Sunday, April 14, 2024

Horrifying “Kennedys” Sensationalizes Sister Rosemary’s Condition


Fans of “Melrose Place” may remember a big reveal from one season when Kimberly, who was crazy as a bed bug, pulled her hair back in front of a mirror to reveal a massive scar from brain surgery. It was the last scene of an episode, and done for maximum shock. Guess what? In Joel Surnow’s really terrible miniseries, “The Kennedys,” about real people, the scene is more or less re-enacted in the worst possible way.

Episode 5, just toward the end: “The Kennedys” stages a scene of Rose Kennedy coming to see her daughter, Rosemary, after her lobotomy. The miniseries acts as if Rose knew nothing of the surgery in advance, that Joe Kennedy did it without anyone’s acquiescence. This is historically inaccurate according to Laurence Leamer’s book about the Kennedy women. In fact there was much discussion in the family before the surgery. Kathleen Kennedy aka “Kick”–who is not mentioned in the miniseries–did a lot of research in advance. She was told it was a mistake.

In the miniseries, Rose walks into a hospital room where Rosemary is seated and staring into space. For maximum shock, Rose pushes back Rosemary’s hair to discover a severe and bloody scar on her forehead. It’s right out of Hannibal Lecter, and totally disgusting. I’m not sure if Caroline Kennedy or Maria Shriver made it this far into the series, but if they did, I wouldn’t blame them for calling anyone they knew to kill it. Reprehensible and unnecessary. Yikes.

I can’t even imagine what awaits me in Episodes 6, 7, and 8.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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