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The Kennedys Trailer: The Boston-Accent Massacre

The trailer for The Kennedys mini-series has arrived, and suddenly why it got passed over by the History Channel, FX, Starz, DirecTV, Showtime, and HBO before finally landing at ReelzChannel — a network not exactly known for its high-quality programing, insofar as it's known at all — is a bit clearer: It will make your ears bleed. Sure, the Kennedys themselves had something to do with all these rejections, objecting to some of the script's more salacious moments ("Joe Sr. fondles his secretary in front of his sons ... while he's dictating a note to the president about making concessions to Hitler"), but it's hard to imagine that an eight-part mini-series about the Kennedys with a fairly respectable cast (Greg Kinnear as JFK, Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy) couldn't find a home on a network you'd heard of, if it wasn't also pretty bad. Given the scope of events the series covers — from the early days of John's political career through his assassination — it's hard to tell exactly how the material will be treated (there's nothing scandalous in the preview), but it's easy to tell that every single person in this movie is committing a crime against Massachusetts accents and ought to have their images slapped up in the Bad Boston Accent Hall of Fame, right next to Julianne Moore. Take a listen and hear British-inflected accents, Kevin Costner–inflected accents, and, in the case of Katie Holmes, who plays Jackie, wandering accents — hers comes in and out like cell-phone service in a horror film. Even the not-so-horrible accents are rendered horrible because they don't sound like the other accents — these people are supposed to be related, not from far-flung corners of New England. If the Boston movie is going to continue to be made at the almost exponential rate it has in the last few years, please let it find its Henry (or Roger, or Sully, or Tommy) Higgins already.