Who Do You Think You Are? Helen Hunt Episode Review

Who Do You Think You Are?

The 6th episode of Season 3 of Who Do You Think You Are? with actress Helen Hunt as the main focus appeared this evening on NBC.  Many of your genealogy blogging colleagues watched this episode and are writing and posting their thoughts.

Here is what fellow genealogists and family historians with their own blogs are saying about WDYTYA:

© 2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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6 thoughts on “Who Do You Think You Are? Helen Hunt Episode Review

  1. OMG not boring at all. Well, Pasadena = local, that’s my greater community. Plus, Frances Dinkelspiel, of Towers of Gold describes in her book how her GGGrandfather was significant financier of CA, which affects my life today. Thought it was excellent that the GGGranddaughters meet, but the moment may have gone by a bit too fast for someone unfamiliar with Isaias Hellman. The Bavaria -> CA connection in the mid-late 1800s is pretty fascinating. Again, I got that perspective from Dinkelspiel’s Towers of Gold.

    Then the WCTU to voting and first person voting in Maine was a good touch. I think that this episode might point out the inherent difficulties of editing down the storytelling and reactions to a short time format (40-odd minutes for an hour long show). WOulda liked to have seen HHunt’s father’s reactions to all the findings she discovered on her journey.

  2. The scene when she discovers Augusta was given the honor to cast the first ballot was very moving to me. It showed that Helen had built a relationship with this women she had never heard of until she started the process. I think that’s part of what hooks all of on genealogy–the relationships we establish with the ancestors we’ve never met and sometimes never heard of.

  3. The Helen Hunt episode is the first I’ve seen, I’m embarrassed to say. Plan to see all the rest. I thought the genealogists she visited were the stars of the episode. How many hours did it take them to find all those documents? How much expertise?

    I liked the contrast (and similarities) in the paternal and maternal lines. The first made a fortune by clothing people during the Gold Rush. The second was a stalwart, dominant presence in the WCTU and the suffrage movement. Both showed terrific determination and resolve. I thought Helen was a personality with similar determination. To me, she had “thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears,” as Wordsworth says. Yet at the end, she wept at the conjunction of her ancestor Augusta and her own daughter. Amazing.

  4. I’m afraid I found this the worst episode of the season and one of the worst in the series. Not because of the subject matter but because of the overall production and yes, Helen Hunt. There were more commercials in
    this show than I remember from previous episodes which was annoying. Also, there was more voice over narration by the announcer than the other episodes this season and to be honest, I can’t recall if Helen did any voiceovers at all.

    Finally, while Helen did show great emotion at the end of the segment on the WCTU, I did feel she didn’t show much in the first part, Just my opinion.

  5. I agree with Bill West. It would have been far more compelling to discover why her ancestors immigrated (like in Reba McEntire’s episode) instead of focusing on how they became millionaires once they got to the US. Helen seemed completely unimpressed for the first 3/4ths of the show (as was this viewer!) until the contributions of Augusta Hunt were made known in Portland.

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