Faces of America on PBS? You should be (also check out African American Lives and African American Lives 2).
Pete and I watched African American Lives with his family two Christmases ago and it inspired us to get our own DNA tests.
Faces of America has been pretty interesting so far, though it does tend to highlight family members who pulled themseves up by their bootstraps and succeeded in America because they just never gave up, at the expense of the louts and ne'er do wells that exist in every family tree. I can just imagine Prof. Gates doing my "Book of Life": Well, shall we start with your syphiltic great-grandfater or those DeAngelis cousins who were executed by the Allies after WWII? Maybe those draft dodgers in Argentina instead?
Still, I like to watch. It inspires me to use my research skills on my own family tree and, exhausting that, Pete's family tree.
Episode 3 airs tonight (Wednesday, February 24th) at 8:00 on PBS.
I enjoyed "African American Lives" better because it didn't jump around so much. This one tries to trace too many stories each episode, like genealogy on crack! I forget who is who. There is an upcoming series on NBC called "Who do you think you are?" starting March 5th. It will be interesting to see how they compare. The NBC show will focus on one celebrity each week- no more ADHD viewing, but I wonder about the commercial slant vs. PBS style. I also wonder "why the focus on celebs?" It is good to bring history and genealogy into pop culture, but I love the shows that focus on the ordinary folks- "History Detectives" and "Antiques Roadshow". I also heard that they considered over 70 celebs for the NBC series, but cut it down to the 7 with the "most compelling stories." Yuck...
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