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Franklin (2024) — Series Review

Time-tested miniseries about America's founders have always had a special place in the hearts of history buffs. One such noteworthy addition is the anticipated miniseries titled "Franklin," now streaming on Apple TV+, which explores the life and exploits of one of America's most celebrated founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin.

Renowned writer Kirk Ellis, along with co-writer Howard Korder, takes viewers on a journey to 1776 when the Revolutionary War was in full swing. The eight-episode miniseries charts the adventure of Franklin (deftly portrayed by Michael Douglas) and his grandson, Temple, as they traverse across the Atlantic to seek support from France in America's bid for independence.

The miniseries expertly highlights Franklin's charm and wit as he navigates the intricate machinations within the French aristocracy to convince them to fund America's war effort. The series also depicts the escalating problems the protagonists face such as British spies and tussles among the American delegates over their vision for the young nation.

Franklin (2024) — Series Review

Douglas's portrayal of Franklin strikes an engaging balance between the historical wit we associate with Franklin and his own endearing charm. The narrative oscillates with a similar potency between political tensions and light-hearted banter, doing justice to Franklin's often-overlooked frivolous side, making the show a riveting watch.

However, the show undeniably stumbles in its depiction of Temple's coming-of-age narrative, which may sometimes distract viewers from the political intricacies of Franklin's narrative. Despite its minute flaws, as a historical drama, "Franklin" offers a compelling insight into America's journey toward independence, punctuating its gravity with moments of deliberate levity. Ultimately, "Franklin," like its namesake, exhibits the delicate balancing act of building a nation while navigating the turbulent waters of international diplomacy - all the while embracing an earnest appreciation for its protagonist's multifaceted qualities.