Let's face it. "Reality" television is anything but real, and frankly it's getting kind of stupid. The stars of the shows are usually pretty boring, so producers cook up all these fake situations to keep the story line moving.
Think all the reality show angles are played out? Think again. The genealogy world is ripe with fresh pitches for this stale medium. Here's what our television line-up would look like if genealogy dominated reality television:
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
Seven Utah women juggle family, marriage and genealogy. In the pilot episode, sparks fly during a special trip to the Family History Library as one housewife checks out more film than she can use and proceeds to hog left-handed microfilm reader #2. Will these ladies ever patch things up? Stay tuned...
Citation House - Big Brother
What happens when you put 14 genealogy strangers in a house and film their every family history move? Who knows how to cite a diner menu as a source? Who can perform a reasonably exhaustive search the longest without falling asleep? Losers get voted out. The winner gets a 24k gold embossed copy of Evidence Explained.
You Have No Idea Who You Are
Are you related to an Indian Princess? Was your ancestor the cruise director on the Mayflower? Do you brag about how you finished your genealogy years ago? Be a star as trained professionals obliterate your family tree and highlight your glaring research errors, all for the schadenfreudian pleasure of the television audience.
Weekly episodes follow the lives of genealogists and their families that don't understand that these piles of genealogy files are actually part of a "system" and if you move them, all is lost. Episode 1 follows Frank and his family as they battle to get stacks of genealogy books off the dining room table so they can stop eating dinner on tv trays in the family room. Episode 2 follows Sarah as she learns to recycle old journals and sees the top of her nightstand for the first time in three years.
A documentary-style series that highlights the best petty arguments and ego clashes at genealogy society meetings. Watch as Joe hates on Bill for drinking coffee without contributing to the coffee fund, Ann glares at society president Jill because of a miscommunication regarding the newsletter, and Barbara scowls in the last row without telling anyone what's bothering her. Get ready to rumble in HERITAGE WARS!!
Family History Pioneers
In the tradition of Texas Ranch House, PBS brings takes us back in time to 1980. Ten "pioneer" genealogists live in a house with no Internet, computer or access to digital collections. All they get are paper pedigree charts, notebook paper, envelopes and a roll of stamps. Can they adapt and survive without modern conveniences? Welcome to genealogy: pioneer style!
Follow the crème de la crème of genealogy society as they strut their stuff in the big leagues of national conferences. Catty gossip about colleagues? Check. Tipsy industry big-wigs revealing more than they should? Check. Exclusive invitation-only events that make you jealous except when you're invited? Check. Conference divas: you totally hate them except when they invite you to sit at the cool table and then you're besties for life. Or at least until the next conference.
Get your DVRs ready but don't hold your breath. Reality television seems to have lost its way though these shows are worth some play, don't you think?
Thanks, Jana! Glad you liked it.Delete
Oh how I adore you . . .ReplyDelete
If a camera crew shows up at my house with a sign about Genealogy Hoarders, I'm not answering the door...ReplyDelete
You know this would make compelling television because let's face it...we'd all freak out if someone messed with our "system."Delete
Brilliant! Of course, the Real Housewives would need at least one husband whose eyes glaze over whenever his wife talks about family history and her research. Otherwise, the program wouldn't be believable.Delete
OMG... LOVE IT!ReplyDelete
It's been said that in all humor lies a grain of truth. That said, I can't help wondering about the motivation for "Conference Divas."ReplyDelete
There's a little conference diva in all of us, on both sides of the velvet rope. However, that "Genealogy Hoarders" lady that hasn't seen her nightstand in three years? That's me.Delete
Amy has done it again! Love it!ReplyDelete
Hilarious as usual! I could really relate to Genealogy Hoarders, "as they battle to get stacks of genealogy books off the dining room table so they can stop eating dinner on tv trays in the family room." Substitute "files" for "books" and you've got me!ReplyDelete
Amy, don't forget Genealogy Pawn Stars, where patriarchs battle to see whose heirlooms pull in the most moolah. In this episode, infighting within the Smith family has Jane and June doing a King Solomon number on the family Bible; while Bobby Johnson attempts to up the street cred on Great-Uncle Horace's portrait by writing the name "Whistler" in the lower corner with a neon Sharpie.ReplyDelete
Oh, I would totally watch this! Love it!Delete
Linda said it first!Delete
I'm sitting here thinking, "Yep, I would watch that!" Then, it dawned on me that these weren't going to happen. I was really into watching them!ReplyDelete
Amy, if you tire of being a genealogist you have a future as a TV producer!ReplyDelete
Too funny!! Thanks I really needed that laugh today. Any my nightstand is the same way!ReplyDelete
All of the above would be more interesting to watch than the current "reality" pablum on TV. If someone would produce it I might actually watch it!ReplyDelete
Simply Brilliant Dahling!ReplyDelete
Love it - if these were real shows I might actually think about having TV in my house again :) Thanks for putting a smile on my face today.ReplyDelete
Just love this, Amy. Which of your readers will star as the conference divas?ReplyDelete
I think "You Have No Idea Who You Are" would be a big winner. I'd definitely watch it!ReplyDelete
You left out Genealogy with the Stars! Professional genealogists coach stars though the process of researching their family history. Jennifer Aniston breaks down when her citations are missing several crucial elements. Leonardo DiCaprio gains lots of viewer support when he moves from census to census beginning with the 1940 and moving backwards in time. Robert Patinson gets voted off after he's caught making up people on his maternal side. Angelina Jolie wins the first season finale when she shows up with original documents in hand: birth, marriage, and death certificates for all 16 of her great-great-grandparents! Who do you want to see in the second season of Genealogy with the Stars? :-)ReplyDelete
Deja vu vu!! This is sweet Amy!! The Amazing Genealogy Race would also be great to watch as guest stars compete on who can copy and paste online trees and sources the fastest. First up, the man who traced his way to Charlemagne in 24 hours!ReplyDelete
Amy, I would watch all these shows! Somehow they seem so familiar. Thanks for a good chuckle to end the week.ReplyDelete
Very well done. I was laughing out loud making my dogs wonder what was wrong with me. :-)ReplyDelete
If only genealogists ruled the airwaves, these would all be runaway hits. Love it, Amy!ReplyDelete
Love it. Keep up the good work.ReplyDelete
Love it, Amy, especially You Have No Idea Who You Are! :-) JoReplyDelete
Episodes of such material would surely remove that glazed over look that so many genealogist experience. Who will be the first network to approach you Amy?ReplyDelete
Love it! How about Genealogistette: Combining Trees--find a mate whose pedigree best compliments your own.ReplyDelete
And "So You Think You Can Research?"ReplyDelete
Thanks for starting my day with a laugh! That formal dining room I didn't need? Covered in papers to sort, photos to scan, notebooks to fill, Grandma's jewelry box, .... is that Genealogy Hoarders ringing my doorbell?ReplyDelete
After reading through this again, Conference Divas gives me the shivers......almost a little too real.ReplyDelete
hahahahaha....love this post. Here is another one to add. "Genealogy Widowers", a group of men telling why they missed weekend football.ReplyDelete
That is hysterical!!! The Genealogy Hoarders one and the one about the historical society disputes is so funny. Definitely would watch them, since they sound like my experiences. lol lolReplyDelete
This would be awesome if you could pull it all off. Good luck if you try. :-)
LOL! Now you just need some backers, a crew, and you're good to go!ReplyDelete
what about when nana passes away and when the family sort through her 'trash' out comes a whole load of missing information that she was hoarding just because it made her smile in that strange when each time you say how frustrated you are not being able to figure out great grandads origins. Nana "Smiles from the other side"ReplyDelete
Love it! Now those reality shows I would watch! So have you sent your ideas to the networks yet?ReplyDelete
Oh how I'd love to see these shows. I have never watched reality TV but I'd probably never miss these!!ReplyDelete
Family History Pioneer appeals to me. I can do it! I love stacks of paper and I was born before the computer. Does that give me an edge?ReplyDelete
Your post is hysterical and so creative! It actually made me look at all tv shows differently with a genealogy twist lol "Family Feud" has a new meaning to me now lol "How I Met Your Mother" (ability to truly depict how all the couples in one's family tree met), "Hells Kitchen" (the ability to prepare and serve accurately family dishes of the past using only the limited ingredients and cooking tools that were available at the time. Who can best feed a family of 15 on one pig and an ear of corn from the family field) lol Oh it could go on and on.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the laugh,