I didn't expect to like the show but I really enjoy it. Engaging to listen to and some really interesting and unexpected stories.
I really enjoy this show. It's so well constructed and interesting to listen to. I was expecting the connections to be more comprehensible (as in people that could be tied a little more closely to the guests [as opposed to being related by several distant marriages, etc.]. Overall, great to listen to and motivation for me as I continue my family history research.
This is fun to listen to if you know who the guest is, otherwise it's easy to lose interest. I just keep finding myself wishing that I was hearing stories of my own genealogy instead of famousish people who I have never heard of. I thought Nazanin was kind of a copout choice for the first guest but ended up liking her story the most so far.
Dear relatives (you), I think you will like this podcast. I know, that will take you believing advice from a stranger but it's a beautiful thing to trust somebody. This podcast will remind you that we are all living parts of a much bigger and greater story. It may make you cry once or twice, but it will also warm your heart. Trust me.
I'm a longtime Gimlet listener, and I have stuck with all of their shows so far. I can't put my finger on it, but something about this podcast really isn't grabbing me. The stories of the relatives are very hit or miss in my opinion, and the gimmick of the "mystery guest" really isn't that engaging to me. I'll stick with this one for a bit longer, but I may call it quits if it doesn't start grabbing me more.Update: I finally called it quits on this podcast ten minutes into the Abbi Jacobson episode, and I have no regrets whatsoever. This show is not worthy of all the promotion and special treatment it has gotten from Gimlet while far better shows like Undone and Mystery Show are scrapped away.
I was very excited to listen to this podcast based on thinking it was going to trace lineage, but it relies on making connections through marriage and hence loses what made it interesting. The emotional reactions of Dan Savage were touching and genuine, but he and the "mystery guest" were not related in any meaningful way. Episode 2 was weaker and by Episode 3 I had to move on.
Listen to this when you've run out of stuff I guess. I sorta agree with a lot of these reviews, some content feels recycled, host is a bit annoying and reminds me of a robot, very predictable, but not like, unlikeable i guess. Wish they had more female hosts at gimlet. Don't understand how this show came out and mystery show was cancelled. Honestly, overall this is lacking something.
It's a good concept but each episode kind of drags. The guests are not terribly interesting and the big reveal is always underwhelming. Room for improvement... I'll keep listening and hope the kinks get worked out.
As a rare genealogy-obsessed millennial, I was thrilled to hear about this podcast. I'd even attended the global family reunion A.J. Jacobs held in Queens. Alas, after giving it a few episodes, I had to unsubscribe. The whole thing feels sort of airy and the quality of episodes compared to one another is variable. I'm going to sound like a total pedant, but the worst thing about this is that they abuse the term 'relative' and draw on relatives of spouses of relatives, etc. to the point where someone is so far removed, it's disingenuous to be talking about the concept of family. I'd rather a genealogy podcast that didn't use it as some kind of shtick, but really run with all the richness and potential of exploring second cousins once-removed or someone's great-great-great-aunt. There's enough interesting there that you don't have to have someone who's 33 steps away and related twice by marriage, etc. Too fast and loose with its genealogy to interest people who are actually passionate about the subject and sound research; and, apparently, too boring much of the time to interest the general public.Win me back by adding a little rigor. I'm really rooting for this podcast!
I am a big fan of Gimlet, and this one of the most successful shows they've produced. The quality of the episode varies by guest, but generally it is a fun dive into the past with plenty of interesting stops along the way. I'm looking forward to future episodes with maybe some gimlet show hosts?!
Gimlet has been pushing this podcast especially hard on their other shows, enough that you can tell that they are committed to it succeeding.I assume this is because it seems like a fairly easy money maker to get up and running. It's light and they can bring on myriad ~*celebrity*~ guests. It runs on what is, as others have already pointed out a fairly vapid premise that we are all related. Literally related, by blood or by marriage. This notion is true only in the loosest of definitions and while I am all for boundary crossing unity the blasÃ© way they present this half truth as full truth is frustrating.As well, again echoing others, the show is fairly bland. I didn't care much for the host or the first guest, Adam savage, and was surprised to see others suggesting that he was one of the better ones.Writing this all I find myself wondering; wasn't there already a TV show with this premise? Why does this exist then?This show's inescapable presence in the face of the cancellation of a show I was quite fond of, Undone, is especially frustrating.Sorry Gimlet, this one's a miss in my opinion
I listened to this show on a whim after hearing AJ on Tim Ferris' podcast and now I am nothing short of a SUPERFAN! The episodes are thought provoking, entertaining, sweet and quite funny. I often find myself smiling widely while riding the subway (which in NYC can leave others to stare oddly!). If you're thinking of trying it out on a whim I say GO FOR IT!
I didn't think I was going to like this one, because the connections seem random and tenuous. However, the little historical stories are genuinely interesting, from Civil War battlefield coffee to the origin of New York's pooper-scooper law.
Look forward to this podcast every week now.
Ehh this is not my favorite podcast. It's only interesting if I know who the guest is, and the relatives they uncovered are probably only fascinating to the guest themselves. It's like when someone wants to tell you how cool their ancestors are, it's really only cool to them!
Perfect show for anyone interested in history or genealogy! I love it and am so fascinated by it.
I am pretty shocked that there are any negative reviews on here to be honest! There is something very endearing about AJ Jacobs and his style of hosting. The storytelling is completely engaging and easy to follow. My favorite episodes so far are #1 with Dan Savage and #3 with Nazanin Rafsanjani. I think the more interested and invested the subjects are with their family ancestry, the better the show. Looking forward to the future of this podcast
I'm a fan. The show is engaging and fun. I like the time to reflect on where we came from and the lives that combined to make our own. I agree that the quality of the show ebbs and flows with the guests. Dan Savage was by far the best. He approached the whole experience with appreciation and respect. His sentimentality was exactly what needs to be brought to the show.
I REALLY loved the Dan Savage & Ted Allen episodes. However, in the Nazanin episode, I can't figure out the relationship between Nazanin & Sue. Is it familial or just that their paths crossed in the past? I found myself confused & even listened twice, but still didn't find the familial relationship.
Like to hear stories of their family tree members from the past.
Actually more like a 41/2. JJ Abrams is a great host. I love his voice, humor and questions. I enjoy that the show throws in historical information relevant to the time & place of the family member being discussed. Sometimes though it's a little too long of a segment and too much of a stretch to tie it to the particular family member. It's too bad that the show doesn't have (or so I presume) more resources (i.e., money) to dig further into the more direct lineage of the person being featured, but I guess that wouldn't serve the purpose of making the far flung connections which is the point if the show. All that being said, this is one of my favorite podcasts and I want it to succeed and grow.
Let me start by saying AJ Jacobs' voice is about as irritating as they come. If you can get past that, you're still listening, and we approach the next caveat. There's been, like... ONE good episode. They know it, and I think it's why AJ is so upset during the interview of Alex Bloomberg's wife, perhaps the worst one yet. How about getting some guests that AREN'T D-list "famous", and maybe pick up on some folks who write in or leave reviews, like me, who KNOW they have a noteworthy past. Build some in there that will get the ratings. I love where the show is going, but seriously, get it together.
I was skeptical. Now I'm hooked. Wonderful.
I'm a huge fan of other Gimlet shows (Reply All and Start-up, plus Crimetown -- all fabulous for different reasons) but this one makes me think they've stretched themselves too thin; the quality of the writing, the skills of the host, and the structure of the show are all weak, trite, reiterative. I feel like it's being falsely extended to increase the drama, and the host talks to the guests like they're small children. I've listened to three episodes and then end up just skipping to the end to hear the mystery guest. I would not be disappointed to see this one go. Undone was much better, and it's not being renewed.
Once again Gimlet has delivered amazing podcasting!!! I can't wait to hear more. The host AJ Jacobs does an awesome job of keeping the guests and the listeners involved. Everyone should listen to Twice Removed!!
The storytelling is great and very intriguing people are picked. Twice removed is quite the misnomer as most stories are more like 50x removed. The latest episode was beautiful then took a stark left turn and an additional ~20 hops just to bring the last person to someone we know or has crossed paths with the subject. I'd rather hear more about unknown people and keep the relations closer to home. With as far as these relations stretch, you could truly pair up any two people on the planet.
What a fascinating, moving, and entertaining podcast. Thank you for showing us that we're all connected!
I love this show! Especially in light of our current politics this show is an important reminder that we are all family!
I had decently low expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the delivery of this show. However, the way it's presented is in a way that makes it seem like they just found some cool figures in history and then connected them to who they could get on the show, rather than tracing their family lines the other way. I guess I always get turned off by calling married lines blood lines. However, the refugee episode with Nazanin has stuck with me a long time and was released at the perfect time. Kudos. Another good show by Gimlet.
Five episodes in a season?! Show is okay. Gimlet keeps giving up on the shows that are actually worth listening to. Mystery Show was much better than this show. This show isn't unique. Use to be a show on TV that actually had people they profiled that viewers would know. This show is mostly random people listeners won't know or care about. But whatever...
I really want to like this podcast. It's ambitious and Gimlet makes amazing shows ... except this one. AJ Jacobs gets in the way of great storytelling. The format is of the mystery person is forced and awkward. And many times the stories just aren't that great.
I love the premise of this show and have really enjoyed the first four episodes. All of the side trips through family members are fun and I love all the stories and historical facts they share. The podcast brings home the idea that at some point we really are all related. I'm excited to listen to more!
I gave it the college try but this show just isn't getting better for me. Even the subjects sound bored. I'm all for to each his/her own but for the life of me I don't get all of the "best podcast ever...." type reviews. Mystery.
I think this is an interesting idea that hasn't found it's full expression yet. I find the more contemporary stories -- when AJ Jacobs can actually interview someone who remembers a relative -- the most interesting, but when it just ends up being narration about long ago, it feels like a list of facts that don't have a big emotional pull. But I think it will find it's way.
The best part about Twice Removed is the stories host A.J. Jacobs uncovers. Each episode has a least one story from a person's (often distant) history that's pretty astonishing. (The opening story of how Nazanin Rafsanjani's family escaped Iran all by itself is a moving half hour of audio.) Some have commented on the host's style. I have to say he's grown on me. And the show has found a better balance between him talking and the interviews. For me the biggest challenge of the show is that while it says it's about family history, it often jumps from actual relations to people who are connected to you by in-law's ancestors and insists they're still your relations. Saying that Rafsanjani, who is 100% Iranian, is "related" to Ralph Waldo Emerson came off as ridiculous. And trying to force a familial connection between her and the Minnesotan lawyer who enabled her family to stay in the States was a distraction from what is an amazing story without all that. It's clear a lot of time went into this show, but I think it may need to tinker with its conceit. The stories uncovered are great all by themselves without forcing the "And they're all related, too!"
This podcast fits in with so many great storytelling shows. The theme of the show is a little gimmicky, but in practice it's quite lovely. To look for interesting people in history and realize how much we are connected to them and each other. It has inspired me to do more research into my own family history and look for the interesting people connected to me!
I've been with Gimlet from the start. Not every show has stayed in my playlist but none have been as hard to give a fair shake to as this one. There are many issues, starting with the fact that AJ Jacobs voice is...hard to listen to. Remember the Jobaline voice analyzer algorithm NPR featured a couple years ago? I don't think he'd fare well. Besides the tonal issue his delivery feels amateur. This might be due to the fact that his producer seems more interested in getting lunch than production quality, or so she'd have you believe in episode four. In seriousness, there's just goofy stuff he does that I wouldn't have got away with in my college radio days. The content depth also varies. Good in the first two episodes, promising but thinner in the third, and frankly after interminable pumpkin filler in episode four I skipped to the end. It's a concept better suited to a This American Life feature episode or 60 Minutes feature, not a serial podcast.
I don't care about who's related to whoever
I'm a fan of most Gimlet podcasts and I desperately want to love this one, but I just can't. I respect A.J. Jacobs, but his delivery is just not good, yet. I think the content is pretty good. I hope Gimlet finds a way to rework this one. It has potential.
I thoroughly enjoy this new podcast. It's a great view into history with some fascinating stories. There is no getting bogged down in the minutiae of genealogy - just fun stories about people.My favorite so far is the episode about Ted Allen. Fascinating!
I was a little uncertain about this show but because I usually always enjoy Gimlets shows I gave it a chance. It is an interesting concept for a show and entertaining. The host is a great story teller and keeps you engaged. It is interesting that there is a theme for each show. I am excited to see what's next for this show and Gimlet
Listened to two episodes and now I feel twice fooled.
Twice Removed is a great podcast. It's not a political show by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it's an important lens with which to view the current political climate in regards to immigration. Hearing story after story of folks of all colors, creeds, and backgrounds coming to the United States and creating a life for themselves and their families; WOW. I'd say the show is one part Storycorps, one part This American Life, and one part Mystery Show, all wrapped up in a geneology package.
I love twice removed. This show is compelling and sweet. It's nice to think we are all related.
Really fun, great stories. Gimlets best to date second to Mystery Show
Not only do I love the fun stories about relatives, but this podcasts demonstrates the reality of how we are all related. Beautiful message delivered in an engaging way.
Do they start with the mystery relative and then work backwards? Sure feels like it. This ended up being beautiful in the episode with Nazanin (the best one, I think) but with Abbi Jacobs, it was way too predictable. And with both of these women from non-Anglo-American backgrounds, the gestures toward their respective heritages seemed a bit halfhearted. There was life before people came to America, you know? I know it's hard to search in languages other than English, but couldn't we occasionally venture beyond the US and the UK? Also, I'd love to see some exploration of what family and kinship actually means. On the one hand, the show says we're all family, and on the other hand, it's entirely dependent upon family trees. Is there a way to occasionally toy with this in a way more meaningful than jumping over to the inlaw who is distantly related to Lord Byron (though that was clever)? Finally, more music please! Lowland Hum's "Lydia and Barnabas" was gorgeous and haunting.
i'm a big fan of many Gimlet shows. i've listened to every episode of this one so far and i'm frustrated. there is SO MUCH potential for a great show here. genealogy, history, the interconnectedness of humankind at a time when divisions are tearing the world apart... all great! the show shines when focusing on these things, getting into the nitty gritty of little-known aspects of pop history. it's educational in a way that is fun and entertaining. there's room for improvement. the current format of the host constantly checking in with the "mystery relative" got old about the second time he did it. he does it 6-7 times an episode! this is not necessary. it does little to amp up suspense for the listener and is just tedious and annoying, to be honest. these episodes are less than an hour long, why would a listener care how some random person is doing in an empty room or if they have water? you could have maybe one conversation with the mystery relative prior to the reveal. anything more is a distraction. this is the most irritating part of the show to me. final criticism: i have never complained about a podcast host's voice before. i know there is little a person can do to change their voice. i find AJ Jacobs' voice grating. i'm not sure what it is that bothers me but in my opinion, it's not a great voice for radio-- and he talks A LOT throughout each episode. overall, the concept is such a good one that i want to love this show. i will continue to listen at least for the time being. if the structure of the show is addressed and they cut down on the unnecessary checking-in interruptions, i will deal with listening to a voice i don't love.
This just seems so formulaic and monotonous. Also, why in the world would you play Abbis voice to us when the guest is Abby? Any BC fan knows her voice and is going to guess it. The host doesn't have the personality for this either.