Saturday, March 26, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are, Season 2 Episode 6

Celebrity: Steve Buscemi
Aired: 25 Mar 2011 Presence: Two commercials, four product placements, and one genealogist from


  • I'm glad it highlighted the fact that you have to be prepared to find things about your ancestor that isn't heroic, happy, or good. Mental illness was a great stigma at the time, but it existed just as some people have mental illnesses today.
  • I loved that they had him using the whole of the death record. Even the name of the funeral home can help you find more information. Cause of death can provide more information to family health histories, as Buscemi wondered in regards to his grandmother's suicide. 
  • Labor laws were very different. Children, particularly those in poor households, were sent to work for other people. It is sad, but it was what was acceptable at the time.


  • Advertising Buscemi's ancestors as rogues. Seriously? The man tried to kill himself and then started a new life after the Civil War. In my opinion, I wouldn't necessarily label the man a 'rogue.' If he had depression and that reputation in town, he may have felt the only thing to do was run away.
  • There was way more product placement this episode. I understand ancestry has a lot, but it seemed like this episode had more mentions of their website. I wish they'd show a few more resources.
  • I would just love them to point out how long it took to do the research. 

In the End: It was somewhat interesting and brought up the fact that you'll not always find out great things about your ancestors.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Things I'd Like to Reiterate:

  • I may be the only one that is cynical enough to wonder whether the guy was told to pretend he was scrolling through the microfilm. He could have been interested, but after I caught the show adding Cattrall looking up a family tree on ancestry that had clearly been made for the show (Link), I can't help but be skeptical.
    • I'm just saying that if they've spend hours upon hours of research to find a line the actor can 'pursue,' they're going to have found that stuff beforehand. On the other hand, it's nice to show people using microfilm machines, etc. So...mixed opinions on that part.
  • Your ancestors were not perfect. People have done wacky things, stupid things, and illegal things throughout history. Embrace it and realize that whatever they went through it led to you.


Next Week: Gwyneth Paltrow

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