• Network: NBC , TLC
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 5, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. 80
    Not only are the stories engrossing in and of themselves, but they seem certain to spark interest in genealogy among viewers.
  2. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    75
    It's a well-done project, but I do have some minor complaints.
  3. 75
    None of these results will rock a viewer's world, but it's unexpectedly satisfying to see stars in a reality project that's more relatable than ballroom dancing or a temporary work detail for Donald Trump.
  4. As fans of "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" know, there are reality shows, and there are reality shows. Who Do You Think You Are? may not be up to those standards, but although it shares none of the game-show attributes of its new NBC cohorts, it's the clear winner.
  5. Besides, whatever its antecedents, NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? turns out to be pretty good TV. Even if it's maybe a bit slicker than it needs to be.
  6. Parker's celebrity may help sell a TV show, but it's much more interesting to find a Civil War soldier in your own family tree than a long-ago public figure in hers....Genealogy is way better when it's participatory, not a spectator sport.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Sure, it's mildly intriguing to unearth details about your ancestors, but even allowing that the stars are being good sports here, their reactions often reflect off-putting degrees of self-absorption.
  8. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    50
    Unlike the misuse of celebrity willingness on "The Marriage Ref," "Who Do You Think You Are?" has a purer heart and an underlying appreciation for marriage, family, longevity and memory. Also to its credit, it encourages people to go to libraries and museums and to look for things online besides the latest Perez Hilton gossip.
  9. 50
    As much as I like Parker and Kudrow and the subjects of later episodes such as Susan Sarandon and Spike Lee, I’m not sure I like them enough to care about their long-gone ancestors. It’s primarily when the stars’ family trees overlap with history--the Holocaust, for example, in Kudrow’s case--that the show feels like something more than Hollywood self-indulgence.
  10. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    42
    Here's a fundamental truth: Family genealogies are fascinating--to the family in question.
  11. As is so often the case with "reality television," there's nothing TV producers hate so much as actual reality (bo-ring!), and so everything is tarted up with superfluous soundtracks and staging, with breathless voice-overs, mood lighting and lots of half-baked psychology.
  12. If one dispenses with the seemingly coaxed melodrama, the well-rehearsed family scenes and the endlessly repetitive bumpers, an occasional nugget of helpful information on tracing family roots is discovered.
  13. Ultimately, the real question is not "Who Do You Think You Are?" but Why Should Viewers Care? This series does not offer a persuasive response.
  14. It was nothing short of painful recently to watch the first episode of NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?"--one of the more interestingly focused reality shows--about efforts, by a handful of celebrities, to trace their ancestors
  15. Reviewed by: Tanner Stransky
    25
    While it may be fascinating for Parker to learn that she also had a relative who was part of the gold rush, for viewers, sitting through an hour of centuries-old genealogical minutiae feels more like fool's gold.

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