13 May 2012

NBC Doesn't Pick Up WDYTYA

I'll be honest, I've never been a fan of the WDYTYA series which was recently not picked up for another season by NBC. Some have almost told me that I should be kicked out of the "genealogy club" for not liking the show--that every genealogist likes it or at least should like it.

Fortunately, I've never been one to follow what everyone else was doing and occasionally have a dissenting opinion which probably explains a great deal of things.

I finally was able to figure out what I really didn't like about WDYTYA today though. Perhaps my frustration with the show (aside from the "instant" research) is one reason that the show failed to resonate with enough viewers to stay on. If the show had drawn enough of an audience, it would not have been cancelled--that's the stark reality of all television, reality or otherwise.

I never really cared how the actor reacted to learning about his ancestor. I didn't give one whit if some singer cried when she learned about her forebear, had an emotional awakening upon viewing a document, or did the happy dance when having a discovery laid in her hands. Actors reactions don't mean too much to me--they are actors, after all and how am I to tell they simply aren't acting yet again? What I would have liked to have seen was more focus on the actual story of the ancestors, what probably motivated them to do what they did, how they lived, how historical events might have impacted their lives.

Watching someone research and see them have an emotional reaction upon making a discovery is not all that interesting to me and apparently not to the masses either. If I want to see people research I can do that at the Family History Library.

The only difference there is that they don't like it if you yell (@#&$(@*#& when you have a major find.

1 comment:

Madaleine J. Laird said...

I could never get into the series either, and I tried watching many different episodes. My own reaction to a genealogical discovery could best be described as silent intellectual satisfaction, so I really can't relate to the crying on WDYTYA or the whoops of joy I've heard in various repositories. Also, cases involving indirect and/or conflicting evidence are infinitely more interesting to me, and I didn't see any of those on WDYTYA. A surname spelled a couple of different ways was about as "complex" as they ever got.