This season viewers will discover the surprising ancestral stories of 28 fascinating guests, including Carmelo Anthony, Ava DuVernay, Téa Leoni, Ana Navarro, Bernie Sanders, Questlove, and Christopher Walken.
Larry David and Bernie Sanders, linked by one hilarious impersonation, trace their roots from 1940s Brooklyn back to Jewish communities in Europe. Through DNA testing they learn that there is more to their uncanny likeness than suspected.
Fred Armisen, Carly Simon and Christopher Walken learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them, then comes to see his or herself in a new light based on these freshly revealed facts.
Hollywood mainstays Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy discover family legacies that predate the United States itself. Taken together, these stories from the past show our guests how personal choices can change history.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ava DuVernay and Janet Mock find their identities challenged, but when their ancestors’ lives are placed in historical context, gain an appreciation for their family narratives and the diversity of the black experience.
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Top reviews from the United States
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Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2017
This can be such a fantastic show. When they spend more time with the guests and their stories it can be riveting. It's usually best when there's only two guests, less jumping around and more fleshed out narratives. Some have been so superficial it's been a let down though, don't know if it's the guest restricting what is shown or poor editing/directing. Hate it when they don't do the DNA results. And the episode with Questlove was so wasted, what an amazing story that they only scratched the surface on and even had some weird holes in the storytelling that didn't make sense, his should've been a one or two person show so they could spend more time with the story. I've always loved this show but it seems to have more off episodes as the show progresses. I don't remember any in the earlier seasons.
This continues the excellent PBS series with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as host with research provided by professional genealogists as Prof Gates explores major personalities' genealogies with them. What this series demonstrates is that by visiting one's ancestral roots' locations, one can come to appreciate their ancestors even more than just using computers to do research. And, it helps all of us recognize that we are not isolated but all one very large family that share many common ancestors, no matter what our heritage.
Thank you, Dr. Gates. Because of your series, I am on the road to piece together the story of my family's shocking history. Genetic genealogy has helped tremendously. Would not have known about it without you. African Ancestry.com has been a real disappointment, but Ancestry.com, has the largest libraries of DNA, and has an incredible service and supportive website and resources. The stories of these people are so moving. Thank you!
Love this show. This season was pretty good with, as always, a diverse cast, so very interesting. Not 5 stars because Amazon did not deliver every episode. I bought the season and the last episode isn't here. Not sure how to go about getting it? Any advice?
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2018
I enjoyed watching this. It is a great way to learn and study history. It makes me want to do some more digging on my own family history. I did not recognize all the guests in the series but quite a few of them I did know. I was excited that they featured Christopher Walken in one of the episodes. I especially liked him in "Man from Snowy River."
Don't know how I got to be the first, but I want to say that I find the DNA portion of the program fascinating. The pictures and the stories, are icing on the cake. This is how history should be taught.
Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2017
This show is not only entertaining, it's enlightening. Dr. Gates and his team do an amazing job of restoring people's histories. In the process, we learn how complex our country's heritage is and also that we're all more connected than we realize.