Katie Holmes and 'The Kennedys' Ripped by Critics

In OnScreen & Music by , on Thursday, March 31, 2011, 5:42 AM (PDT)
the kennedys


Holmes and Kinnear have no chemistry.

America's royal family may want a do-over. "The Kennedys," an eight-part mini-series that made headlines when it was dropped by The History Channel earlier this year, has received largely negative reviews from critics. Here's a sample.

Read: New Poster for 'The Kennedys' Debuts

Starring Greg Kinnear as President John F. Kennedy, Katie Holmes as his wife Jackie, Barry Pepper as Robert Kennedy and Tom Wilkinson as family patriarch Joe Kennedy, there were high hopes for the series right from the beginning.

But all that began to change when the History Channel dropped the series.

History announced in January it would not be airing the show due to reasons that weren't quite clear (a statement read "this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand"). After being rejected by a number of premium cable channels like Showtime and Starz, the series finally landed with ReelzChannel.

Reasons for the multiple rejections included blatant historical inaccuracy, but producer Joel Surnow claims it's because of his left-leaning views and the series' rumored less-than-flattering take on the Kennedy family.

Read: The History Channel Drops 'The Kennedys'

Critics don't really care, though. They say it just isn't good.

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter calls the series "a hamfisted mess, both slothful in its pacing and leaden in whatever underlying message was meant to be given. It’s not the Kennedy family or legacy that suffers here, but the people involved in the project."

Variety's Brian Lowry agrees. "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," Lowry wrote.

Read: Do You Think Katie Holmes Makes a Good Jackie Kennedy?

As for the actors, only Tom Wilkinson is getting good reviews. Otherwise, Kinnear, Pepper and Holmes are being criticized as thoroughly boring.

Says the New yorker's Nancy Franklin: "Pepper and Greg Kinnear are merely earnest and blandly likable as Bobby and Jack, lacking the Kennedy spark, and [Katie] Holmes hasn't deepened as an actress since her not-very-deep days in the teen soap opera "Dawson's Creek." There's no chemistry between Holmes and Kinnear; there's barely even physics -- they hardly come into contact with each other."

Read: 'The Kennedys' Series Lands on ReelzChannel

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