Top critical review
26 people found this helpful
Poor second fiddle to UK version.
on January 11, 2013
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.