Posts Tagged ‘civil war’

Going Backwards to Go Forwards

March 28, 2010

Just to be explicit, I’m not a big fan in general of the beast known as reality television.  I find most of it pretty crass and not that realistic or enjoyable.  Also, the people who often end up on these shows are just seeking attention in any way, shape or form.

However, one show has gotten my attention and admiration, and that is Who Do You Think You Are? I’ve seen only two episodes, the first one with Sarah Jessica Parker and the most recent one with Matthew Broderick, and I have never seen more lovable, enthusiastic information seekers.  I was a fan of both of them before, but now I think they are truly adorable and I respect what they’ve done to find out more about their families.  I got to watch Matthew Broderick explore his military past, which included soldiers from both World Wars and the Civil War.  His look of awe and amazement as he delved into his past really inspired me and was so endearing.  Sarah Jessica Parker was just as cute and as energetic about the experience, and came up with her own awesome discoveries.  Her ancestor was on trial as a witch in Salem and another was part of the Gold Rush in 1850.

Both episodes were fairly entertaining, but I think the most important part is that they’re informative and inspirational.  I think knowing where you come from and family history is extremely important for all people.  First of all, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, so yeah, kind of important if we don’t want another world war or bloody revolution.  But that’s just me, I could be wrong.  Also, family histories often have some of the best stories and help connect groups of people and keep them together.  I know in my case, I love nothing more than hearing my grandmother talk about my crazy family history.  Let me tell you, my ancestors were crazy and definitely help explain who I am and why I’m this way.  I was very lucky for the fact that my father and uncle are very much into genealogy, so I already have a pretty good idea of who my family is, but there are still things I’d love to learn about them.  It also helps that we have a copy of the family history in our house as well as my great-great-grandfather’s Civil War scrapbook.  Seriously, CIVIL WAR SCRAPBOOK.  He was the last surviving Confederate in Santa Cruz, which is pretty cool.

So yeah, this show is an extended ad for Ancestry.com, but it has a lot of positive aspects and I’m actually really enjoying it, and that’s saying a lot.  Most shows this year on TV are crap, plain and simple.  But yeah, watch it.  Pretty good.