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Family Tree Mockumentary Series Coming to HBO & BBC

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You know you've arrived when you've been mocked by Christopher Guest. Guest, who has a gift for putting peculiar subcultures under a microscope (who wasn't captivated by the worlds of community theater in Waiting for Guffman and competitive dog shows in Best in Show?), has set his sights on genealogy with Family Tree, a series coming to HBO and BBC2 shortly. Better yet, the star is none other than the affable Chris O'Dowd.

As someone who dwells in genie-land every day, I say fair play to Guest -- more formally known as Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest -- for recognizing our spoof-worthiness. I suppose we should be bracing ourselves for the inevitable skewering that's heading our way, but most of us have endured years of baffled looks and eye-rolls from outsiders, so I'm not terribly concerned about the squirmy feeling that could come from seeing how the rest of the world regards us. Instead, I'm looking forward to laughing at my own foibles, and this just-released teaser (complete with the cheek-swabbing that any self-respecting genealogist has done by now) makes it clear I'll get to do just that:

Those hoping to see the usual mockumentary suspects -- Michael McKean, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard and Bob Balaban -- will be well rewarded and treated to the added bonus of Chris O'Dowd, who plays Tom Chadwick, a young fellow who loses his job and girlfriend, prompting him to go on a quest to discover his roots and maybe himself. This recent video of O'Dowd spinning a "no blacks, no dogs, no Irish" yarn as he accepts the Irish Spirit Award (you might want start about 1:10 in) gives us a taste of what we might expect. I'm in countdown mode already.