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Who Do You Think You Are?


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#2191

riley702

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Posted Sep 16, 2013 @ 3:44 PM

Yes, he is just adorable here. He's pretty funny and charming when he's been on Craig Ferguson, too.

 

My husband and I both remarked on how weird it was to see JP driving!

 

I know! I laughed and then had to remind myself he's not Sheldon.


Edited by riley702, Sep 16, 2013 @ 3:44 PM.

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#2192

zillabreeze

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Posted Sep 16, 2013 @ 3:49 PM

Jim P was such a lovely episode!  I'm a BBT fan and was just thrilled all the way around.  JP seemed so humble and genuine that I just wanted to pinch his cheeks. 

 

At the opening they mentioned he is classically trained- I would love to see how he does in a drama.


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#2193

simpleHope

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Posted Sep 16, 2013 @ 4:39 PM

I too adored him and what a great tribute to his father this was.  Sure his paternal grandmother (or was it great-grandmother) lived to be in her 90s and he remarked to his mom on those good genes, but like his dad found out accidents happen every day.  A long life is not guaranteed to anyone.

 

The chapel his relative designed was so beautiful!  Great episode.  Oh, and I too expected him to say "memaw."  lol


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#2194

Sunny Kerr

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Posted Sep 18, 2013 @ 2:21 PM

I finally found the BBC UK episode online for Sarah Millican last night.

 

And here I thought I couldn't love that woman any more.

 

I loved how she got so emotional over her ancestors' expériences. It really was like she met new members of her family and she felt so protective of them. It was very, very touching.

 

I loved how she was so proud of the one ggg-grandfather for being a pioneer and a good man and of the other gggg-grandfather for being adventurous and, despite serious challenges, making a life for himself.

 

She's so unassuming and self-deprecating in a way that I don't found to be cloying or to be some sort of play for sympathy. I love her.

 

And I really enjoyed seeing how she took the time to thank everyone who helped her on her journey. I'm not gonna make broad generalizations, because it may just be that I'd simply not noticed other people doing it before. It just struck me that she did it, is all. And I found that to be very nice to see.


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#2195

Pooki

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 4:52 AM

I finally found the BBC UK episode online for Sarah Millican last night.

 

And here I thought I couldn't love that woman any more.

 

I loved how she got so emotional over her ancestors' expériences. It really was like she met new members of her family and she felt so protective of them. It was very, very touching.

 

I liked Sarah's episode as well. I agree she's very likeable.

 

Last night I watched the Marianne Faithfull episode as it aired on the BBC, and I really recommend it if anyone gets the chance to see it. It gives a really good insight into life in Berlin and Vienna before, during and after the war. And a lot of it focuses on Marianne's mother, who led a very interesting and sometimes dangerous life, as has Marianne herself. I'd say it's one of my favourite episodes from this season, along with Minnie Driver, Sarah Millican and Lesley Sharp's.


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#2196

Sunny Kerr

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 8:55 AM

Last night I watched the Marianne Faithfull episode as it aired on the BBC, and I really recommend it if anyone gets the chance to see it. It gives a really good insight into life in Berlin and Vienna before, during and after the war. And a lot of it focuses on Marianne's mother, who led a very interesting and sometimes dangerous life, as has Marianne herself. I'd say it's one of my favourite episodes from this season, along with Minnie Driver, Sarah Millican and Lesley Sharp's.

 

Oh, I hope I get to see Marianne Faithfull's episode. It sounds really interesting. Unfortunately, I'm a little dependant on what my WDYTYA "pushers" elect to release, as it were. We don't get the BBC here.

 

Which is also why I didn't get to see Lesley Sharp's episode. Would you care to share some of the particulars?

 

Personally, if I may add to your list, I was also very moved by Nitin Ganatra's episode and the way he was so affected by finding out that his mother had had eight siblings he'd never heard about and that their deaths in early age were not recorded, except for the one aunt whose death certificate he signed for. He's another UK personality I've always found so very likable, although I only know him through Bride & Prejudice.


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#2197

ScrubMonkey

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 10:59 AM

Is Nitin Ganatra's out on Dvd yet? 

 

These sound good...I do wish they would either carry this series on BBC America, or, release it for American itunes and American Amazon Instant Video. It deserves much wider viewership.


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#2198

Sunny Kerr

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 11:19 AM

Nitin Ganatra's episode aired as part of the current 10th season of WDYTYA in the UK, so unless they do things very different over there, I don't think it would be out on DVD yet.

 

But I would look for it.

 

There were things in there that I knew, at least on the surface. For instance, I knew that the British Empire "imported" a large Indian workforce to their colonies in Africa in the 19th century. The details of how and why and what happened to those people... everything else, really. It was all new to me and very interesting.

 

Completely unrelated to that topic, I have to admit that I'm still getting used to the new narrator of the UK series. She's very good, for sure, but I had apparently grown attached to Mark Strong's voice more than I realized.


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#2199

ScrubMonkey

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 11:32 AM

Thanks. I have forgotten a lot of the ones we have seen and thought I'd dig it up among past Dvds if so. I will look forward to its release, then, which I will be buying early and counting down at the mailbox!

 

I like the British narrator a lot and so does Mr Monkey. Will be sad to (not) hear him go.

 

On the Parsons episode, ITA with all that's been said, other than I would've loved to see more of Versailles. I liked the chapel but was surprised it was so (comparatively) plain. Also I wasn't clear on whether Parsons' ancestor was present in the house while it was rented by the man who hosted John Adams et al. Or, even whether the renter was present while Adams was...I watched the HBO mini series on Adams a while back, and he was given a very nice house to stay in while in Paris. I wondered if it was the same one. Parsons was a doll, though. His mom didn't crack a smile at his joke! And looked like an astronaut's wife. But I liked her a lot as well.


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#2200

Pooki

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 7:15 AM

Which is also why I didn't get to see Lesley Sharp's episode. Would you care to share some of the particulars?

 

Lesley's story was more unusual than many we've seen, in that she was adopted, so it's focused a lot on finding out about her biological parents, especially her father, as she was born to an unmarried mother who had an affair with a married man. So she finds out a lot about his family. The theme of illegitimacy crops up a few times in her story in fact.


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#2201

ShelleySue

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 8:09 AM

Did I miss an episode?  Where was the African American athlete?  Don't we have one every season?


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#2202

ScrubMonkey

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 1:07 PM

In the American season, ShelleySue? Not this year, no.

Lesley's story was more unusual than many we've seen, in that she was adopted

 

I like the adoption episodes, but I always feel a bit of a sting for the adoptive parents, when their history is overlooked. I mean, I know the reasons why, but, I just feel bad for them. Even though genealogy and lineage societies are all about, well, lineage, I wonder if the adoptive parents don't feel a bit hurt by that. Even if they'd never, ever show it.

 

I think the British series did do one episode in which someone's adoptive parents' history was looked into though, which was nice.


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#2203

Pooki

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 1:56 PM

I like the adoption episodes, but I always feel a bit of a sting for the adoptive parents, when their history is overlooked. I mean, I know the reasons why, but, I just feel bad for them. Even though genealogy and lineage societies are all about, well, lineage, I wonder if the adoptive parents don't feel a bit hurt by that. Even if they'd never, ever show it.

 

 

I can't remember all of the episode, but I think I remember them saying that Lesley's adoptive parents had passed away, so I guess she'd probably not looked into it all while they were living out of respect for them, but felt like it was okay to do now.

 

I think the British series did do one episode in which someone's adoptive parents' history was looked into though, which was nice.

 

 

I think that was the episode with radio host Nicky Campbell. I think it was done for some kind of Adoption Week-themed programmes for the BBC. I think I remember in his case they traced the lineage of his adoptive family rather than his biological family, which I was a nice way of doing it.


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#2204

ScrubMonkey

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Posted Sep 21, 2013 @ 2:04 PM

I think it was nice of the show to do, too. I 'met' someone on ancestry.com who was researching both adoptive parents' ancestry and enthusiastically so. I thought that was so good of her to do. So it's nice WDYTYA gave a nod to the folks who chose and raised Nicky.

 

We watched a couple of more Dvd episodes. This is from last season's UK WDYTYA. 

 

One episode was Celia Imrie. We both think we've seen her in various films. She was likeable in her episode - sympathetic to the stories she heard although she said "I never even knew him" along with it. That's understandable though. 

 

Her ancestor Frances Howard - what a difficult life she had. Bundled off into a politically advantageous marriage at age 13 (they took care to note average age then was 20 to 24), she bravely fought for the right to remarry, only to be blighted by those who thought the marriage would hurt their own careers. Whether she truly made a bad decision or took the rap for someone else was unclear to me (despite her confession.)

 

But for some guy who probably never met her, to write a pamphlet about how Frances deserved her illness "which was rotting her female aspects" or whatever, because "that was the area of her sin." How awful. All she wanted her entire life was to be happy and loved. 

 

Her one child, which was snatched away from her at birth before she was shoved back into The Tower of London, was Celia's ancestor.

 

The other episode featured British comedian John Bishop. That time was mainly struck by how similar his life path was to his ancestor's.

 

PS, interrupting this regularly scheduled post to announce: Queen Latifah will be on next season's Who Do You Think You Are?


Edited by ScrubMonkey, Sep 21, 2013 @ 2:39 PM.

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#2205

Sighandeyeroll

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Posted Sep 21, 2013 @ 4:17 PM

On the Parsons episode, ITA with all that's been said, other than I would've loved to see more of Versailles. I liked the chapel but was surprised it was so (comparatively) plain.

 

Falling back on my my art history classes, I can tell you that the plain style of the chapel was cutting edge in the mid 18th century when the very decorative ornate Rococo style was giving way to the Greek and Roman influenced Neoclassical. It is a deliberately less ostentatious and more balanced style than the earlier 17th Baroque which the rest of the Versailles palace was built.  Neo-classicism also reflected the philosophy of the Enlightenment and people like John Adams.

 

 

There's a bit more research on why Jim's ancestor and how he escaped the guillotine at this page:

 

The historian suggests that it was because of Louis François’ deep connection to the Enlightenment.  And indeed, his architectural style and choice of friends (and houseguests!) reflected his radical thinking there.  But while preparing this week’s recap (which you can read above), it didn’t take long to discover that there were some key facts of Louis François’ life not included in the episode that perhaps better explain how he remained safe.

 

The episode suggests that Louis François had an unbroken rise, but it turns out that that is not the case.  In the early 1770s he was accused of malpractice!  As a result of this disgrace, he loses both his current job at Orléans and his post at Versailles.  That is why he living in Paris, not Versailles, at the time he hosted Abbé Reynal, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.  It wasn’t until just before the Revolution that his career turned back around.  The new king, Louis XVI, took the charges against Louis François to be slander and finally elevated him to the first class of architects in the Royal Academy in 1787, though it does not appear that Louis François ever returned to Versailles or undertook another royal commission.  So, when the French Revolution came around in 1789, though Louis François was a first class member of the Royal Academy of Architecture, he had spent most of the preceding two decades notin association with royalty at all.  I suspect that so some degree his career-ending disgrace ended up saving his life.

 


Edited by Sighandeyeroll, Sep 21, 2013 @ 4:27 PM.

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#2206

ScrubMonkey

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Posted Sep 21, 2013 @ 5:04 PM

Yes - I knew why the chapel was made that way, just did not like it in the context of Versailles, which I preferred. I figured it was deliberate since he was a good enough architect to work for the King. 


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#2207

walnutqueen

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Posted Sep 21, 2013 @ 7:51 PM

Heads up for all you genealogy fans: PBS is airing a 4 part series called "Genealogy Roadshow" starting this Monday at 9:00 p.m.  Looks like it could be fun.


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#2208

Sighandeyeroll

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Posted Sep 21, 2013 @ 7:58 PM

Monarchs were usually innovative when it comes to commissioning architecture because they want to leave their mark by being different than previous regimes.


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#2209

ScrubMonkey

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Posted Sep 21, 2013 @ 10:40 PM

Yep, Genealogy Roadshow is here

 

John Bishop's episode had quite a long segment about 'traveling minstrel shows,' including some silent film shot during (what looked like) the approximate era. They said it was considered 'family entertainment' even ministers would bring their families to.

 

I'm bummed that was the last episode of the Dvd set. We'll have to start foraging through old seasons, I guess.


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#2210

polycarp

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Posted Sep 22, 2013 @ 3:53 PM

For those looking for episodes of the current UK version - some are on dailymotion.com/us.

 

Just search "who do you think you are" and you should find them.


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#2211

braggtastic

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Posted Sep 23, 2013 @ 1:11 PM

What a sweetheart of a man.  I kept thinking I could just hug him.

Me too. I've seen him on talk shows, but he came off so spectacularly on WDYTYA, better than any other celeb I've seen (and I've seen all the US episodes). What a great way to end the season.


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