Who Do You Think You Are? – Dervla Kirwan

3 Aug

I am glad I made the effort to watch WDYTYA last night, because last night’s episode saw a return to form for the series after a rather poor start this year.

I have virtually no knowledge of Irish history, and my family history is almost completely devoid of any Irish connection, so I was surprised to find the episode so interesting and after last week I was extremely surprised to find it so enjoyable to watch. I think this is in part due to the fact that whilst the first half of the programme was specifically related to the Irish situation, the second half could really have taken place anywhere around the world where different religions have come into contact with each other.

Dervla Kirwan seemed to be genuinely interested in finding out about the two aspects of her family history that were featured in the programme, and appeared to be actively involved in the research process. There was a real sense of genuine exploration and depth to the research, which I felt has been lacking from earlier episodes. We found out much more than just births, marriages and deaths, although they were a significant feature.

I lost count of the number of different libraries and archives that she visited and the number of experts (on a wide range of subjects) that were on hand to explain the background and help interpret the records, that was really pleasing to see.

I know the first two episodes have come into criticism (not just from me) for not exploring other branches of the family, and whilst this episode could be accused of the same, I felt that there was no need, the central stories were so much stronger that there just wasn’t the need to explore further. I think in the last two episodes I was hoping that there would be something interesting going on away from the main stories which were rather dull (or just badly told?).

Unlike the first two episodes which just left me wishing for the programme to hurry up and finish, this episode left me wishing that they could have carried on further and spent more time, and I was disappointed that the show had to end. Now, unlike last week I can’t wait to see what Monty Don discovers next week.

3 Responses to “Who Do You Think You Are? – Dervla Kirwan”

  1. 3gamer3 August 6, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    I saw and enjoyed Bruce’s programme but didnt see Rupert Everett. I only lasted about 15 minutes into Dervla Kirwans one though as i didnt want to see the IRA glorified. I am looking forward to the rest of the series though

    • farmergreen August 12, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

      Do you not know the difference between the “Provisional IRA” and the “Old IRA”? Maybe you should have watched the entire programme. You obviously need educating in Irish history! For someone who claims to help others in tracing their family history you show a lot of ignorance in your post. Dervla was far from “glorifying” the IRA and went to great lengths to tell the viewers the difference between the old and provisional IRA. Don’t let your prejudice on the subject get in the way of what was an excellent programme in the series. Open that closed mind of yours!

      • John Gasson August 13, 2010 at 7:08 am #

        I would agree that the programme handled the subject of the IRA quite well, it was always going to be a difficult topic to cover but overall I think they did a good job in the time available.

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