transferred his dream to his oldest son, Joseph Jr., and then Jack, this series argues matriarch Rose, the daughter of Boston Mayor John Francis “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, was just as hungry for power for her children, if not more.

The golden children” suffered mightily. Joe Jr. was killed during a secret military mission; Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy perished in a plane crash; a lobotomy effectively destroyed Rosemary.

The first three episodes also delve into Jack’s rise in politics, his marriage to Jacqueline Bouvier, Jack’s rise to the White House and Bobby’s war on organized crime and the congressional hearings that brought out the likes of Jimmy Hoffa, who pleaded the fifth.

Crafted by The Atlantic’s marketing team and paid for by CNN – So You Think You Know The Kennedys? – The Atlantic

Daughter Kathleen recalls her mother, Ethel, dragging her to the congressional hearings so much that her first words were, she jokes, “I refuse to answer that question.”

While much of the material has been covered elsewhere, this production is crisp and well-paced. As for the everlasting appeal of the Kennedys, as one speaker notes, this is a family known as much for its triumphs as its tragedies. Their lives can be inspiring, humbling or cautionary. (Written by Mark Perigard – BostonHerald.com)

You might be reminded of that old saying, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.”

De Kennedy’s, een Amerikaanse dynastie is een documentaireserie van omroep NTR op NPO 2.

NPO Start – De Kennedy’s, een Amerikaanse dynastie
Watch all 6 Episodes via Dutch NPO Start. Released in The Netherlands between January 5th till February 9th, 2019, every saturday 21.10 uur, NPO 2. It’s just brilliant winter binge-watching. Dutch subtitles, narration in english – Maud Coppes occasionally Dutch narration. And you will also learn new things about the Family, American, and world history:

1. Joseph Kennedy wanted to become president as well.
2. JFK was a hero despite debilitating bad health.
3. Attorney General Robert Kennedy was instrumental in saving America

About CNN Original Series
The CNN Original Series group develops non-scripted programming for television via commissioned projects, acquisitions and in-house production. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees CNN Original Series and CNN Films for CNN Worldwide. Lizzie Fox, vice president of current programming, supervises production of all CNN Original Series.