Christina Applegate was next up to dig into her personal heritage on "Who Do You Think You Are?" and the experience had an unexpected side benefit. It allowed Christina to bond with her father, Bob, whom she did not see often while growing up. She did grow closer to him after the birth of her daughter in 2011, but this experience brought them even closer.
Bob's mother had died when he was 13. After that, he was passed around between different family members while growing up, giving him little stability and little closure about the loss of his mother. In fact, her death had always been a mystery in the family. It was Christina's hope that she could give Bob some peace by uncovering the truth about his mother.
She learned that her grandmother had passed away from tuberculosis. She also learned about a secret history of alcoholism and abuse in the family. But it was a secret history that had ended with Bob.
“The beauty of this is that you can be incredibly proud that you broke the pattern, and that you raised all of us with giving us strength," she told her father. "And you did that with no help from anyone, Dad. And that’s pretty amazing.”
In the end, Bob sought closure by visiting his mother's grave site for the first time. Christina said that she and her father probably hugged more during this process than in the 41 years she's been alive. It was emotional, raw and very personal, which is probably why Christina called sharing such a private experience with the world "odd" on Twitter.
Canada.com's Melissa Hank praised the show for bringing something different to reality TV. "“Who Do You Think You Are?' is part of a more somber, less sensational breed of reality show, one that focuses on facts and genuine emotion more than the petty drama of the latest family you should be ‘keeping up’ with. It’s the type of show that lets Applegate shine as a person instead of as a character.”
See more celebrity heritage stories every week on "Who Do You Think You Are?" every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.
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