When I mention this in certain circles, it is almost as if I have insulted Mom, apple pie, and the flag in one fail swoop. I assure the reader that I love my Mother (may she rest in peace), can down an entire apple pie (Grandma was a believer in 6 pieces to a pie) and have great respect for the flag. That said:
I don’t watch the genealogy shows. Not one of them.
It doesn’t bother me if other people want to watch them. I just don’t find them that engaging or interesting. It’s perfectly fine with me if other people want to watch these shows, but it’s also perfectly fine i there are genealogists that have no interest in watching them. It doesn’t mean we are bad, uncaring genealogists–far from it. But one should not have one’s genealogical interest questioned simply because one refuses to watch these shows. Actually I have watched them: a total of four times. In summary:
- The first time my wife changed the channel after I complained repeatedly about how “easy they were making it look,” that’s “just not realistic at all,” “you simply don’t find things that way.”
- The second time I convinced my youngest daughter to watch one with me after it had been significantly hyped as “new and improved.” It was supposed to be “interesting and engaging.” At the first commercial break she and I looked at each other with that “look.” I think we went out and walked the dog and I may have told her an engaging (but short) story about one of her ancestors.
- The third time the actor was critical and judgmental of his long-dead ancestor. His attitude could have been edited out. I found the actor taking on the role of judge and jury just a little too much. He’s not Perry Mason and he certainly doesn’t play him on television.
- The fourth (and last) time I watched an episode the actor looked bored and disengaged. His facial expression kept saying “I wanted a sitcom and all my manager could get me was this genealogy show.”
Those are the reasons I don’t watch them anymore. If I have time to devote to genealogy, I would rather perform some actual research, write up something I’ve already discovered, or learn about a new research skill or method. I’m probably not going to do that watching one of these shows.
I recently read a comment a home remodeler made on a message board about one of those ubiquitous “flipping homes” shows. The remodeler indicated that he never watched the shows, largely because they were unrealistic and overly dramatic. The remodeler even advised a newbie to not rely on the shows for real world advice.
I could not said it better myself.
It’s fine if you watch the shows and it’s fine if you don’t.