Since the premiere of his groundbreaking series African American Lives (2006), noted scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has been helping people discover long-lost relatives hidden for generations within the branches of their family trees. Now, in the second season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Professor Gates continues that journey, utilizing a team of genealogists to reconstruct the paper trail left behind by our ancestors and the world’s leading geneticists to decode our DNA and help us travel thousands of years into the past to discover the origins of our earliest forebears. Each of the 10 episodes highlights three celebrity guests, as Gates guides them through layers of ancestral history, uncovering secrets and surprises of their family trees and sharing life-altering discoveries.


“Finding Your Roots” returns for a second season. While the first series focused on African American Lives, Professor Gates casts a wider net for his second offering. Tina Fey, NAS and Ben Affleck headline most of the episodes. But, there’s a healthy bit to go around. Jessica Alba shows up, but I shut down about five minutes into it. While I would’ve liked to find out who we can blame for her existence, a lot of these people just aren’t interesting.

It took me awhile to get through the first release. The show runs 10 hours and it retreads a ton of material. Still, it’s better than that awful celebrity genealogy show that used to air on NBC then got dumped to basic cable. The whole push of the program seems to be showing that we all come from the same primordial stew. But, I guess that I wanted more science than what I got.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is typical for a PBS documentary series. The transfer is solid. The same goes for the Dolby 2.0 stereo track. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.


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