Wednesday, February 3, 2016

663. Finding Your Roots OK, but Static

   I don't like to quibble about genealogy programs on television, since there are few of them, but I did realize something last night.
   I was watching "Finding Your Roots" with Henry Louis Gates on PBS, and I finally figured out what was wrong with the show--the subjects do not do anything. They just sit there and exclaim "Amazing," now and then, while Gates dazzles them with his staff's research. Interactive it's not.
  "Who Do You Think You Are" was (is?) more satisfying, as the subjects travel around and talk to researchers and sometimes relatives, and participate more fully in the process. Some are seen looking at microfilm or searching online.
   Probably the PBS show's budget is much smaller and I get that, but I would like it way more if it was a two-way street. The people the program is about should do a little of the down-and-dirty part of genealogy. Much more satisfying for them and for us.

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