"Who Do You Think You Are?" premiered tonight Friday, March 5 (8-9 p.m. ET)
Ancestry.com is NBC's official partner on the series and is a recommended website for genealogists.
The show gave viewers an up-close and personal look inside the family history of Sarah Jessica Parker
I watched with great interest and made a list of what I loved and what I didn't like about Who Do You Think You Are (Episode 1). I'm interested in your thoughts - did you watch the show? What did you think of it? How would you compare it to Faces of America (if you watched that show)
I enjoyed Who Do You Think You Are first episode much more than Faces of America. I liked how it focused on one person's journey and didn't jump around from person to person showing us bits and pieces from each, as Faces of America did. I also liked seeing Sarah Jessica Parker physically on the journey, not just sitting and waiting to be told to turn a page in a book as in Faces of America. I liked the connection that Sarah Jessica Parker began to feel with America as she journeyed to places her ancestors had lived.
The show gave historical context to Sarah Jessica Parker's ancestors. It helped Sarah Jessica Parker connect to them as real people living real lives. She not only saw them as part of history, she connected to them as people not just names and dats.
I liked how Sarah Jessica Parker did some of her own research rather than rely exclusively on help from historians, librarians and genealogists. They did do a lot of research for her and helped her a great deal which showed just how knowledgeable and helpful such professionals are, but I was glad to see Sarah Jessica at a microfilm reader and engaging in the task.
I really liked how the show captured the excitement of researching one's family and making a find such as an ancestor on a census record. Genealogy is exciting. It's fun and it's a wonderful mystery waiting to be solved! Who Do You Think You Are captured that and for that I give it a huge tip of my hat!
What didn't I like? I'm going to nitpick now because I didn't find any major fault with the show BUT I found Sarah Jessica Parker's responses to details of her ancestors overly dramatic. That detracted from my overall enjoyment of the show.
One event actually made me cringe. When an original 1692 document was handed to Sarah Jessica Parker no one wore gloves. The librarian taking it out of the folder did not wear gloves and Sarah Jessica was not given any. As well Sarah Jessica Parker had a pencil which she used to point to the words as she read the document. I cringed every time her pencil jabbed towards a word and just barely escaped touching the paper.
I chuckled seeing Sarah Jessica Parker in those empty libraries and archives, consulting with genealogists and historians. Oh to find an empty library where every book and microfilm and every staff member is just waiting for ME to come along! I know, I know, it's a tv show and Sarah Jessica Parker is a celebrity so obviously they had to film it when no one was there. But still, it made me chuckle.
Overall I really enjoyed Episode 1 and look forward to Episode 2!
My Rating for Episode 1 is A-