05 March 2010

NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? It has debuted! WOW

I am typing this as I watch the premier show. I am impressed. Sarah Jessica Parker is the featured celebrity tonight and I am loving that they aren't jumping from celebrity to celebrity with small snippets of each. That bothered me a bit with the "Faces of America" series that was on PBS recently.

While they can't show each step of the research I am thrilled that they are showing a variety of records, both online and off. Visits to libraries, specific localities, historical societies, museums are shown. The starting point of talking with family and looking at home sources is represented in the visit with her mother. The audience gets to see Ancestry.com, census, newspaper articles, maps, old letters, original court records, and that not all is online. I did gulp a bit when I saw her pencil a bit too close to an original document. For those of you who have never used such documents, you might have to wear gloves when you use the records at some archives. This is to protect these one-of-a-kind records

If only we all could run from one part of the country to the other to research. Sigh. However, this does show that our answers are not all in one place. Nor does one person have all the knowledge. She worked with professional genealogists, historians, archivists,a librarian.

As a genealogist I was happy to see the range of emotions of the family history discovery that SJP went through -- excited, sad, bouncing off the wall, guilt, scared, and more. We saw the neat feelings of walking where your ancestors walked.

SJP's reactions to finding her ancestral places in history were shown beautifully. The editors did a great job with this show. My friends Natalie Cottrill and Joshua Taylor did great work on their portions of tonight's show.

I saw some reviews of the show in newspapers from across the country -- most were negative. I hope some of them change their minds after watching it on TV or learning more about SJP's reactions and feelings. On the other hand, I have no interest in stamp collecting, refurbishing antique cars, or bird watching. But I know the folks who do are passionate about what they do and I respect them for that. 

Will I watch the rest of the series. You bet! As a non-genealogist Facebook friend of mine just said, "It's a cool show." Thank you Ancestry.com and others for the support that enabled this to be on in prime time!

12 comments:

Barbara Poole said...

I'm sure you will love it. Wait until you hear what she says to Josh. Excellent show, and hard to find fault with it.

Strude86 said...

It was helpful to see that everything's not "on the interweb thingie" in the piece tonight.

Gerald said...

I did enjoy the NBC program on SJP's genealogy. It would be nice if all of us could follow our own families as they traveled from state to state. Also to have the top genealogists with their expertise ready to assist and offer direction.
I was wondering where the letter of the grandfather's death (Ca miner)came from, did I miss something? Too bad the original record of the witch trial wasn't handled more carefully and with more dignity. What a wonderful treasure to find!! Josh did a great job, as did all the others with their segment.
Marilyn

KONRAD said...

I'm in Ireland and I love this show, we have watched the Uk and Irish series over the years and would so love to see the US series .... do you know of anywhere i can watch online the US series ?

Sunshine!! said...

I am from UK, where the show originated and have watched every single episode with delight. I feel the shows are an excellent way of motivating people to explore their own family history and not only find out the names and dates, but what life was like for our ancestors in the time they lived!

Of course, it's important to remember that not everyone's research will find out such interesting facts -many of the celebrities who start out with the programme are not taken any further forward as there is not much of extreme interest in their family history for the outside audience!

I loved the SJP episode and could feel my emotions building along with hers! an excellent 1st show.

Sunshine!! said...

I am from UK, where the show originated and have watched every single episode with delight. I feel the shows are an excellent way of motivating people to explore their own family history and not only find out the names and dates, but what life was like for our ancestors in the time they lived!

Of course, it's important to remember that not everyone's research will find out such interesting facts -many of the celebrities who start out with the programme are not taken any further forward as there is not much of extreme interest in their family history for the outside audience!

I loved the SJP episode and could feel my emotions building along with hers! an excellent 1st show.

Paula Stuart-Warren said...

The video of the first show can now be viewed at the NBC TV website:
http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/video/episodes/#vid=1206958

KONRAD said...

Thanks Paula ... but the NBC site seems to be blocked for viewers outside the US ? I have tried to load the show on the NBC website but it keeps stalling and telling me to be patient !! I guess I'll have to be very very patient and wait until it airs in Ireland !

ps ; anyone needing help with their irish genealogy just drop me a line as I'm less than 1hr from the national archives ! (snitch_snitch@hotmail.com)

Paula Stuart-Warren said...

One more place to try to watch the show is
http://www.hulu.com/who-do-you-think-you-are

KONRAD said...

thanks again paula, i clicked very excitedly but unfortunately it was only available to be streamed from within the US.... count yourselves very lucky !

KONRAD said...

Finally seen the episodes .. great series but how do you endure all those breaks for advertisements !

jaygen said...

Those in UK can watch WDYTYA at www.cinemahaven.com ...