Open Thread Thursday: WDYTYA Season 2 Celebrities

The NBC show announced it's lineup for this coming season, which will start in January.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O'Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams, and Ashley Judd.

So this week,the Geneablogger's Open Thread Thursday focuses on that:

* Given the celebrity lineup just announced for WDYTYA, in your opinion are there any surprises? Any disappointments?

* How do you feel about the use of celebrities on WDYTYA instead of ordinary, everyday people?

* Does it seem that WDYTYA has a “formula” that is uses in selecting celebrities for each season? Such as at least one “polarizing” personality? Specific ethnicities? Specific ages (again, there is not one person under 40 this season)?

* Do you find it possible to watch a segment with a celebrity you dislike, setting aside your feelings, just to see the genealogical research aspect and family history stories?

* If you could select seven celebrities for a season of WDYTYA, who would you select? And if possible, tell us why you would select each person.

Surprises? Well, I'm rather surprised to see Kim on there, given that she did one for the UK version. I can't help wondering if it will be the same, just re-dubbed, or if we'll get more on a different side of her family, as that episode was very focused.

Disappointments definitely. The mix of sexes and ethnicities is almost exactly the same, and there are no "other" races this time, just like last time. I'd like to see someone with native heritage. Or Asian-American. I'm beginning to feel like their focus is on finding people who have big stories that lead to some huge American historical event, which bugs me, because that shouldn't be what this show is about. I'd rather see it show that we're ALL not from here, rather than prove we all are--because we aren't.

I think the use of celebrities is just fine. I mean, they have lives, too. If there's one thing the UK version showed me its that celebrities have every bit as much of varied lives as "everyday" people. And at least this way it draws in people who might otherwise see genealogy as a boring pursuit. Might even get them interested in looking into their own.

Formula--still a bit too soon, aside from the fact that the mix of sexes and ethnicitie sseems almost exactly the same as last years. And my comment above about the focus on American history.

After watching 5 or so seasons of the UK one, which included many people I didn't know at all, and several who grated on me during watching, plus one specifically from the US last year who I didn't like herself, I can definitely say that who it is doesn't matter to me as much as the story. I'm always most interested in those that reflect one aspect or another of my own family history, though I will say that so far of all the episodes I've watched, Stephen Fry's from the UK series is still my favorite.

My Top 20:

  1. John Stamos
  2. Bill Cosby
  3. Stephen Spielberg
  4. Leonard Nemoy
  5. Robert Downey Jr
  6. Lee Pace
  7. Mark Dacascos
  8. George Takei
  9. Levar Burton
  10. Tim Gunn
  11. Harrison Ford
  12. Lou Diamond Phillips
  13. Emily and/or Zooey Deschanel
  14. Mariska Hargitay
  15. Kristin Chenowith
  16. Jodie Foster
  17. Drew Barrymore
  18. Whoopi Goldberg
  19. Carrie Fisher
  20. Cher
Big names probably either wouldn't want to do it, or wouldn't have time, so that leaves out Spielberg (as much I as I'd love to see his for the Jewish aspects), RDJ, Harrison Ford, and Drew Barrymore (though hers would be huge fun to watch).. Jodie Foster's awfully private, so that leaves her out as I doubt she'd agree, busy or not. Bill Cosby, Whoopi, and Cher are iffy, I don't know if they'd be willing/up to it/have time, but they'd be fun to watch.

So that leaves
  1. John Stamos
  2. Leonard Nemoy
  3. Lee Pace
  4. Mark Dacascos
  5. George Takei
  6. Levar Burton
  7. Tim Gunn
  8. Lou Diamond Phillips
  9. Emily and/or Zooey Deschanel
  10. Mariska Hargitay
  11. Kristin Chenowith
  12. Carrie Fisher
Tim, Emily, and Mariska are all pretty busy with their shows, and Zooey's pretty busy these days too, so if I leave them off, that makes nine. I think George would be more likely to agree than Leonard, and better to only have one original Trek star anyway, so that's eight. Carrie swings between too busy and not busy enough, and Kristin's always busy these days, but that leaves me with no girls, so let me backtrack. My dream would probably be this:
  1. John Stamos
  2. Mark Dacascos
  3. George Takei
  4. Lou Diamond Phillips
  5. Emily Deschanel
  6. Kristin Chenowith
  7. Carrie Fisher
Of course, that's the actor edition...I just realized I have no authors or news people or musicians on there at all... And of course, I would easily change any of them for Whoopi instead. Hers would be a hoot.


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.