This enthralling series co-produced by Lisa Kudrow and writer/director Don Roos and originating in the UK, follows celebrities as they work with genealogists, historians and researchers to investigate their family histories. It’s heartfelt and uplifting. In finding out about their familial background, the stars inevitably uncover aspects about themselves in the process. Who Do You Think You Are? captivates and educates.
Vanessa Williams [Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives], Gwyneth Paltrow [Iron Man, Shakespeare in Love], country singer Tim McGraw, actress/ talk show host Rosie O’Donnell, Kim Cattrall [Sex and the City], Steve Buscemi [Boardwalk Empire, Reservoir Dogs], Ashley Judd [Missing, Come Every Morning] and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Lionel Richie all take fascinating journeys to trace their roots.
Tracing her ancestors prior to the Civil War, Vanessa Williams, the first black woman crowned Miss America, discovers trailblazers. Born a free man in 1845, her great-great grandfather married a white woman in 1861 and served in the Civil War. Her great-grandfather served in public office in Tennessee. Tim McGraw researches his pre-Revolutionary War American relatives and finds connections to George Washington and Elvis Presley. An activist herself, Ashley Judd learns about a female relative who labored for women’s votes as part of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Lionel Richie’s great-grandfather served as editor of the Knights of Wise Men, an organization that provided insurance to black men and women in the late 1870s. Gwyneth Paltrow gathers information about her truly disparate ancestors. Rosie O’Donnell travels to Ireland to learn about relatives who escaped the Irish Potato Famine. Her episode proves especially moving.
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Acorn Media
DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012
Run Time: 335 minutes
–review by Amy Steele
purchase at Amazon: Who Do You Think You Are: Season 2
purchase at Acorn Media