Well shot, staged and scripted, the sneak peeks look promising for the whole. The primary location is Boston, so there's lots of mob violence, which is more than accurate for Boston and the push to get the Colonies to secede from English Crown rule. This also ensures that Sons of Liberty will be more generally entertaining than was AMC's attempt last year, to make small screen period drama out of our history, the earnestly dull and misfortunately titled Turn: Washington's Spies. (Nevertheless, Turn returns for season 2 on April 13.)
|George Washington, History Channel's Sons of Liberty|
It does look from the sneak videos that we will see how little the English Crown and parliamentarians knew about their North Atlantic colonies. For instance, when reading the documents from the period -- as independent historian Nick Bunker did in his recent study, An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America (2014), many of them seemed not to understand that the mid-Atlantic colonies such as New York, and the New England colonies, were populated mainly by white people with small farms -- completely unlike conditions in their Caribbean sugar colonies.
Sons of Liberty has been criticized in some quarters for casting so many English actors in the leading roles. However, then, one wonders: how much of the history of the Independence movement in the Colonies is understood in those quarters, since, you know, all those personages were citizens of England. It wasn't until around the Tea Party era that the Colonies's citizens began to refer to themselves as American rather than English.
Appropriately, Sons of Liberty is underwritten at least in part by Sam Adams beer, and it seems, also appropriately, by Rums of Puerto Rico. It wasn't only tea the North American colonists smuggled at astounding rates, but rum. There were also the illegal distilleries, particularly in Rhode Island, the English officials were supposed to shut down. And where did Sam Adams et al. plot? In taverns, of course. :)
I'm pulling hard that Sons of Liberty be as good as it suggests it can be. The History Channel's first redeemed itself with The Hatfields and McCoys. It's won famously with Vikings, which is currently my favorite television. But I know far less about that era, the geography and the figures than I do about the matters of Sons of Liberty, which can make a big difference in how much one enjoys a period series, as shown by the comments by Scandinavian historians who watch Vikings.
So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.