Friday, March 5, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are? Episode 1 Recap

Tonight I watched with much anticipation the first episode of the new NBC-TV series, Who Do You Think You Are?

My hopes were that the show would show genealogy and family history research in a positive way, and that the actual documents and the search process would be shown realistically. The first hope was met - Sarah Jessica Parker participated in the research to some extent, was very enthusiastic and emotional during the episode, and was a good first subject. My second hope was only partially met - and that was because they don't have enough time to show the actual research process and all of the documents, so they picked the "low hanging fruit" of Sarah's Gold Rush miner and accused Salem witch.

For a summary of the episode, check out the Ancestry.com blog post titled Who Do You Think You Are? Episode 1 – Sarah Jessica Parker by Heather Erickson.

Anastasia Tyler, the Ancestry.com Public Relations Manager, sent an email with useful information - Thomas MacEntee published it in his post on the Geneabloggers blog titled The Research Process for Sarah Jessica Parker’s Genealogy.

Many geneabloggers wrote comments about this episode. Thomas MacEntee collected them into the post Who Do You Think You Are? Episode 1 Review on the Geneabloggers blog.

My grade for this episode was a B+. I want to save a little room for a really outstanding episode.

I also had hoped that in the first episode that they would say just a bit about the family tree, show - for example, "if you go back 10 generations that each of us has potentially 1,024 ancestors in that generation and 2,047 overall, and we're going to show you only some of them due to time constraints," and show a family tree graphic. Then at the end of the show, I hoped that they would show the ancestors they focused on in relation to the rest of the family tree. Not everybody who watched the show will understand that, and will think that all they have to do is go down to the library, log onto Ancestry.com and find notable ancestors hanging from the family tree.

My wife watched this episode in the bedroom - and when I went in to ask her if she enjoyed it, she was peacefully snoozing all warm and toasty under the covers. Surely she didn't miss the Salem witch documents, did she? I'll have to ask her in the morning what she liked about the show, and if she saw the records of the Salem witch being executed. :)

3 comments:

Banai Lynn Feldstein said...

They showed the family tree graphic just the way they do on the BBC version, but I like that better than the Faces of America one; that didn't even make sense to me

TCasteel said...

I had to laugh when you said you found your wife asleep. Sometimes I think our spouses 'just don't get it' ;-)

T.K. said...

LMAO! I fell asleep on the couch during the gold rush and surfaced as the witch was accused. It just doesn't pay to be too comfortable when there's something on the telly that's actually worth watching!