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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Who are we and why not?

9/10
Author: bobkathuds-2 from United States
21 June 2013

Stumbled onto HBO's half-hour comedy "Family Tree" and watched the first three (of 8 ordered so far) on demand last night. VERY funny, especially 1 & 2. 3 slipped just a bit. Am looking forward to 4 later tonight. I believe they are showing all shows to date tomorrow. Catch up. May not be your cup of tea, but o man, if it is you are in for a treat. In some ways this may be pure comedy but I suspect it is a takeoff on the couple of genealogy shows that were popular the last couple of years. The humor is the usual Brit TV humor but given an original boost by reminding us how convoluted our current life is by having us go along on the journey as "facts" about our ancestry are uncovered leading first one direction and then abruptly swinging away at 90 degrees or 180 degrees leaving us no more informed about the "reality" of our past but thoroughly amused by the commingling of what is, what might be and what might have been. Highly recommended for anyone but especially those engaged in ancestry study at any level.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

love the unique vocabulary

9/10
Author: suede-65 from Toronto, Canada
29 July 2013

I love some of the vocabulary Chris ODowd uses and the low key way he says them. That's a shocker for example. The manner in which he speaks is brilliant and different. The Irish accent adds more flavour as well. He is a brilliant actor and I really enjoy this show after giving it a go. Wasn't so sure at first. The plot lines are very interesting and comical too. Michael McKean almost convinced me he was British. He has the British accent spot on. I just love the low keyed character of Tom Chadwick and the way he speaks. He seems to avoid hurting other peoples feelings and is so gracious, maybe not with his close buddy though. The scene in the restaurant with the salt woman was so funny and an example of Tom Chadwicks unique personality. I wish I could remember his lines. He looked so embarrassed and shocked at her. LOL. Love him! And the show and its premise etc.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Really funny

8/10
Author: djadamson0104 from Los angeles
28 June 2013

As a family genealogist and lover of British humor, I love this show. I actually found out about it from our local genealogy library's newsletter. It is truly a mockumentary of the popular genealogy shows. It doesn't need the foul language or sex, but it isn't that bad considering this is Hollywood.

Some of the funniest parts relate to DNA testing, immigration from the New World to the Old World, Civil War soldiers and re-enactments, ancestor occupations, the fact that the current cousins have the same disagreements as the ancestors, fear of cats. As this is a series, it keeps you wondering what is coming next in the journey to know one's relative

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Quirkily cute.

9/10
Author: Growlyted from England
4 September 2013

Chris O'Dowd is an extremely lovable actor and simply perfect for the role of Tom. He carries each episode well, being charming to almost everyone, even when embarrassed. He shows enthusiasm for each new branch discovered and participates willingly in all family activities. The scene stealer, however, is Monk, the constant puppet companion of Tom's eccentric sister, Bea. Nina Conti is delightful. I also enjoyed Tom Bennett as his daft best friend, Pete. The show gently mocks the "Who am I?" documentaries, plus other genres via characters' televisions. The script-less format means there is some miss, but mainly it works well. The actors are creative and are having fun with each other. The relationships between everyone, especially Tom and Bea, are touching. I hope this can get renewed.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Really funny

8/10
Author: djadamson0104 from Los angeles
28 June 2013

As a family genealogist and lover of British humor, I love this show. I actually found out about it from our local genealogy library's newsletter. It is truly a mockumentary of the popular genealogy shows. It doesn't need the foul language or sex, but it isn't that bad considering this is Hollywood.

Some of the funniest parts relate to DNA testing, immigration from the New World to the Old World, Civil War soldiers and re-enactments, ancestor occupations, the fact that the current cousins have the same disagreements as the ancestors, fear of cats. As this is a series, it keeps you wondering what is coming next in the journey to know one's relative

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A family tree that is easy to log off

4/10
Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
10 September 2013

Christopher Guest is a legend in the world of mockumentaries beginning with the sublime 'This is Spinal Tap' and its continued with movies such as 'Best in Show.'

Not everyone gets the joke in this genre of comedy and some of its rather subtle. It helps that Guest has a bank of actors that he can rely on.

So with great fanfare the BBC unveiled Family Tree its own mock of genealogy shows such as 'Who do you think you are?' which has been successful for the Beeb.

Chris O'Dowd plays Tom very charmingly as he embarks on his roots which takes place both in the UK and the USA. The USA segment gives us the chance to encounter the Guest regulars such as Ed Begley Jr and Fred Willard.

The oddest character is his sister, Bea who carries with her Monk, a puppet monkey which allows her to state her feelings. Tom's best friend Pete accompanies him in his search and can best be described as a pillock.

Another Guest regular, Michael McKean plays Keith Chadwick, Tom's father who loves old British situation comedies and they are gently parodied in the early editions of the show. McKean and the comedies he watches are the real scene stealer's in the programme. In a way he parodies the characters in sitcoms such as The Royle Family.

What is amazing that McKean looks like a stalwart of British comedy and drama an actor whose face is familiar but you cannot put the name to it. So it was a shock when I told people that he is an American actor who has appeared in films such as 1941 and programmes like Star Trek:Voyager.

The problem with Family Tree I found was that it was just not that funny and when Tom's father was missing it lost a vital spark. The USA segment did not work and made the programme less funny. At times it was a humour free zone.

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