David Hinckley has an interesting article about the newest genealogy television program in the United States. Writing in the New York Daily News, Hinckley states:
You have to figure that the only way NBC could justify putting a genealogy show into prime time was to have all the subjects be celebrities.
It's still annoying, sometimes really annoying, because it suggests that one of the most fascinating projects anyone can undertake - to track down the stories of his or her ancestors - is only interesting if it either starts with or leads to someone famous.
But tonight's premiere spends less of its time explaining databases and sources than filming Parker's reaction to two discoveries in her family tree. She oohs, she aahs, she exclaims frequently, she reads excerpts from an 1850 letter, and she tells us her life has been changed.
That's not a criticism of Parker or a suggestion she's not truly moved. The Parker focus just paints genealogy as stunning discoveries and dramatic visits to strange ancestral haunts.
Hinckley also writes:
The show also could acknowledge the thousands of archivists, researchers, genealogists, historians and librarians who patiently help people with no fame on either end of the ancestral ladder, just a lot of the small stories that make up the human experience.
I am not sure if I agree or disagree with all of Hinckley's points but I certainly agree with his last two paragraphs.
You can read 'Who Do You Think You Are?' by David Hinckley at http://tinyurl.com/y9n23wn.