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June 24th, 2005

30 Days

Last week, Morgan Spurlock debuted 30 Days, a show on FX that takes his Super Size Me formula and applies it to other parts of life. The first two episodes of this hour-long show have been entertaining, well-produced, and informative.

In the debut episode, Morgan and his fiancee move to Columbus, Ohio for 30 days and attempt to live on minimum wage (this includes finding an apartment, paying bills, eating, everything). They hit a major roadblock when both of them have to go to the emergency room in the same day, her with a UTI and him with a grotesquely swollen wrist.

This week, a former swimmer goes through hormone replacement therapy and an exercise/diet change in an attempt to get his body back down to his college weight and cut. Though it was a little less interesting than the debut (mainly because Spurlock is an intriguing person to watch on screen no matter what he’s doing), it was still pretty crazy to see how quickly the injections and supplements took a toll on his body.

Upcoming weeks will include an Islam-ignorant guy worshipping as a Muslim for a month, a homophobe moves to San Francisco and lives “the gay life” for a month, two average people move into an eco-community that’s completely “off the grid,” and in perhaps the most potentially insane and stupid of the bunch, a mother binge drinks for a month in an attempt to teach her college-age daughter not to do so.

Though it sounds like a standard “fish out of water” reality show, Spurlock’s touch gives it just enough of a nudge to make it more than that.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Aanen
DATE: Friday June 24, 2005 -- 10:19:51 am
How is binge drinking going to teach a child not to do it? All she has to do is watch the drunks on campus make asses of themselves, or any drunk for that matter.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday June 24, 2005 -- 11:44:44 am
I thought Spurlock was going to be doing the 30 days thing every episode. That, to me, would be more interesting... otherwise, this sounds like a rehash of MTV's Flipped and Noggin's A Walk In Your Shoes for adults. I'll try an episode.

Incidentally, Spurlock should try wearing a goatee from a century other than the 18th, for 30 days.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday June 24, 2005 -- 1:00:27 pm
I thought that as well, Paul, and think the show would be better off that way.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday June 24, 2005 -- 3:55:42 pm
With regards to Spurlock, or his goatee? Because I think the goatee is of massive importance.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday June 24, 2005 -- 4:35:30 pm
I try not to avoid ever commenting on anyone's hair (head or facial) since my own "style," if one can call it that, dates back to the pre-war era.

FROM: Vovenheimerpeoplers
DATE: Saturday June 25, 2005 -- 4:02:56 pm
i think it was retarted for spurlock to do the super size me thing. its kinda obvious that if u only eat supersize mcdonalds ur going to get fat. that is NOT mcdonalds fault!!

FROM: Adam [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday June 27, 2005 -- 12:02:03 am
Been a while since I've gotten a chance to check out your site. Good to be back. I was just telling someone today that I was reading Daily Ping years ago and you guys were way, way ahead of the whole blogging phenomenon. And that your site was really more about the back and forth dialogue than most of today's blogs anyway. Enough sucking up. I watched the first episode and enjoyed it. The second is still on my TiVo and I can't decide if I'm going to watch it. While the show was pretty good, I enjoyed Morgan and his dedication to the role the most. I'm not sure I'll like it as much without him on it week to week. Also, it's a bit preachy for my tastes. Not that I disagreed with much in his first episode, but it's a little much.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday June 27, 2005 -- 9:18:41 am
i think it was retarted for spurlock to do the super size me thing. its kinda obvious that if u only eat supersize mcdonalds ur going to get fat. that is NOT mcdonalds fault!!

I think you're kind of missing his point.

FROM: Vovenheimerpeoplers
DATE: Saturday July 2, 2005 -- 12:04:08 pm
i guess i am. I got a little over hyper on that one;-)

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday July 2, 2005 -- 4:12:53 pm
"Upcoming weeks will include an Islam-ignorant guy worshipping as a Muslim for a month..."

That's a great idea. Teach people that religion is just following rituals. After all, if you've done the same rituals then you really understand what their motivation is.

Sounds like a true Hollywood idea.

There was a show like this a year or two ago. I think it was on Bravo. They had a jock train to become a sommelier (very good episode), and a female CPA train to be a cheerleader (pretty cheesy). Didn't catch the rest of them. Those were my pre-TiVo days.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday July 5, 2005 -- 9:55:53 am
I remember that show too, Merle. But I think it was TLC, The Swapping Things Channel.

Anyway yesterday we watched the Muslim/Christian ep of 30 Days and the overall impression was positive. The fellow used was truly ignorant and, worse, had obviously been fed some misinformation on Islam and Muslims (ie, they use mosques to complain about how they hate America).

But at the end of the 30 days he truly seemed changed. In fact towards the end of the entire ordeal he had to defend Islam against an ignorant fellow on the street (ie, "Muslims are terrorists") - truly a case of the shoe being on the other foot.

The show isn't perfect; there were a couple of moments that were obviously scripted. But in all this particular episode did a good job of knocking down some misinformation about Islam.

Bill September 22, 2006, 9:16 pm

How about a gay person living a celibate life in a monastery for a month?
Or a member of NARAL working in a birthright agency for a month?

What is this then?

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