Friday, March 19, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are? Episode 3 - My Thoughts

Well the third episode of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? with Lisa Kudrow just ended here in Chicago and I wanted to put my impressions down in a blog post.  I'm encouraging my other genealogy blogging colleagues to do the same or if you don't have your own blog, add your comments below.
  • PLUS:  Lisa Kudrow was excited about trying to find the story about her great-grandmother and how she died in Ilya, Belarus based on the facts told so touchingly by her father.
  • MINUS:  Not really a minus, but having to see Kudrow's father cry and be in such turmoil.  No one told me this was a three-hanky episode.
  • PLUS:  Being able to visit your ancestral homeland and talk to actual neighbors about your family.
  • MINUS:  Again not a minus, but I just can't imagine the pain of having to hear from these neighbors how your family was slaughtered.
  • PLUS:  The ability to be in Poland after the Iron Curtain fell and have open records in order to find a distant relative.
  • PLUS:  The fact that Yuri (Borislaw) was still alive.  This goes to show that genealogists never make assumptions (like assuming someone is dead because someone else said so) but do the research first.
  • MINUS: Too many recaps!  Was it just me or did it seem there were way more recaps and "coming up" in this episode?  What was a 42 minutes episode after commercials really was a 32 minute episode if you remove the intro (which is way too long) and the recaps.  Were there no other compelling aspects of this story that could have filled out those 10 minutes?
This was one of the most moving episodes of WDYTYA despite its brevity in terms of content.  It also again brought to light a disturbing period in our civilization and I hope - as others must - that we never forget.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee


Heather Rojo said...

Definitely a three hanky episode. Even hubby was in tears because it reminded him of his own grandfather's story. We were so relieved that there was a happy ending. So far all three episodes have dealt with some tragedy. Why do the horrible things in history leave more records than the happy things?

Tracy said...

Only three? The show finished five minutes ago here and I'm still wiping my eyes.

Hands down, I think this was the best yet.

Russ said...


As usual, a great summary. The recap and preview did distract a little. But, it was time to reflect and soak in, what had just happened.

As with the previous 2 episodes, they started and home and ended at home.

I did see a couple of comments about Lisa not taking her father with her. My take was that Lisa had to do it alone. The two previous "stars" also made their journey alone. But the storys that were brought home, were awesome.

Saw a little more of Not a negative, but its out there, and the use of modern technology to have a video call to reconnect the family.

Who'da thought a couple of years ago, to be able to do that.

Thank you,


JamaGenie said...

A five-hanky episode for me. And yes, way too many recaps. If these were to benefit viewers just tuning in (or to catch channel surfers), it was a waste of air time. Full episodes of WDYTYA are available at I watched the Emmitt Smith episode there.

Lisa K had to know the story of her ggm's murder would be painful. My sense was the neighbor *wanted* to tell it on national TV, to prevent it happening again. But I don't think Lisa was quite prepared for the mass grave, or standing on the spot where her ggm and so many others were slaughtered. But then, how can one "prepare" for that?

Despite the excessive recaps and painful subject matter, I too think this was the best episode so far.


Lisa Alzo said...

Best yet! I was still sobbing long after the show ended. Agreed--too many recaps!

John said...

Finally saw the episode.

I think it says something that this was the most emotional of the episodes for some viewers, and the 'new information' didn't extend the family line any further back.

Reminds viewers that the research isn't always focused on finding more ancestors, but its sometimes focused on finding more information about our ancestors.