This past Friday, I invited some friends over for a Who Do You Think You Are party. Of course, one of the things we did was watch the show. Here is what I thought of the first episode of WDYTYA:
1) It was a typical American television show with lots of commercials and a recap after each and every commercial break. Too bad there were so many commercials. I would have liked more content.
2) Did they really need to play the Rob Thomas song "Small Wonders" for dramatic purposes? I know it was for entertainment value but I thought it could have been toned down a bit.
3) They made it look like researching your family history was really easy. Now, I know the whole point of the show is to entertain and make money for NBC. And really, most people would be bored out of their skulls if the show focused on how to do the research. I would have liked the narrator to have said something about the challenge of finding the records, especially for Sarah Jessica Parker's ancestor, John S. Hodge, who was involved in the 1849 California gold rush.
On the WDYTYA web page there are a links to How To articles.
4) Did I like the show? YES! I loved it. I will be watching every episode either on TV or online, or maybe both!
5) I thought Sarah Jessica's reactions and emotions were genuine. You could tell she became emotionally invested in her ancestors. She wanted to learn what happened to them, even if it was something bad. I remember her saying "I can't get him out of mind" in reference to her ancestors, John S. Hodge. Also, while she was waiting for the documents at the Massachusetts Historical Society, you could see how anxious she was. When the archivist arrived with the materials, Sarah Jessica said something about changing her mind about wanting to read the records. She did anyway but with a fear in her heart as to what the warrant was about for her 10th great-grandmother, Esther Elwell. That's the sign of a family historian - when you care about your ancestors and what happened to them.
6) When they showed the 300 year old warrant for Esther Elwell. How cool is that!?
6) Sarah Jessica was so excited to tell her "mommy" about what she had learned about the family.
7) And the best part, in my opinion, is that Sarah Jessica's children are going to know their family history.