WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? SEASON 2 (US version)
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Stars trace their family roots through history
"Hits the historical jackpot" —New York Daily News
"A rare and surprising treat" —Entertainment Weekly
Join eight beloved celebrities as they journey through time to trace their family trees. Working with genealogists, historians, and researchers, they uncover long-buried secrets, come face-to-face with their ancestors, and learn surprising, often life-changing truths about their families and themselves.
VANESSA WILLIAMS (Desperate Housewives) finds that breaking down barriers runs in her family.
Country music superstar TIM MCGRAW discovers the source of his own pioneering spirit. Emmy®-winning talk show host
ROSIE O’DONNELL follows her mother’s roots to the grim realities of the Irish potato famine.
KIM CATTRALL (Sex and the City) learns why her grandfather abandoned his family.
Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter LIONEL RICHIE explores his great-grandfather’s mysterious past.
STEVE BUSCEMI (Boardwalk Empire) uncovers a family history of depression. Oscar® winner
GWYNETH PALTROW explores both sides of her family, which couldn’t be more different.
And ASHLEY JUDD, actress and activist, learns she’s not the first in her family to fight for human rights.
Touching, sometimes shocking, and profoundly inspiring, these stories are more than glimpses into the personal lives of famous people. Each is "a look inside the human heart" (Slant).
Top Customer Reviews
Like all reality TV shows, once one becomes a hit there are copycat shows. I'm not sure which came first (and it really doesn't matter) but there is a similar show that aired on PBS (and on DVD, of course) titled "Faces of America" in the first season and "Finding Your Roots" in the second season. I've been watching both second season DVDs and enjoying both. I thought I'd point out the differences in both of my reviews.
Since "Who Do You Think You Are?" (WDYTYA) is on a commercial network, it obviously had commercials. With those deleted for the DVD, each episode runs only 42 minutes. And, because the producers want you to remember what happened before each commercial break (short-term memory loss? <g>), they rehash what came earlier after each of the six commercial breaks. As you will see by other reviews of both seasons, this is the biggest gripe both others and myself have with this series.
While the PBS show is hosted by Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr,, who brings all the materials he finds about the subjects' family to them and acts as narrator, the celebrity subjects on WDYTYA narrate their journey themselves, with some additional info being supplied by a narrator. And on WDYTYA the subject does a lot of their own research and, for effect, travel to the locations of their ancestors.
WDYTYA obviously has some funding from the commercial website Ancestry.com because that is where mose of the research starts and the celebrity meets with staff of Ancestry.com.Read more ›
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? plays like a fascinating mystery, as stars travel cross-country and, in some cases, across the globe to learn the stories of their ancestors.
Vanessa Williams, for example, discovers that one of her ancestors was a former slave, who later served in his state's legislature.
In a later episode, Tim McGraw finds out that one of his great great grandfathers was an associate of George Washington.
Aside from being entertaining, this documentary series is also a helpful "how to" guide for viewers who might wish to explore their own ancestral roots. The various historians explain how old census records and visits to libraries can serve as an invaluable starting point for a search into one's past.
If the series has a flaw, it's that the individual episodes do not have enough material to fill a one-hour program. This results in a lot of annoying repetition; unnecessary recapping at the start of every segment of material we've already seen.
This is an engrossing, often touching, journey into the ancestral history of celebrities, as well as a useful lesson in how one can explore his/her own origins.
A 2-disc set from The Acorn Media Group
© Michael B. Druxman
For me, this season was a gold mine. On an antique document shown on camera, I noticed a potential link (a name, right place & time) of one line of my own family and their probable Europe to America crossing. A needle found in a haystack. You probably will not get that lucky. But you can enjoy celebrities' family searches using highly trained professionals. Some connected to significant moments of American history.
SUBTITLES for Season 2's 8 new celebrity searches aired in early 2011. Safe family viewing.
If you're a person who's interested in seeing where people came from and what made them what they are today, then this is definitely the show for you. A different celebrity focus with each episode. Some ancestors of these celebrities were involved with significance moments in history.
Vanessa Williams finds both slave and freeman in her search through a past in NY, DC, MD, & TN. First black Miss America, 1983, is an actress who believes family is important.
Tim McGraw, son of a legend, wants to learn of the baseball player's family & why it was so secret. The episode where I discovered my own `home run.'
Rosie O'Donnell takes a roller-coaster genealogy ride from NY to Irish workhouses. Would those Irish sufferers approve of today's rich & famous stars like Rosie and their lavish lifestyles?
Kim Cattrall and a grandfather mystery of family abandonment, hardship, and poverty.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All the episodes are great; however, I bought this for one episode in particular to show to my high school American Lit students. Wish I could have purchased just the one episode.Published 3 months ago by Karen M Henderson
I thought I already did this? I was so happy to get this season 2. I am related to two of the celebrities and saw where they went and what records they found to help locate them... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jo Ann Clark
One of the best...so sorry it was not still available online. Would love to get Season 1.Published 5 months ago by J Shaughnessy
I loved watching these episodes and will probably watch them time and again.Published 7 months ago by Maggie Musselman
Love it! Great, fun resource for tracing your family rootsPublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am a genealogist...and I enjoy watching others track down their mystery families....this season two....I picked up a few pointers too.......Published 12 months ago by c