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It's a great time on TV for American Revolution nerds

As you can see in my contributor bio down below, I am a proud history nerd—and no part of history tickles my fancy more than the good old American Revolution. Ever since National Treasure my eighth-grade history class, I’ve been obsessed with the birth of our country and all of the people and events it involved (particularly one Mr. Benjamin Franklin).

Sam Swank at the Liberty BellJust this past weekend, I visited Philadelphia with some friends and dragged them to nearly every historical landmark in the city so I could geek out. (As proof, here’s a photo of my utter excitement at being near the Liberty Bell, which in all of Revolutionary history, isn’t even that important.) So imagine my delight when I saw an advertisement for Sons of Liberty, a three-part miniseries airing on the History Channel Jan. 25 through 27. My passions for TV and American history have been intersecting a lot lately, and it has made me a very happy former history major.

It’s been a long seven years since the last time the American Revolution got such star treatment on the small screen. In 2008, the HBO miniseries John Adams starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney won 13 Emmy awards (and it deserved every single one of them). But since then, there has been nary a shot heard round the world—until last TV season. Now, I think it’s safe to say that the American Revolution is having a moment, and I couldn’t be more excited.

The first place that our Founding Fathers popped up was on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. In this retelling, Ichabod Crane was a British soldier turned spy for the Colonies during the Revolution. And, for the sake of convenience, Ichabod was besties with all of the Founding Fathers and basically at every important event that happened during the war. This means frequent flashbacks to Colonial times and the American Revolution! The show has given us fun twists on famous figures like Benjamin Franklin (Timothy Busfield), Thomas Jefferson (Steven Weber), and Abigail Adams (Michelle Trachtenberg), while name-dropping many others.

Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills on Sleepy Hollow

Sure, Sleepy Hollow‘s depiction of history isn’t entirely accurate, since basically everyone important was fighting the British and also a variety of demons and Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But the Revolutionary Easter eggs dropped by Ichabod in his stories and flashbacks are enough to keep this nerd satisfied.

George Washington on TURN: WashingtonA show that’s doing a better job of presenting the actual history of the American Revolution is AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies, which helpfully added a subtitle after its first season ended and no one really knew what the show was about. The series revolves around Washington’s spies (see how helpful that subtitle is?), known as the Culper Ring, which is a real, historical thing. The show stars Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer) as Abe Woodhull, one of the main members of the spy ring, and Seth Numrich as Benjamin Tallmadge, the man put in charge of the ring by General Washington (Ian Kahn) himself.

Turn takes place near the beginning of the war, while New York is under the control of the British. Abe, a Long Island farmer, is walking the fine line between being loyal to his Loyalist father and the British soldiers crawling all over his home, and helping his childhood friend Caleb by working as a spy for Washington and the militia. We all know how the story ends, but it was exciting to see how the story progressed through the first season as the Culper Ring finally found their footing (and their name).

Abe Woodhull on TURN: Washington

This past summer, even Comedy Central got into the American Revolution game, when Drunk History covered a few Revolutionary figures like Benedict Arnold and real-life BFFs Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in the episode “Philadelphia.”

And all of these moments have led up to Sons of Liberty. The miniseries is “historical fiction, not a documentary” about five of the most famous members of the titular underground rebel organization: Sam Adams (Ben Barnes, The Chronicles of Narnia), John Adams (Henry Thomas, E.T.), Paul Revere (Michael Raymond-James, Once Upon a Time), John Hancock (Rafe Spall, Prometheus), and Dr. Joseph Warren (Ryan Eggold, The Blacklist). The miniseries also features Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova) as George Washington and Dean Norris (Under the Dome) as Benjamin Franklin, because no dramatization of the early days of the country is complete without two of America’s most famous faces.

Sons of Liberty is bound to be one of the best kinds of historical dramatizations: where there’s a nugget of truth there, but everyone is way hotter than they were in real life. (Like, please look at a picture of Sam Adams and then look at Ben Barnes.) And if a pretty face is what people need to get interested in the most fascinating part of our nation’s history, then I am willing to take one for the team and accept Ben Barnes as my Sam Adams (the struggle). I also love any reason for people to play BFrank (my pet name for Dr. Franklin) as the sassy playboy that he was.

Sons of Liberty

So here’s to history! Here’s to hoping people learn that Benjamin Franklin was not, indeed, a president. (I’m looking at you, commercials for Presidents Day sales.) Here’s to folks who drink Sam Adams learning who inspired their beer. Here’s to three-pointed hats and muskets and historically inaccurate British accents. History nerds, one day we may get the Jefferson-Adams friendship biopic we deserve—but in the meantime, let’s enjoy all the historical dramatizations we can get!

Watch the three-part Sons of Liberty event Jan. 25, 26, and 27 at 9/8C on the History Channel.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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