I’ve been on a real documentary kick via Netflix, especially Historical documentaries. My logic is as long as I sit on my butt I might as well be learning something that’s interesting and insightful. The Kennedys documentary was added to Netflix recently and I added it to my queue and I recently watched all eight episodes (but not all at once, I refuse to binge watch anything) in about a week. This show was so well done, so interesting, and not like a classical documentary. There was no narration, only actors reliving all of the famous historical events that happened throughout the Kennedys’ lives.
This series was so enlightening, I think I learned a substantial amount more than in my AP US History class back in high school. The way the actors portrayed all of the characters was so life-like, it really felt as if you were a part of the events. Moreover, the viewers could feel all of the emotions that the family felt as a whole. In this fact, this was an amazing documentary to watch and learn about.
The series began when JFK returned from the War injured and his older brother Joe was about to be shipped off. From there, the series jumps forward to when JFK ran for Congress. Then if fast forwards again to when JFK ran for the White House. Once in the White House, the rest of the series had to do with all of the events that occurred during JFK’s presidency and his relationship with Jackie. The last episode ended with JFK’s assassination, what happened to Jackie and the kids, and finally RFK’s assassination.
I can’t even begin to say what an amazing cast the series had. Greg Kinnear had JFK’s mannerisms and way of speaking down to a science. Katie Holmes was a great Jackie as well, just she was a little too tall for Kinnear. Barry Pepper had to be my favorite actor out of the entire cast for his portrayal of RFK was stellar. My third favorite was Tom Wilkinson’s rendition as Joe Kennedy Sr. That man was so full of himself and thought he could buy anyone off.
As I said before, prior to watching this series, I knew very little about the Kennedy family and the events during JFK’s presidency so I learned a ton of historical facts through watching this show. What I didn’t know was what was happening behind the scenes with JFK and Jackie. I heard rumors of JFK’s philandering ways, yet I never thought it was the truth. Plus I recently watched a biopic on Marilyn Monroe so it was interesting to juxtapose that documentary on this series (Monroe and JFK supposedly had a fling). Lastly, the whole controversy surrounding Dr. Feel Good providing shots to both JFK and Jackie was rather interesting. I had no idea!!
As with every series however, there are some aspects that I wasn’t a huge fan of. One specific example was the speed at which the last episode went through with JFK’s assassination followed by RFK. It felt as if the directors lost gas and just needed the series finished. Sadly enough, RFK’s death was just another death and that’s it. “Oops, he died. The end.”
Other than that, I cannot speak highly enough of this series. I really enjoyed it, it was enlightening and informational all the while being entertaining. The entire cast was a success and so talented. Just amazing. Watch it!