Thoughts on the "Who Do You Think You Are?" Steve Buscemi episode

Finally watched the episode last night and made it through 95 percent of the episode without so much as a tear - I think probably because I was so exhausted from my weekend away - but ended up tearing up toward the end, so anyone who's still betting, the record remains intact. :)

  • Was looking to see if I recognized any Valley Stream landmarks, as I am only four towns such luck!
  • It was really interesting to see how Buscemi's approach to acting and directing, trying to find the motivations of a character and really getting to know him, translated easily to his genealogical search - not that he was looking for a character per se but that he was hoping someone in his tree would have a compelling a writer who thinks about the motivations and stories of characters, I see myself doing the same thing with my family tree searches...
  • I think it's interesting to see what and who interests the person in particular who is searching - Steve probably could have kept tracing his family back, to see where they originally came from, but for him, Ralph Montgomery was the person who caught his attention, and the story of what happened to him and to his family is what drew Steve in.
  • Always enjoy seeing the Municipal Archives in Manhattan pop up...that place has been a godsend in my research...
  • This show is obviously done with the help of, and is obviously always used as an advertisement-inside-a-show for the website, but while that felt particularly in-your-face in this episode, with Steve using a lot more features and searches than they usually highlight, I didn't mind, because I really believe the website provides a valuable service, not just in being a place to find records, but in being a place to connect with distant cousins doing the same research. If Steve hadn't found and met up with his third cousin, it's possible he might never have known (or that at least it might have taken much longer to find out) what happened to Julia and Jane Montgomery after Ralph died.
  • It was nice to see, for a change, Steve helping with the research. So often on this show the celebrities just show up somewhere and are handed the documents they need, but this episode not only showed Buscemi thumbing through pages and bent over books and microfilm machines, but I think it also gave a sense of how tedious and let's face it, sometimes boring, the whole research process can be, despite the potential for rich and exciting payoffs in information.
  • It was interesting how Steve was able to find a family connection to depression and suicide and it was kind of sad how tragic a character Ralph Montgomery seemed to be, but it was when Steve was talking about how discovering all the terrible things his ancestors had to live through and how it made him realize how lucky he was with his own family and how it made their problems seem not so bad that I kind of teared up.
  • I was happy that, as someone who considered himself from the "country of Brooklyn" (I thought that was cute), that he was able to find the starting point of when his family left New Jersey and ended up in Brooklyn.