Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Teddy Roosevelt Was Hawt, You Guys

Yes, hi. It is I, Arsenic Pie, returning like a bad rash to my blogging duties and a mobile device near you. It's not my fault there's zilch to watch on teevee and that I've been throwing my entire music box collection at the TV due to its inanity. Everything smashed gloriously. I feel better.

ANYWAY. I'm here to educate and edify you about the PBS Ken Burns documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Parts 1 through 4 will have aired by the time that this is posted. This was well-timed to fill the gap left after Season 2 of Drunk History ended. I bet there's a lot of overlap between those two audience demographics.

The takeaway? Teddy Roosevelt was fucking hot.

Earnest young presidential hopeful. 

Wearing ironic sideburns before it was cool...or ironic. 

Okay, maybe that's not all that's interesting about the documentary, but I had no idea that TR was a total hottie. Why don't they teach this in history class? I feel this is a failing of our school system. More people would pay attention to history if they knew that TR was featured the My Daguerreotype Boyfriend web site. I really do feel this to be the case. 

I like documentaries. They do the thinking for me so I can just sit and watch them and shove Jimmy John's into my mouth. 

Like Burns' previous documentaries (The Civil War, Prohibition, The Dust Bowl) , The Roosevelts is crack for the history buff. The format is very much like other Burns work you may have encountered. Narrated by Peter Coyote, the main content consists of compiled photographs and moving pictures, accompanied by letters, newspaper articles, and other writings given life through the narration of actors who have either been nominated for an Oscar or have done so many Ken Burns documentaries that they comprise a significant portion of their acting CV. Paul Giamatti, whose career goal it is to play all of our shortest and fattest presidents, voices T.R. Edward Herrman, mainstay of the History Channel back when it the voice of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And as Eleanor, Meryl Streep.

I bet she went on and on about how I was her role model.

Parts 1 and 2 focus on the early years of the two branches of the Roosevelt family which produced presidents -- the Hyde Park branch and the Oyster Bay branch -- and which were united when FDR married Eleanor, Teddy's niece, in 1904. The first three segments also give a detailed look at the beginnings of TR's and FDR's political careers, as well as a surprisingly honest examination of the main players' private lives. Teddy suffered immense personal tragedy as a young man, and triumphed over the physical limitations he had as a young boy. Especially interesting was the documentary's discussion of the honestly messed up relationships FDR and Eleanor had with their parents. FDR's mother Sarah seems as though she was quite the overbearing MIL from hell to Eleanor, and Eleanor's childhood was marred by an alcoholic and absent father, and a beautiful but cruel mother, who ridiculed her young daughter for not being "pretty."

Whatevah. I'm totes gonna grow up and live in the White House. Cha-ching!

Speaking of role models, I hope there is more to come about Alice Roosevelt. She seems hilarious and awesome. I wish to hear more about her engaging in more scandalous activities, such as smoking cigars at gambling halls and flirting with married men. Holla!

Being a debutante can suck it. 

As usual, check your local PBS stations for air dates and times. You can also binge watch all seven episodes online at and through other various and sundry streaming services.

Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling are totally going to get into fisticuffs for my biopic. Dicaprio is so out! Heheheh.

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