Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are, Season 1, Episode 1

I'll be periodically going through the first season of the US "Who Do You Think You Are" to catch up on what I've missed.

Celebrity: Sarah Jessica Parker
Originally Aired: 5 Mar 2010 Presence: 1 mention (Keep in mind there were no commercials, a point in favor of watching the show on DVD!)


  • On a purely personal level, I enjoyed this episode because it referenced the gold rush (which one of my ancestor's reportedly was a part of) and she had Massachusetts and Connecticut ancestors going back to the early 17th century, which I also have (though not of course the same ancestors). 
  • I didn't spot any major archival transgressions. That in itself earns one star.
  • It's possibly my imagination, but it seemed less annoying, less manufactured.
  • I liked her narrating things. I felt more of her involvement in it and it drew me in more than the other episodes I've watched.
  • It was quite sweet that she visited the monument to the Salem Witch Trials, feeling the connection of how very lucky her ancestor was to have escaped trial even if she had been arrested. 
  • The New England Historic Genealogical Society's Great Migration Study Project is here.


  • Well, the music will continue to be a con for me. I will give them points for the background music being much less annoying in comparison to the theme tune.
  • I wish my ancestors had verifiable death dates like that in the 19th century. 

In the End: If this were the first episode I had seen, I would definitely want to watch the show the next week. Also, it says a lot for the argument to watch this show on DVD instead of when it originally airs. I will have to make an experiment of it with the second season when I buy that DVD.

Rating: 5 out of 5 (Can't bear to give the episode less than that since most of my complaints were not present in this episode.)

Things I'd Like to Reiterate: 

  • The only time I saw a writing implement APPROACH a document, it was a pencil! :-D
  • You really do need to prepare yourself for at least one of your ancestors doing things that are considered bad. One of my ancestors was killed by another person, but looking into the court documents it appears that he was "raising hell" so in today's terms the killing could well have been self-defense. There's a certain amount of empathy genealogy encourages, but you can't take things like that too much to heart. It wasn't all they were and it isn't all you are. I probably haven't explained my feelings on that correctly, but it's the best I can do right now.

Next Episode: Emmitt Smith

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