Friday, December 17, 2010

WDYTYA Season 2

The names of the “celebrities” to be featured on Season 2 of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? have been announced.  

Scheduled to be highlighted in Season Two are : Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd.  

This must be the singers and actors edition. My first impressions are that this group is not as strong as the first season : only Buscemi, O’Donnell and McGraw seem interesting to me.  However, the first season surprised me and hopefully this one will, too.

Gwyneth Paltrow is an actress that I admit I’m not familiar with at all, until I checked Wikipedia I thought she was British; her Quaker and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry may connect with mine.  McGraw’s Scots-Irish ancestry would most interest me.  Rosie O’Donnell might be one of the more interesting ones, with her mother dying at a young age she may not know much about her past. Steve Buscemi is an actor that I’ve enjoyed since Reservoir Dogs and his roots are Sicilian and Irish. Kim Catrall – not sure why she’s in this list – she’s British and has already been highlighted on their version of the show. Lionel Richie – liked his music, but don’t know much more about him.  Vanessa Williams last I knew of her was the Miss America scandal and bad action movies. Ashley Judd has a colorful family, might have some surprises there.

I’m not sure what NBC’s criterion for selecting subjects for the show.  Both season’s shows seem to be dominated by actors and actresses, as if they were the only people who’s past would be interesting enough to hold viewer’s attention.  Politicians who’ve run for President have their family trees in the paper when they receive their party’s nominations, but what about the other Congressmen and Governors who make the news regularly?  Surely the genealogies of some best-selling authors or businessmen would be just as interesting as the Hollywood set.

It would also be nice if the show could somehow highlight research of the more common folk.  Perhaps NBC could solicit viewers to submit their family research problems/questions in some sort of video format, and then the producers could select one or two to highlight.   In my opinion, having the show give some ‘free’ research advice and discoveries would capture the imagination of people better than focusing solely on the rich and famous.

That being said, some choices for folks that I would like to see profiled on the show include: former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, musician John “Cougar” Mellencamp, talk show host Glenn Beck, former Senator/astronaut John Glenn, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, evangelist Franklin Graham, author John Grisham and rapper Sean “Puffy” Combs.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Who Do You Think You Are? and I’m eagerly awaiting this one as well.  I would imagine they will rebroadcast the episodes from the first season as well.  


Karen said...

I agree that featuring people from other walks of life might be interesting. It might also be fun to just select an ordinary person and demonstrate what they can discover. You don't have to be a celebrity to have an interesting family history. Thanks for a thought provoking post.

Travis LeMaster said...

I agree that highlighting the fact that anyone can have an interesting family history would do more to spur interest in genealogy.