Now that you know who you are, what you do want to be?
This is a show I have just discovered. It is fairly interesting, featuring celebrities and finding out about their ancestors. The music is dramatic, the shows are narrated by the famous people and we, the viewers, go on a journey with the actors and alike to discover “Who do you think you are?” The basic premise is that these people can not know who they truly are without discovering “where they came from”. The reason I choose this show to discuss is because it almost reads as a digital story, yes it is not small-scale by any means, at one point we go with Emit Smith to Africa. But this is the scam of “Hollywood”. To take something very personal, such as ones heritage, especially one’s unknown heritage and essentially exploit it. Two episodes I found myself glued to were, Spike Lee’s, and Emit Smith’s, both for the same reason, as I’m sure why they were chosen for this show, they are black, african-americans and they want to inquire about their past, which means only one thing, Slavery. As a history major and a pan-african studies minor in undergrad, this is one part of American history that I can simply not get enough of. Any of these episodes could be the expansion of a digital story, they have all the elements of a digital story, finding out about your family history and cataloging it. They go on a journey to various places, from one end of the country to another, and as stated previously they even traverse the globe.
But the main question I think that is neglected, is Why these two persons to feature, I believe, it is for no other reason than to explore and to a certain degree exploit and placate the feelings of guilt that still reside with the fact that it took slaves’ blood to make this country a force to be reckoned with.
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Who Do You Think You Are?This show is showing our nature to clear. We seem not to be intrested at family events until it is too late or now “Mind blowing”. But if we could take the time to read our own history we would understand the family better.4 days agoi was very surprised at how much i have liked this show. i happened upon it when flipping the channels and decided i wanted to see more. when i see a show with celebrities, it usually involves someone that really isn’t much of a celebrity at all and i generally don’t expect a lot. so it was a real surprise to see the big names involved. but that’s just the hook. the show itself is more than the celebrity aspect. it is truly involving and interesting. i really recommend it.5 days agoI saw that show too — it was moving and fascinating. But her ancestor wasn’t a judge — he was a police chief who acted as a character witness for Dreyfus, and was instrumental in his release. British show is better for the depth of its research, but the American one has a lot of potential just for the sheer range of histories it can explore. See 9 other replies23 days agoabout 1 month agoabout 1 month agoThe concept for this show immediately grabbed me. I love the idea of looking into family history. And in many aspects the show delivers. The emotions feel real. The stories they discover are fascinating and pull you in. I love the cast members they chose. And the visual style and effects they use create beautiful pictures to watch.The difficult thing about this show, is that it seems to be edited in a way that anticipates the viewer is going to take a 15 minute bathroom break at any given moment. Every time they come back from a commercial break, they rehash the exact same scenes, even the same lines you’ve already seen. It’s infuriorating. I wanted to fast forward through those segments, and several times I almost just quit watching because I was so bored of watching what I’d already seen just three minutes prior. Were they really that hard up for clips that they needed to use and reuse and reuse? Or do they think that my memory has such a short attention span I couldn’t remember something that happened directly before the commercial break? I’ve seen this technique on other reality shows, but somehow it seems like it really doesn’t fit here given the more serious and impactful subject matter.I would definitely reccomend watching this show. But just be prepared to fast forward when needed.about 1 month agoThis show was originated in the UK. Check YouTube for clips. Like many shows from the UK that are done in a US version, it got compromised. For one thing, it has less time for the substantive because they cram so many commercials in. I am also willing to bet they dumb it down for US audiences because they think they need to pander to the lowest common denominator.I watched “Faces of America” and enjoyed it, but I don’t think it was substantially more detailed or deeper than the US version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” They also glossed over things in order to speed things up for short attention spans. To get more deeply into history, family history, genealogy and genealogical DNA would take something on the level of a NOVA program and no network seems willing to do that.I think it’s pretty insulting to accuse Kudrow of faking her feelings. Does this series sentimentalize things in its editing? Yes. But Kudrow is a human being as well as an actress. Many people feel deep emotions about their families and I can well imagine being joyful or angry or upset when one finds out particular news about one’s family history. It’s crass of you to trivialize that and put it down to mere acting.Remember that as opposed to “Faces of America” where Gates and his team did all the legwork and merely presented conclusions to the celebrity guests, the participants in “Who Do You Think You Are?” actually participate in the search/research. So it’s likely to be that much more moving when they make a breakthrough in researching their family line.