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Michael Douglas miniseries is boring




Michael Douglas miniseries is boring

When we think about the Revolutionary War, specific turning points come to mind. The Boston Massacre of 1770, Paul Revere’s midnight warning of 1775, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 are often the main topics of conversation. However, much more happened during the nearly twenty-year struggle that led to the independence of England’s thirteen colonies. Based on Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff’s novel, “A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America,” Apple TV+’s “Franklin” chronicles inventor Benjamin Franklin’s eight-year mission in France, where he made plans and plans to cherish a Franco. -American alliance. What should be a sparkling telling of a pivotal moment in American history is flattened out and becomes a mind-numbing and convoluted affair of wig-wearing men shouting at each other in dark rooms.

Created by Kirk Ellis and Howard Korder, the series begins in December 1776. Although the Declaration of Independence had been signed three months earlier, the young republic was on the brink of collapse. With scarce funding and a paltry 3,000 soldiers trying to oppose Britain’s formidable forces, the Continental Congress was running out of options. Franklin (Michael Douglas), a publisher and intellectual, was America’s last hope. The statesman and his grandson Temple (Noah Jupe) land on the coast of Brittany, France, and embark on a mission to lure French diplomats politically and financially to America’s side. While the pair hoped to quietly set up shop in Paris, the 70-year-old scientist’s celebrity immediately put a huge wrinkle in their plans, forcing them to use other tactics.

“Franklin” sheds light on little-known aspects of the American Revolution and Franklin’s life, but this account is best left between the pages of Schiff’s book. In eight episodes full of boring monologues, in a country some 5,000 kilometers away from the war, the philosopher’s quest feels both selfish and arrogant. Douglas tries to bring humor to the role and highlight Franklin’s various ailments, including his bouts of gout and his terrible command of the French language. Yet these interjections fail to break the monotony of the show. Furthermore, while much of “Franklin” focuses on the polymaths’ relationship with Temple, much of the story centers on the duo being at odds. As the 19-year-old man matures, his grandfather’s shaky guidance and the trauma of his own father’s incarceration lead to more than a few cringe-inducing outbursts.

Furthermore, the slow tone of the series doesn’t show how ingenious Franklin had to be to seduce the French under the guise of a future that even he couldn’t yet see clearly. Besides Franklin and Temple, there are numerous figures to keep an eye on. There are the Chaumonts who house and feed Franklin and others, to their financial detriment. Charles Gravier, Count of Vergennes (Thibault de Montalembert), reluctantly tries to convince King Louis XVI to come to America’s aid. The dejected Anne Louise Brillon de Jouy (Ludivine Sagnier) also seeks solace in Franklin’s company in the wake of her husband’s blatant extramarital affairs. The extended plot points and storylines obscure the show’s central message rather than enhancing it.

Despite the density of “Franklin” it has a beautiful texture, a true testament to the incredible craftsmen on the project. Dan Weil’s production design and Benedicte Joffre’s set decoration impeccably and easily transport the viewer to the opulence of Marie Antoinette’s era. From Versailles to Passy, ​​each location is intricately detailed and designed. Olivier Bériot’s costumes and hair and makeup by Hochet Adeline, Alessandro Bertolazzi and Liz Ann Bowden create breathtaking images. One in particular involves a towering curly wig and a golden sailboat mounted on top.

As “Franklin” navigates the rookie diplomat’s lengthy stint in France, where he used his laissez-faire attitude to thwart British spies and convince the French to amass as much as $9 billion in contemporary currency, Douglas and the series generally never see the charm. and the ingenuity the Founding Father must have had to accomplish this enormous feat. Instead, the ongoing battle of wills between himself and other diplomats, including future President John Adams (Eddie Marsan), make it almost astonishing that America did indeed come into being.

The first three episodes of “Franklin” will premiere on Apple TV+ on April 12, with new episodes released weekly on Fridays.