So, I got a chance to watch “Who Do You Think You Are?” on NBC tonight. It was nice to see something decent for a change. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Fringe on Friday nights also but it is a rare thing to watch something related to genealogy!
I wanted to offer my opinion on this episode. Please understand that this is only my opinion. I’m not a professional critic.
I was impressed with the way that the show portrayed how you start with what you know and then go from there. I was also impressed with how Vanessa followed her clues, moving slowly but methodically towards her final goal. It was exciting to see what Vanessa learned and I was also excited to learn a little history at the same time. My oldest daughter was adamant that the reason there were no “men of color” in the Tennessee legislature for almost 80 years was because of slavery and I had to stop and explain that slavery had been abolished by that time and it was the prejudice that the people let build up and the segregation that caused it. It was nice to be proven right when they came back from commercial! Overall, not bad for the first show!
Of course, I have to also mention the things that I did not like about this episode. I know I may be being nit-picky about this but I had to continually remind my wife that everything is not always as easy as this episode made it seem. First off, not everyone can find out that they need to go to Washington, D.C. and then South Carolina and then Maryland and then Tennessee and be able to just drop everything and go just like that! I’m sure that this took a while to do but the show made it seem so simple and I feel that some folks may be disappointed if they decide to try to trace their ancestry and hit brick walls quickly! Of course, in my case I wouldn’t be able to do this because money is tight! I’m wondering where I will get the money for my next package of ink!
Another thing I disliked about this episode is that everywhere she went it was just her and the person showing her the information. I hope everyone didn’t get the impression that the National Archives or the Court House is always this empty and you get this sort of personalized attention all the time.It’s also not always as clean and organized as they made it seem.
Last but not least, all this is quite easy if you have some readily available cash. The normal, run-0f-the-mill genealogist doesn’t have tons of money! The traveling, hiring genealogists and other items can add up quite quickly if you let it!
Overall, I can understand some things as they want to focus on Vanessa’s search and make sure that they filter out everything else. However, a little bit of reality can help sometimes too. Why is it that you rarely see any of these celebrities run up on a brick wall? I guess that wouldn’t be good television.
I will still be there next Friday night to see Tim McGraw. Or is that Tim Smith?
Have a great weekend everyone!