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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Genealogy Roadshow – My Impressions and Thoughts on Season Two: Improved

It has been a long time since a post has been made here. Unfortunately I have had a lot of post ideas but little time to write them. So to get back into the swing of things here is my review of the second season of the Genealogy Roadshow which aired Tuesday night and re-aired in the middle of the night.

Logo is copyright of the show.
Visit your local PBS channel website for air times.
Due to other commitments Tuesday night I had to watch the re-air in the middle of the night. The good news is that the first episode flowed smoothly, was somewhat fast paced yet seemed a little more informative than last year and was lively enough that I didn't fall asleep. If the remaining five episodes of season two are like the first episode then the show's creators did a good job making improvements and perhaps we will get to see a season three.

You can find my review of the first season of the Genealogy Roadshow here.

So what do I feel that they have improved?

Gone are the kind-of clunky transitions in season one as is the Antiques Roadshow/People's Court host. I had nothing against last year's host but how they used him made the flow of the show awkward. The smaller "peeks" at other people's questions seemed to be fewer and were handled much better this time. As was the "informative" look about some aspect unique to that city. In this case it was New Orleans' mostly above-ground cemeteries due to the high water table.

The main "stories" of the show seemed a bit more informative this year. And by that I mean the presenter pointed out more of the documents that were used. But, yes, the genealogist in me was saying, "This is so glossed over -- there is a lot of work that goes into finding information like this." But if you remember this is a reveal -- the summation of what was found -- then it works. The post-reveal interviews of the main "stories" were also handled better this time around. Gone is the "People's Court" feel by keeping the interviewer off-camera.

Like last year, I think the series will accomplish what is one of its likely goals: get viewers interested in genealogy. But again my thought is if the show motivates someone to seek out their family history that person might get a bit of a shock with how much work this "hobby" can involve.

The Genealogy Roadshow is missing an opportunity again. The show really should wrap up each episode telling viewers to seek out their local genealogical and historical societies because many offer help in getting started no matter where your ancestors were from. Specific societies do not need to be mentioned -- just tell viewers to ask at your local library, "What is the nearest genealogical/historical society?"

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