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Who Do You Think You Are?: Season 1 (2010)

Lisa Kudrow , Sarah Jessica Parker  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.99
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Who Do You Think You Are?: Season 1 + WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? SEASON 2 (US version) + Faces of America
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 293 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003VYCK1E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,020 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

SDH subtitles

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As seen on NBC

Stars trace their family roots through history
"Fascinating" --The New York Times

"Brings history alive in a way rarely seen on television … satisfying emotional journeys" --The Philadelphia Inquirer

To know who you are, you have to know where you came from. In this fascinating reality series, seven celebrities share their life-altering discoveries. Working with genealogists, historians, and researchers, they travel the world to uncover the secrets and surprises in their family trees.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s (Sex and the City) search leads back to the Salem witch trials. Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith follows his slave ancestors to Benin. Lisa Kudrow (Friends) learns the truth of her great-grandmother’s fate in the Holocaust. Tony® winner Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Glory) traces his family to battlefields in France and America. Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) unearths her royal connections. Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) explores the racy life of her grandmother. And Emmy® -winning director Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X) meets a relative he didn’t know he had.

Intriguing, moving, and ultimately uplifting, this series proves that genealogy is more than a pastime. It’s a journey through history that changes everything.

Amazon.com

Genealogy ranges from a parlor game to an obsessive pursuit for people yearning to find their roots. In the age of the Internet, interest and availability have increased dramatically for even the most casual investigation into ancestry and answers to that nagging question of the soul, Where did I come from? American television picked up the Who Do You Think You Are? franchise after programs with the same name and format were a hit in Britain, Ireland, and Australia, and this two-disc set represents the first season that appeared on NBC in 2010 (season two premiered in February 2011). The series follows seven celebrities as they trace a family line back three or more generations, ostensibly showing us the commonality of experience and profound sense of connection that comes with understanding the path of life that led you where you are. The stories are undeniably moving, even if the sentimentality sometimes feels forced and the manipulation of emotion a little heavy-handed. Included in the season's stories are actors Lisa Kudrow (one of the show's producers), Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, and Susan Sarandon, as well as filmmaker Spike Lee and former NFL star Emmitt Smith.

Each episode unfolds with a stylish flair of mystery and includes moments of drama that are often genuinely moving as these famous faces all but melt when they make their individual discoveries. The journeys take each subject on lengthy field trips. Susan Sarandon makes a jaunt to Italy; Mathew Broderick travels to a World War I cemetery in France and Civil War battlefields in the Deep South; Lisa Kudrow discovers a painful family history in Belarus and Poland; and Spike Lee uncovers roots in the red clay of Georgia. The mini-documentary sagas are juiced with VIP celebrity treatment and ease of access to information that would probably take regular people months to track down. The subjects receive privileged entrée to top experts who have clearly done a lot of legwork in researching old paper records, microfilm, and computer scans. And the drama is often laid on a little thick as key documents are presented with a this-is-your-life flourish at key moments in the middle of historic settings. Invariably there are tears of emotion that the camera grabs onto with a schmaltz that sometimes borders on shameless. Nevertheless, the tears you find welling up at these poignant scenes may well be your own. (As a side note, you'll want to keep your finger ready on the fast-forward: the episodes are heavily padded with "coming up" spoilers and rehashes of what you've already seen on each side of the original commercial breaks.) --Ted Fry


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor second fiddle to UK version. January 11, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am an amateur genealogist and I do love the UK series because of the stories that unfold and the tips on genealogy work. A USA version is a great idea, I mean the format is already a proven success in the UK so it must be a similarly good show for a USA version right? WRONG. There are several issues in the USA production that make this version almost unbearable to watch. This DVD has been taken straight (unedited) from the TV screenings, In a really frustrating trend that seems to be the norm in the USA producers feel that the viewers, having sat through a commercial break, have forgotten what they saw before the break and need to re-watch half of what they just saw. Personally I don't think americans have such a short attention span but most americans I know are academically oriented so maybe the general population does forget what they just watched before a commercial break. So there may be a reason for the constant re-visitations when shown on TV, but on a DVD without commercials? It just gets plain frustrating and almost unwatchable. Furthermore, the constant re-hashing of already seen footage means that a 45 minute show in reality only has about 30 minutes of original footage. Not good value for viewing or purchasing! Another annoying habit is to indirectly tell the viewers what is coming after the commercial break but try and make it sound like a mystery. Example.. in one episode the narrator tells the viewers the star will head to the fields of France in search of a missing relative. What will she discover? Well duh, obviously the relative was killed in WW1 so where's the mystery? In fact, why bother watching it when you know what she will discover.
So in summary, it gets 2 stars for the few limited genealogical tips it presents but otherwise this show is poorly presented, low on original content and very frustrating to watch if you have any sort of half-decent memory.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tracing Your Roots January 20, 2011
Format:DVD
In this seven-episode one-hour NBC-TV documentary series, seven popular celebrities (Sarah Jessica Parker, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, director Spike Lee and football star Emmitt Smith) look back through time, exploring their ancestral histories and sharing their life-altering discoveries.

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.

Sarah Jessica Parker, for example, not only discovers that one of her ancestors took part in the California Gold Rush, but that another was accused in, yet survived, the infamous Salem witch trials.

In a later episode, her husband, Matthew Broderick, learns that his grandfather was a WW1 hero and that his great, great grandfather fought at Gettysburg.

Dallas Cowboys' legend Emmitt Smith traces his roots back to the days of slavery, and even journeys to Africa where his family originated.

In what is certainly the most heart-wrenching episode, Lisa Kudrow, who is also one of the series' executive producers, traces her father's family back to Europe where she learns the horrifying facts of how her great grandmother was murdered by the Nazis, but she also meets a distant cousin who managed to escape the Holocaust.

Discoveries made by Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon and Spike Lee are equally fascinating.

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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who do you think you are April 10, 2011
Format:DVD
This series originated in the UK on the BBC. They have done 7 excellent series so far and all are fasincting. It was good to see the US version, which is done by the same company, and compare it. In the Bristish version there was a lot of crying and stiff upper lips. In the American a lot of wows! Still it has followed the same format. Try out some of the British shows even if you don't know the people there are some great stories and good historical facts that I knew nothing about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great dvd's June 15, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent Quality on these Videos. I absolutely love the stories that are being told and shared. Family History is really important, and I feel these stories share that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have enjoyed watching this. May 17, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love this entire series with my husband. We are huge fans and wish we could travel like this to find our histories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I just love it! January 29, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a genealogy buff, and these stories are so inspiring! My husband and I would highly recommend this video series!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love This Series December 10, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've gotten hooked on genealogy and I love this series. I often find I have shared ancestors with some of the people in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great show for anyone into genealogy. November 15, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have fallen in lover with this product during season 4. Unfortunately, I missed seasons 1-3. This helps to fill the gap. Well done program that is a bit light on the technical content but nevertheless and interesting program to watch.
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