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David T. Cole

Climbing Trees: Best Episodes

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There are many that I really enjoy and go back to

David Mitchell = I could watch the segment with his ancestor's will forever

Jodie Kidd - interesting continent jumping there

Stephen Fry = pure emotion.

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I quite liked Sarah Jessica Parker's episode where she discovered an ancestor narrowly escaped the Salem witch trials. She seemed to be so thoroughly surprised and delighted by the discovery. Her comment was that the Jewish side of her family were fairly recent immigrants, and that she had never really felt a part of the American story.  After the discovery about the "other" side of her family, she said she felt like a true American for the first time.  It was very poignant, and yet she took such pride and joy in it and it felt so genuine.  That's what I love about this show -- the unrehearsed moments instead of the typically overwrought, PC reactions to some of the discoveries.

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Of the US episodes (generally inferior to the UK ones, but with some exceptions) I remember liking the Brooke Shields episode, because it was a genuinely interesting background.  I seem to recall Reba McEntire's story being interesting too.  Actually Ashley Judd's family backstory was quite interesting too, but Judd herself was a bit insufferable in the episode.

 

A TON of UK ones I've seen (they pop up on YouTube a lot) and loved.  Even just limiting it to people we dumb Americans know, still plenty. As millk said, the Stephen Fry episode was great.  I seem to recall liking the Alan Cumming episode a lot too.  They had a really great run all in the same season a year or two ago with Patrick Stewart, Alex Kingston and Annie Lennox.  Minnie Driver was in there too recently with a decent episode.  Martin Freeman, John Hurt, David Tennant, Nigella Lawson, Jeremy Irons, Graham Norton, Len Goodman, JK Rowling, Jerry Springer (yes, THAT Jerry Springer)... these are other UK episodes I know US viewers might appreciate seeing (since these are all personages known in our market too).  

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I liked the Chris O'Donnell episode. He was another one who was very much in touch with his more recent immigrant side, but was unaware of an ancestor who was present at the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.

 

Also, I don't think Tim McGraw was one of the most popular, but his was a favorite of mine because my family also was part of the Palatine immigration. I really didn't know much about it until I saw his episode. It spurred me to do a little research and I realized that something that had been glossed over in our family records was actually pretty important. So I will give him (and the producers) credit for that.

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I agree Vera Charles. While I enjoy watching everyone's backstory, Tim McGraw held a special place because my mom's father's side also were part of the Palantine immigration. Maybe our ancestors were neighbors? :-)

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I liked the Chris O'Donnell episode. He was another one who was very much in touch with his more recent immigrant side, but was unaware of an ancestor who was present at the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.

Chris O'Donnell also had me screaming "Francis Scott Key!!  Star-Spangled Banner!!!" at the teevee, as the park ranger dropped hint after hint, waiting for that particular penny to drop ;)

 

From last season, I'd have to say that Jim Parsons was my favorite.  He just seems like such a delightful guy, and I loved his attitude through the whole journey (drink!).

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Well, yes, Lovecat, I have to agree, Chris O'Donnell proved he's no student of history. I was yelling along with you, wondering just how many hints he was going to need to figure it out.

 

Also loved Jim Parsons. He was the opposite of the celebrities who take that all-about-me attitude about their ancestors. He's seemed genuinely surprised and happy about everything he found out.

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I really loved the Minnie Driver episode. At the beginning, she thought it was so strange that her father would throw his war medal into the river. But after having found out about his experiences, after having all of it become real and the people that he served with becoming real people, it was completely understandable why he felt uncomfortable being singled out from a group of people who also made similar sacrifices, and unwarranted guilt about being unable to save Walter Lilly, his best friend.

The rest of the episode, where she meets relatives she never knew, was also interesting, but, man--her Dad's journey just really tugged at my heartstrings!

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The international thread is locked...soooo weird. Anyway I loved the Minnie epi too.

 

I don't know why that was. In any case, it is now unlocked.

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I don't know why that was. In any case, it is now unlocked.

It looked like David intended the "here" to mean the whole forum, not just in one specific topic (so the topic was just a "note" telling people that).  At least that's what I concluded at the time.  

 

There's actually far more "content" from the UK show (featuring a lot of Brits that are big in the US actually) than the US one, and then add in the Aussie and Canadian versions, the US show is kind of dwarfed in total. 

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Chris O'Donnell also had me screaming "Francis Scott Key!!  Star-Spangled Banner!!!" at the teevee, as the park ranger dropped hint after hint, waiting for that particular penny to drop ;)

Me, too, as I am a born and bred Baltimorean.

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Well, yes, Lovecat, I have to agree, Chris O'Donnell proved he's no student of history. I was yelling along with you, wondering just how many hints he was going to need to figure it out.

Also loved Jim Parsons. He was the opposite of the celebrities who take that all-about-me attitude about their ancestors. He's seemed genuinely surprised and happy about everything he found out.

And Jim knew his American History - yes Chris O'Donnell I'm looking at you!

But Jim's was interesting in that we could see the physical remnant of his French ancestor. And his very Sheldon-like comment to hus mother on their longevity: "sucks for you." Hee hee

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History was my favorite subject growing up, so I was disappointed that Chris didn't get the Fort McHenry/Francis Scott Key/Star Spangled banner connection right away.

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We just watched the Lisa Kudrow episode from the first season. I had seen it before but I really liked it and I wanted my husband to see it. There was such a balancing act between the tragedy and sadness, and the happiness of finding the cousins they didn't know existed. And I liked that they left in the comment from the cousin - "Lisa Kudrow is in my living room, and she's not on my TV!" I can't imagine finding out that you are related to a famous person who decides to show up at your door with a camera crew in tow. That would have to be mind-blowing.

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Yeah, Vera, that was sad. Esp the old woman remembering how she couldn't save that one little girl.

And I thought Lisa's glee initially calling her dad while standing on the docks very impulsive & not scripted.

Her older cousin, Yuri's son, was excited and that comment was real & from his emotions.

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I've been binge-watching old episodes. By far, Steve Buscemi has been the best I've seen. He was great to watch. The suicide note in the bottle was just too cool. Ashley Judd's -the worst.

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We just watched the Lisa Kudrow episode from the first season. I had seen it before but I really liked it and I wanted my husband to see it. There was such a balancing act between the tragedy and sadness, and the happiness of finding the cousins they didn't know existed. And I liked that they left in the comment from the cousin - "Lisa Kudrow is in my living room, and she's not on my TV!" I can't imagine finding out that you are related to a famous person who decides to show up at your door with a camera crew in tow. That would have to be mind-blowing.

I loved that whole section with Lisa meeting her long lost cousins.  From the initial phone call (she came off as very "Phoebe" like in that call) to going to their house and meeting them.   Lisa's dad is too cute - a really emotional guy.   Loved them skyping with their cousins at the end.  I wonder if they still keep in touch.

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I'm sure there are millions of people who don't realize their distant family survived.

Think abt it...one gets liberated from the awfulness of the prison/killing camps, and where do they go? They can't go home, their houses were taken over or burned. They don't if other family survived and tho a registry was done - not everyone made it on there.

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I loved the recent Cynthia Nixon episode and the Jim Parsons episode, as well.    

 

Of the British episodes, I loved the David Mitchell episode, as well.  Because of the Will and because of David Mitchell waiting for internet connection.

Loved the Cynthia Nixon story.   I think getting closure on something like that after so many years one way or the other would be something.    

 

I liked the Rupert Everett episode because his relative that he met was loads of fun.   

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I don't know why that was. In any case, it is now unlocked.

Not as of now.

I was going to go there to talk about the Brian Blessed episode on the UKs most recent season.  Had the opportunity to see it and enjoyed it a lot only in part because Brian Blessed is entertaining.   But apparently the producers really, really enjoyed doing his episode because he was so genuinely enthusiastic about everything they uncovered.

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Not as of now.

I was going to go there to talk about the Brian Blessed episode on the UKs most recent season.  Had the opportunity to see it and enjoyed it a lot only in part because Brian Blessed is entertaining.   But apparently the producers really, really enjoyed doing his episode because he was so genuinely enthusiastic about everything they uncovered.

 

I don't know how these things happen. I just unlocked it. If you ever see that it's locked again, let me know and I'll ask the site admin how/why that keeps happening.

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I just found the Brian Blessed episode and wanted to mention it among my favourites too. I loved his enthusiasm, his random singing and poetry quoting and the way he dealt with everyone he met on his "quest" (loved that he kept calling it a quest too!). Jabez's triumph over adversity and finding his brother was really touching, although I wondered a few things, like how the family became paupers in Portsmouth and whether Martha was really an "idiot" or whether she was just so sick from whatever was killing her (and probably killed her father and sister) that she came across as disabled. I guess that's the kind of thing it really isn't possible to find out. While my absolute UK favs are Patrick Stewart and Jerry Springer, it was a lot of fun (I enjoyed Alex Kingston's WDYTYA for similar reasons).

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I really liked the Brooke Shields episode because she seemed to have this genuine moment where she finally understood her paternal grandmother, who she couldn't stand growing up because she seemed so cold and remote. The reality was that her grandmother had gone through so much loss as a young girl that it had crippled her emotionally.

 

My favorite though is the Christina Applegate episode. On a shallow, because I thought it was so cute how much Christina looks like her father. (Who I bet was one hell of a handsome guy in his day.) But more because Christina's father had a very dark childhood, and he was given closure on that.

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