There's a family rumor that Judge Josh Rode is a direct descendant of John Adams, which makes him wish the US had become a monarchy.
Our review of Who Do You Think You Are? Season 1, published March 7th, 2011, is also available.
Stars trace their family roots through history.
A few years ago, Lisa Kudrow happened across a British show that followed the genealogies of various famous people. She was so struck by the idea she decided to create an American version, and Who Do You Think You Are? was born. The concept is simple: celebrities talk to historians and genealogy experts to trace parts of their family trees, discovering stories of ancestors they never knew existed.
The famous people participating in Who Do You Think You Are? Season 2 include…
While the experts do all of the serious digging, the celebrities show up and talk about the findings. Sometimes they'll pretend they did some (or most) of the research themselves, but then an expert will pull out a book and say, "Here's something else we found," and turn to exactly the right page. In case you want to try this yourself, know that most libraries do, indeed, staff a genealogist or historian who can point you in the right direction, but they aren't likely to do the work for you.
While the stories are often interesting, they're not so engaging you're likely to remember much about them a week later. Part of that is because, unless you're a really big fan, none of these stories hold much emotional value for anyone not related to the people being profiled. The other problem is the producers often try to find a theme for the search that always sounds tagged on. "I'd be really interested to know how much a role faith played in [my ancestors'] lives," says Ashley. "My own faith is really important to me." Well, whattya know? Her family came from Puritan stock.
Presented in standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the visuals are clean of debris and grain, carrying a well-balanced and reasonably deep color palette. The Dolby 2.0 stereo is what you'd expect—that is, center-heavy—but everyone is easy enough to understand. There are no extras, which is a bit of a shame. You'd think a production like this would have a large repository of "find your own family" information. I guess they feel their incessant product placement nods to Ancestory.com are enough.
Who Do You Think You Are? Season 2 is a pleasant enough way to spend an evening, and watching it will probably get you thinking about looking up your own ancestors. Just realize such a journey will not be nearly as easy as this show makes it look.
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