Thursday, March 4, 2010

New York Times review of family tree TV shows

From the NY Times review: "At this point there’s probably no stopping the genealogy craze, which for a few decades now has been causing people to go rooting around in their familial past, trying to find out who gave birth to the person who gave birth to the person who was related to the person who gave birth to them. And on Friday night this happy cult may sign up a bunch of new members when an addictive little program called “Who Do You Think You Are?” has its premiere on NBC."

Read the full review here.

Now it's me writing again ....

It's a little difficult to tell if the reviewer really got into this or if he's just being cynical, with an inference that most people's ancestors were drab, boring drones. Apparently the genealogy bug has not yet bit the reviewer the way it has the rest of us. Every ancestor has a story - and it's the inquisitiveness of the descendant to want to continue digging around to find it.

Faces of America

Personally, I've been quite impressed with the PBS production, Faces of America. My only criticism is based on personal preference. Personally, I would have preferred that each episode focus on the ancestry of just one person, rather than jumping around among several of the celebrity descendants. I understand the reason the producers edited the program the way they did. For example, if someone just isn't into Dr. Oz, they would skip that show altogether. This way, you're hooked in to watching every episode. I also would have liked the producers to show more of the research process that goes into family history. A newcomer may not pick up enough to realize that anyone is capable of tracing their roots.

Certainly, NBC's collaboration with, Who Do You Think You Are?, will show more of the how-to aspect of the search. After all, isn't looking for more customers?

The NBC show premieres this Friday evening. I'll be watching.

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