The 9 Most Scathing Critical Responses to The Kennedys
Ever since Jon Cassar's Kennedys mini-series was dumped by the History Channel, audiences probably figured that the project -- starring Greg Kinnear as John F. Kennedy and Katie Holmes as Jacqueline -- was bad. Even so, viewers still wouldn't have predicted that the Camelot narrative (premiering this Sunday on Reelz) would be as bad as critics are making it out. Ahead, the nine most scathing responses to The Kennedys.
9. "Controversy shouldn't obscure the major flaw in The Kennedys: Not mangling history or sullying a famous family, but being painfully shallow and woefully bad. [...] All told, the whole thing plays like a bad telenovela filtered through a 'History for Dummies' text." -- Brian Lowry, Variety
8. "As for Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes, both may be fine actors (he, in particular, has done good work on film). But the sad truth is, if either had the charisma or star wattage needed to capture JFK and Jackie, neither would be available for a miniseries that started on History and ended up on Reelz." -- Robert Bianco, USA Today
7. "It would seem that the producers have spent handsomely on star talent and on hairdressing, with Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes respectively blow-dried and bouffanted into commemorative-plate perfection as JFK and Jackie. It would seem, also, that lower priorities included the construction of credible sets (is the exterior of the White House fabricated from drywall?), the hiring of enough extras to fill out a campaign rally properly, or even a family dinner (where's Teddy?), and contracting the services of a competent dialect coach." -- Troy Patterson Slate
6. "The only reason to watch The Kennedys'? To find out how to flatten a few of the 20th century's most dramatic historical moments and best-known figures into a slow week of One Life to Live. -- Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
5. Poor Katie Holmes has been savaged for being in over her head, and it's true: Doe eyes and a pout only go so far. She says she soaked up historical videos to get Jackie's accent down, but it feels like it belongs in The Fighter, not the White House. [...] Caroline: My sympathies." -- Paige Wiser, Chicago Sun-Times
4. "Kennedys feels like a paint-by-numbers recitation of history and a not-very-sordid waste of artistic license. Do the Kennedys look bad in this miniseries? No, they look like cartoons, and anyone with enough interest in politics and family dynasties will be sadly disappointed by the caricatures." -- Tim Goodman, THR
3. "The controversial miniseries about America's famed political dynasty lands with a thud. As iconic first lady Jackie Kennedy, Katie Holmes pouts Dawson's Creek-style, failing to capture her magic. Worse, her dynamic with JFK is muddled by rote depictions of historical events and tawdry scenes of his womanizing and drug use." -- John Griffiths, Us
2. "[Barry] Pepper and Greg Kinnear are merely earnest and blandly likable as Bobby and Jack, lacking the Kennedy spark, and Holmes hasn't deepened as an actress since her not very deep days in the teen soap opera Dawson's Creek." -- Nancy Franklin, New Yorker
1. "Whether hopped up or chilled out on painkillers, philandering compulsively, or being downright rude to Frank Sinatra, the Kennedy family certainly comes off like a dreadful bunch in The Kennedys, a miniseries with a vengeance. The most striking thing about this eight-part production may be the disconnect between its subject and its execution: There's some terrific acting here, but it's done in the service of a hatchet job." -- Ken Tucker, EW
The Kennedys airs Sunday night on Reelz.