Regarding the HBO mini-series, John Adams, I have two comments:
1. I never got used to the idea of Paul Giamatti as John Adams. Giamatti simply doesn't look the part, and he never seemed to be comfortable with the hybrid English-Yankee accent chosen for his character.
2. The mini-series was geared to viewers who are largely ignorant of American history. Why else would the script writers have kept injecting trite dialog to "establish" well-known facts? The final episode, for example, included cumbersome reminders that John Quincy Adams (John's eldest son) also served as president (1825-9), and that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the Fourth of July 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.