The fifth season of PBS’ popular genealogy-based series Finding Your Roots is officially available on DVD. Released late last month, the three-disc set is a good offering, though is sadly lacking in at least one area, its packaging. This negative will be discussed a little later. Before touching on that topic though, it would be best to discuss one of the set’s positives, and that is the season’s guest list. It will be addressed shortly. The set’s average price point is another of its positives. It will be discussed later. Each item noted here plays its own key part in the whole of Finding Your Roots: Season Five. All things considered, this latest season set from PBS’ popular series is another presentation that fans of the series will enjoy.
The fifth season of PBS’ popular genealogy-based series Finding Your Roots is another presentation that fans of the series will enjoy. That is due in part to the season’s guest list. This season’s guest list once again presents a wide array of celeb guests. From NFL great-turned TV host Michael Strayhan to author George R.R. Martin to comedian/actress Sarah Silverman to broadcast journalist Ann Curry and more, this season reaches across the celeb spectrum. There are also appearances by Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, just to name a couple of well-known figures from the world of politics. Reaching from across the celebrity community is nothing new for FYR. The series has profiled well-known figures from across the various celebrity worlds as far back as its debut season. What is even more interesting about the celeb profiles is the note of each person’s humble family roots. So many of the celebs featured this season have ancestry that is anything but upper class. Rather, their ancestors were more often than not, humble immigrants who came from nothing – both in America and other parts of the planet – to start the lives in America that eventually made way for the show’s guests. It serves as a reminder that at their *ahem* roots, the celebrities that the show’s guests are themselves just ordinary people. They are no greater than the rest of us, and they and their families are just a portion of what truly makes America great, not the hate spewed by some about the nation’s diversity.
The guests featured in this season of Finding Your Roots build a strong foundation for the series’ DVD presentation. They and their stories are more than enough reason for audiences to take in this season from start to end. While they do plenty to make this season as appealing as its predecessors, the season is not without at least one notable flaw. That flaw is the lack, once again, of any episode guide. There is no episode guide printed anywhere inside or outside the set’s box or on the discs and their on-screen menus. Given, there is a guide – of sorts – in the on-screen menus, but the problem there is that the episodes have titles instead of guest lists. This is not the first time that this has been an issue for the series’ DVD releases, either. It goes back as far as the home release of the series’ second season, and has been an issue ever since. On the surface, some might think this aesthetic issue is not overly important, but it is in fact quite important to the show’s home presentation. Not having an episode guide means viewers have to take extra time going through DVDs and/or searching episode listings online to figure out which guests are featured on which discs. This wastes viewers’ time as they try to decide which episodes to watch. Simply knowing which guests are featured on which disc will help viewers make their decision which episode to watch much faster. To that end, yes, this is an aesthetic element, but even as menial as it seems to the set’s overall presentation, it is still quite important in its own way. Maybe if the show reaches Season 6, those responsible for assembling the season’s DVD sets will take this into account.
While the lack of an episode guide is of at least some concern to the overall presentation of Finding Your Roots’ fifth season, it is not hardly enough to make the season unwatchable. It just would have been nice to have had that element, which is so commonplace in most TV series’ DVD and BD box sets. There is one other positive to note in examining the set’s overall presentation – its average price point. The set’s aver age price point – using listings at PBS’ store and those of Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Book Sellers and Books-A-Million – is $30.38. Considering that so many triple-disc sets from other series’ range between $35 and $40, such an average price point is not that bad. The least expensive listing is at Amazon, at $24.73, while the most expensive is listed at Books-A-Million, at $39.99. Best Buy and Barnes & Noble’s listing of $27.99 is the most common listing, at $27.99, which is also the midway point of the price listings. Regardless of whether consumers purchase this set from the Best Buy (which is clearly not the best buy in this case), from Target or even Amazon, a portion of that money still goes back to PBS. Add in the fact that this season features more than a dozen more interesting celebrities and engaging, entertaining stories, the noted price range is not too bad. It easily could have been far more expensive from one retailer to the next, but thankfully was not. Keeping all of this in mind, Finding Your Roots: Season 5 proves to be another welcome offering from PBS.
The fifth season of PBS’ popular ancestry series Finding Your Roots is another good offering from the network. It features another mass of celebs from across various professions. Their stories serve as a reminder that they are not celebs, but are in fact on the same level as us. That is evident through the stories of each guest’s family history. The set’s average price point is, in comparison to multi-disc sets from other series, relatively affordable. Those elements combine to offset the set’s one negative of no episode guide, and in turn, make the set another appealing offering for the series’ fans. Finding Your Roots: Season 5 is available now. More information on the series is available online now at:
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