30 Days

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Planet Green (ended 2008)

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30 Days Fan Reviews (60)

8.6
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838 votes
  • Like a mini Super Size Me every week

    7.6
    This is informative and entertaining, but not really reality. For instance, living off of minimum wage for only 30 days is real tough, but knowing you are going to be back to your rich lives soon takes a lot of the pressure off. They would have been so far in debt the next month it would have been even harder. However, you realize that there are so many people out there that are living pay check to pay check and how do they do it. Makes you realize that throwing 50 cents in a tip jar really is not a big deal to you, but really helps someone else. I have been in that position during my early twentys and know how hard it was to have to figure out where every penny was going to go. It brought back memories.
  • Makes you laugh and makes you think.

    9.2
    I stumbled across this new show from "Super Size Me" director (and fellow West Virginia native) Morgan Spurlock last night. It takes the premise of "Super Size Me" and applies it to other activities.

    In this premiere episode, Morgan and his fiance move to Columbus, Ohio for 30 days to see what it is like to live on minimum wage. Morgan takes on a landscaping job while his fiance, Alex, washes dishes at a coffee shop.

    Like "Super Size Me," the show succeeds because of the sincerity, humor and charm with which Spurlock approaches the material. He really wants to show how difficult it is to make ends meet for low income families. It's really more a statement of a social activist than a reality show (and that's definitely a good thing).

    This first episode was great. I can't wait until next week.
  • This show not only blasts the walls on many of our own national issues, but will possibly change the lives of many who simply don't know.

    9.1
    I found it very interesting how much I could relate and understand growing up as what I thought not so well off, but realized quickly how well off I was, and my wife as well didnt know life could get what she called "That Bad". A series like this is greatly needed and not only will it educate the general public but also make a change on alot of things that go on in our own nation. Its about time we start focusing on our own issues rather than some other countries problems. I found it most intriguing when the Temp worker said, " I made more a Quater of a century ago than I do now". So much for National perseverance huh. Its a shame someone who is limited in what they can do by means of than him/herself is almost punished for being Low class, rather than the society we live in helping this person, we make it harder.
    Summary = We smush the small man between our finger and thumb, but the rich who need nothing get nothing but gifts, and admiration. I admire the man who lives pay check to pay check just trying to keep his family alive.
  • Iloved this show, everyday my husband struggles to provide for his family on minimum age and daycare is expensive, "his was my life"plus 2 kids, it hurts to live like this and we struggle everyday, thank you for this "reality" show, kathi from michigan

    10
    My name is Kathi I live in Michigan, I loved this show, I live that life everyday with 2 children , My husband makes 9 dollars an hour and I stay home with the children because we cant afford daycare. We have to save to be able to afford diapers for our kids, People in this world judge the way you look or the clothes you wear or the kind of car you drive but don’t realize that some people make in a month what others make in a few days and with kids to provide for, I thank you so much for this show, it made me cry for someone to have a heart to do a show like this, thank you kathi
  • Hella Kewl

    9.4
    Well not only does this show make me laugh, but it gets me intrigued on the issues of America. The only thing is that next and maybe weeks to come shows people besides Morgan Spurlock doing a 30 days "thing". My favorite part of the episode is when he is looking up "fun" free things to do.
  • A show where a dude does something for 30 days and see how it changes his life.

    0.1
    This show wasn't reality it was pretty fake. Because I mean they were holding bottled water twice in the show which cost $1 if not more and she said she had to walk to save $1.25 instead of taking the bus. I hate this show. It was boring and pointless.
  • This show is the best show on the Fx channel. The best show ever! Please keep on watching it.

    10
    I would give this show 5 stars. 10 for number ranking. The concept of the show is refreshing compared to the bad reality tv shows. My whole family loves this show. The best shows that are on tv are on the Fx channel! Give this show a second chance.


    Support the Fx channel.
  • This is the story of a man who spends 30 and episode that will change your life...

    10
    The best show on tv, if you dont like it, then you are a soules bastard, this is one of the most inspiring show of our time. It shows everyone as equales, and is done amazingly. It is worth the 60 minutes. The movie super size me dose not compair to this show. Morgan's calm comaday is a real joy to watch...
  • Not only informative, but also thought-provoking, 30 Days shows you what it's like to be in someone else's shoes for a month.

    9.0
    Thanks to my new best friend, Tivo, I got the opportunity to see 30 days. There were two shows queued up for me to watch and currently, I've only watched the first episode, Minimum Wage.

    I hadn't intended on writing a review... I actually was looking for an address to which to send comments, but since I'm here, I might as well share my comments.

    I'm actually a moderate conservative if I had to place myself on the political scale, but am a liberal on many issues. I think we'd be better off if there were no political parties so candidates for office could be conservative on some issues and liberal on others. I think I (and many others) would have an easier time backing a candidate this way.

    Anyway, I mentioned my political leanings because I saw a previous reviewer mention "biased." I'm sure later in the review the author probably used words like "propoganda."

    Prior to watching this show, I had felt that people who attempt to live on minimum wage simply lack ambition or have put themselves in that position due to laziness. After watching the show, my feelings have tempered considerably. I don't feel the solution is raising minimum or increases in government handouts. Neither are a long-term solution. I think that the key is education... not the "school" type of education, but rather informing people *how* to move forward and upward out of the minimum wage situation.

    There were several points I wanted to address regarding specifics in the show. I tried to find out, on the web, what are requirements for being eligible for Medicaid because I thought that may have helped them with their hospital charges. Alas, I could not find the Ohio maximum income limits and even called a hotline, where they referred me to a local office which was closed on the weekends. I did find a page on the Ohio gov website that showed the maximum income to be eligible for Disability Medical Assistance and if that's any indication of what the Medicaid eligibility limis are, then I think that things are pretty messed up. An individual needs to make less than $115 per month and a family of two needs to make less than $159 per month to be eligible. Yikes!

    Morgan and Alexandra had difficulty making ends meet and I estimate they were bringing home roughly between $70 and $130 per day, between the two of them, depending on whether Morgan was working one or two jobs.

    Another issue that this particular episode brought up was the cost of emergency medical care. The point I'd like to make here is that Morgan and Alexandra had every intent of paying their hospital bill. You know the reason that the Ace bandage was $40 and not $8 and why it cost $300 for Alexandra just to step in the door and not $30, was because so many people come to the hospital without any intent to pay. Many people are eligible for Medicaid, but don't register for it. They come in, get thousands of dollars in care, and then leave, expecting someone else to pay the bill. Well, that "someone else" are the people fool enough (read: responsible enough) to pay their bills and the people who have insurance. If everyone was as responsible as Morgan and Alexandra, the Ace bandage would have been $8.

    My last comment is that I think part of the problem is that these days, minmum wage is not meant to be a living wage. Even with Senator Kennedy's proposed 43% increase, I don't think that it would have been easy for Morgan and Alexandra to live on minimum wage. I feel that the way things are expected to work (and often do) is that teens make minimum wage while they are still living with their parents, but by the time they are in their 20's and are moving out, they should have gained experience and responsibility and would have moved up to a better-paying job.

    My parents came here in the late 1940's from eastern europe, while in their early teens. None of them spoke any English. My grandparents took jobs as janitors and in a clothing factory, put all their kids through college, and retired comfortably. One grandfather, who was a judge in Lithuania, worked as a janitor by night and went back to school for an accounting degree. (The legal system is different here and his law degree would not "transfer" to our legal system, so he started a new career.)

    None of my grandparents were ever rich, I only know of them taking one vacation ever, but they saved up enough money to give their kids and grandkids a better life in the "middle-class" and live in paid-off houses until they passed away, all in their 90's.

    Given the present economy and the shortage of jobs, things appear to be considerably worse than they were in the late 1940's for someone trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but this is the land of opportunity and I feel that while it might be far more difficult than it was for my grandparents, Morgan and Alexandra could probably provide a better opportunity for their kids and whether it's college or trade school or even the kids working their way up from frycook to district manager, I think that it's possible.

    Oh... I'm supposed to review the show... right. I really liked it and look forward to many more episodes. I think Morgan Spurlock is very talented and wish him the best in this show and in whatever other shows he dreams up.
  • one of the best shows this summer

    9.4
    qualiry show, absolutly love it., cant wait for the next episode. this just shoes the extremes of peoples lives from morgan hmself to go n to minimum wage shows his great attitde to his work and his desire to make things known. how many other rich celebs (rich because of the success of supersize me , another goood show) would go onto minimum wage, not many and id love to see some of them do it. i really would
  • I watch very little TV but I will be tuning in for this show.

    10
    I watched the minimum wage show and it was really intriguing and well done. It really showed the struggle that so many Americans experience in our so-called 'land of bounty.' Will it impact people drinking $4 lattes and driving SUVs? I'm not sure, but it's a noble try. I will definitely be tuning in to watch this from now on. I highly recommend it.
  • This really makes you think

    9.5
    This is one of the few shows on T.V that really makes you think. It's a great show because it's not a News report/story these people are actually living about what there talking about. They live a different life for 30 days and you see the effect of what people really go through who live those live's.
  • This show focuses on putting a prejudice person in the shoes of the person they were prejudice about.

    9.4
    This show focuses on when a person is prejudice about another person (or group of people) for them to put themselves in the shoes of the person they were prejudice about. In 30 life changing days, that particular person will open themselves to these people, and begin to see that these people aren't that bad. In fact, sometimes, the person likes this group, and wishes to stay among them. But, if not, at least they get to see the errors of their ways and that they should not be predjudice about these people. In my opinion, this is the best reality show on television! I also think that this show should be kept on the air, so many people can see the error of their ways.
  • Great show, just kill the preaching.

    8.5
    I really like this show. It is edited well and the host is a great and compelling narrator. However, the show doesn't even try to have a neutral POV. I find it is way to preachy (especially the first episode) and would be alot more watchable if, well, they just let us watch it! The show's content is powerful enough on its own...there's no need to tell me how to feel about what I'm watching. Still, because the show is relatively unique, has tight FX-brand editing, and is pretty damn interesting, I give it an 8.5.
  • I found it very infotmative and yet entertaining to watch these people who are hypocrits, see how the other side lives and are treated. It teaches us all alittle something about how we see and judge people before really knowing them.

    7.0
    I enjoyed watching the show on muslim and america because I learned alot about their culture. Do I get nevous around muslims, yes but the show taught me that not all muslims are terrorist. I learned alot about their religion and I found it a bit weird but I am not a person that goes to church often, but I do believe in God.
    I do have an idea for the show. Maybe we can put a high class, rich man/women, into the life style of a lower class family, and a low class job. I think it would be interesing to see the way the rich and powerful would act in a low class house, job, and income. Maybe more people will see that you dont have to be rich and have everything to be happy. Just an idea though.
  • The Muslim episode was very informative but left me saddened by another media bashing of Howell, Michigan

    8.3
    Howell unfortunately has a bad reputation because in the 70s and 80s a Klan leader took up residence in a near village. Ever since then the community has tried to shake the image, but the media keeps forcing it upon them. In this episode Howell was shown, but all of the people interviewed were in Brighton, Michigan, both downtown and around the Mill Pond. Thanks for another misrepresentation Morgan.
  • this is a great show, that i have recommended others to watch already and will keep recommending. The information on both sides of the issue is what i like most, i almost wanna sign up for 30 days of somthing. hahaha ALMOST

    10
    absolutely wonderful, i really enjoy watching this show, i was a lil scared about the muslim one just because of the rules where the christian could only do as the muslim did, but you did a great job on that one, now i just watched the homosexual one, wonderful job again, there are a few points i do want to share with you about what the female preacher said, 'thou shall not kill' in the original greek, its translated thou shall not "murder", not kill, easy to prove get a concordance :) but what no one did say was, Jesus Died for EVERYONE, there are some rules we have to abide by, but thats for our protection, not to dictate us. and also in onother passage, it says 'if a man hates his brother he has commited murder in his heart, and no murderer will have a place in heaven. No true Christian, that loves Jesus rejoiced when anyone is harmed, belittled, linched, or hated. hate the sin Love the person. and he was right, no sin is greater than another, all is filth in Gods eyes, im just a pew sitter, not a bible scholar or nothing, the only way this is ever gonna be settled is if people open up there Bible and read it themselfs, not what i say or anyone else. and one other fact, in america aids has hit the homosexual comunity, but in africa its a hedrosexual desease, so you cant say its a judgment on homosexuals. thats why the bible says not to fornicate (have sex) befor your married, or adualtry (an affair) its to protect us from desease, not to dictate us once again.

    one last word, you did such a great job on walking in somone elses shoes, i cried, ive been there, struglling, had a brand new baby, husband in the army, and still needing help, but we did have the medical covered, i couldnt imagine what would have happened if we didnt, i had to go to the emergency room off base one time, ended up needing surgery and the bill for just part of the visit was 20,000.00 granted i did have more then a sprained arm but woe, if we didnt have insurance. Keep up the great work, and stick to your ethics, and bias, your doing a terrific job i really appreciate it.
  • Very nice show, very informative. I think if they added more footage of how the person handles themselves once they get back home it would drive home that persons true feeling or thoughts on what they have learned.

    10
    Very nice show, very informative. I think if they added more footage of how the person handles themselves once they get back home it would drive home that persons true feeling or thoughts on what they have learned. I know this doesn't apply to all the episodes but it would have worked nicely with "30 Days as a Muslim" or "30 Days living with gays". It's one thing to really think about someone elses point-of-view when your surrounded by it every day, but its a lot harder to hold on to that point-of-view when you go home and everyone thinks the way you used to think or feel.
  • A reality show that tries to help people become more tolerant instead of just watching people looking like jerks, what a concept.

    8.5
    I just watched this show for the first time. I noticed on other reviews that people had reviews for other episodes but here where I am the series just started and the first one was on tonight.

    I am intrigued and just set a season pass on my tivo. I thought that it was an interesting concept. It was reality TV in a way that it has not been used before, to inform rather then compete. I thought the topic was interesting without being used just for the controversal value. I will say that I do sit pretty far to one side of the topic, but I will not go into that here. The reason that I mention that is because I thought they did a good job of showing both sides, I liked the way they showed that people can be Christians but for most they have a belief that goes behind it, not because they are simply idiots. I also thought they did a good job of showing that people who are not straight are people like everyone else. I think that they showed the radical side of both of those views also and I think it is important to recognize that there are extreme people on both sides of the issue, and we can't pretend there aren't. I llked that they showed that these extremists don't necissarily represent everyone no matter what side of this issue they may fall.

    All in all I was impressed and think they did a good job of this show and topic in a new and interesting way, I am excited to see what is next up.
  • greatest show

    10
    i think this is the greatest show ever i think this show schould never end since this show has been on i loved it and wanted to star in it so what do you think of the show ?

    if you want to talk about the show e-mail me at MIKE41692@YAHOO.COM
  • No Phone, No Lights, No Motor Car? Not a Single Luxury? Well, not exactly.

    9.1
    When I first started watching this episode I got all knotted up inside, imagining the hippie communes of old (my day) where giving up modern conveniences just meant skipping nighttime t.v. that only had 3 channels anyway. Radios ran on batteries and we liked lighting candles instead of turning on glaring lamps anyway. That's all we needed. Hippies were notorious for being "all natural" and bathing infrequently, although many of us eschewed that part of the lifestyle and bought our Nehru jackets at upscale boutiques along with the 'love beads' and what looked like homemade pendants (not usually).
    So, now hippies are called rabbits and there's a lot more to give up what with cell phones, too much t.v. to choose from, SUV's and sometimes twice daily showering. Oh hey, let's not even mention the clothing lines! Still, there's a lot of good things to be said for people who tough out this effort in futile attempts to save the planet. The planet, by the way, isn't going to be saved, cannot be saved and isn't supposed to be saved. With more than 3 worldwide extinctions since the birth of life on this rock, the human race is destined to go as well and eventually, this planet, just like every other planet, will end up going too. That's life. That's death. That's the way it is.
    Anyhooo - the vegan diet is admirable since part of our evolution includes the lengthening of our digestive system to accomodaate more vegetation, less meat; and our teeth have worn down to resemble more of a cow (vegan) than a cat (carnivore). This lifestyle is addressed with respect rather than typical disdain and it's not laughed about, but discussed intelligently. Even by those who "can't help it and still like (their) steak". I support it wholeheartedly while still liking poultry and not giving up ice cream any time soon.
    The female of the couple experiencing this 30 days (in one-time episodes, names are regrettably 'forgetable' and too many readers are wondering who I'm talking about) starts out whining and complaining and using her "products" (thank Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) which are offensive to the rabbit residents. This I understand because I find MOST women over-do it with the "product" (perfume, body spray, hair stuff, whatever) and stink-stink-stink. As it's gently explained that people have allergies to excessive scents, this visitor initially argues about the rabbit communities body odor. When the response is that (they'll) begin to use deodorant if it's truly bothering her that much, the visitor realizes that this is not a personal affront and she agrees to stop. Why can't we ALL learn from this? Just because someone says something to us (about anything really) doesn't mean they are attacking what makes us - US! We can still be good, generous, caring, loving, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters making a difference with our short visit to this planet by doing good - without "product" (or whatever superficial thing might annoy someone else).
    The rabbit community runs cars on vegetable oil (I've actually seen a couple of these cars up close) and they - during this show - added passive solar energy. Hearing that the "cheaper" versions are about $20,000 didn't inspire me to pursue this however and to be honest, all that work for a veggie run car? Ummm, no. So, I'm "spoiled". I just remind myself, as I said before, it's not going to make that much of a difference. I mean, until auto manufacturers start making cars this way, a handful of people doing this is more of a statement than a drop of water (of difference) in the ocean. Maybe I'm cynical (oh, if you knew me, you'd know better), a realist (ok, I lean in that direction) or a scientist (researcher actually).
    Big guy of the visiting couple ends up bellyaching most of all with his cries for "meat". He LOOKS like meat. He's not even giving this a chance and here, at the beginning, we all figured it would be HIM who sailed through it. He takes a pellet gun out to shoot rabbits (the furry kind, not the commune kind). Thankfully no one shows this (he does it more than once) because in my youthful experience with pellet guns and faster than fast rabbits, he's not likely killing it with one shot. He's injuring it at best and I don't want to know what he does to make it finally die.
    He visits an organic "natural" slaughterhouse to pick up beef steaks and it doesn't set right to hear the cattleman talking about how idylic the cows lives are, how well they eat and romp and frolic (ok, he didn't say those words) just before they're (shot in the head? Hit in the head? Throat slashed?) and we all know the rest (we buy them prepackaged in our grocery stores).
    This guy then brings his barbecued meat into the communal dinner table and shows off his buffoonish, rude and inconsiderate demeanor like a badge of ignorance. He wore it well. He was a visitor, welcomed into someone else's home, where was the respect his momma (should have) taught him? He clod-hops like an overweight ass in an undersized room throughout the show and at the end, when we find out who has learned what, we find he's perhaps more jug-headed than when he started.
    Girl of the couple, on the other hand, seems to have grown considerably (and probably has little to do with meat-man these days?).
    The commune showed itself to be flexible, not so much against modern conveniences as opposed to abusing resources and trying to make that statement about alternate options that should be explored (Who wouldn't agree with that? Extending the life of our species and this planet even by a 1,000 years is worthwhile). I expected to feel they were unreasonable and intolerant. It's nice to have a show surprise me - which this one regularly does.
    One question: If these people don't have t.v., HOW do they know about this show and how do they get selected to participate? If that's explained, it's not explained enough. If it's been addressed, it needs to be put out there more. Like a tag at the beginning and at the end.
    After all, it's not like I'll miss it if it's coming in on my phone, with my lights on, broadcast on t.v. or up on billboards as I drive my motor car to the luxury of my weekly spa...
  • Thought-provoking and educational!!!

    10
    I love Morgan Spurlock! After the amazing "Super Size Me" I was immediately interested in "30 Days."
    The Minimum Wage episode blew me away, and every one I've seen after has been fasinating! Morgan brings up important issues and introduces us to imformation and situations we've never realized. I hope this show continues!!!
  • One of the best reality shows on tv.

    10
    Morgan Spurlock is a genius and the stuff he introduces in the shows are great. He shows how poverty is effecting America, how people treat gays and arabs, and so on. There is good humor in the show which makes the depressing facts weight out. This is a show that I hope stays on for a long time, cause it's that damn good.
  • After watching 30 days in a muslim household, It brings an amazing insight into this part of our society and all "30 day experiences" will teach the general public of differnt ways of life.

    10
    This episode shows a culture that hasn't intergrated into western society easily. Its a justice to have a look beyond the hype and stereotypes of cultures religions and beliefs. The "All American guy" who took part in this episode was typical nice guy, a little nieve, successfull, judgemental, white american male. The change in his attitude, mindset, and general views on cultures bought a smile to my face. Its true you cannot understand a culture unless you become imersed in it. I look forward to many more "attitude adjusting" episodes
  • This show makes you think and brings up important scenarios that happen every day.

    9.7
    This show is an amazing show that makes you see a different point of view on everything. Whether its about being gay or drinking alocohol to the max, it makes you realize the hell people have to go through every day. Some may think this show is pointless and dumb but i think its really great. I can't wait to see what else these people will think of. I'd like one about a man being a woman, where they have to dress up like one and do all the things we have to do and go through the perils of men. That would be a great episode.
  • i think this is the greatest

    10
    i think this is the greatest show ever i think this show schould never end since this show has been on i loved it and wanted to star in it so what do you think of the show ?

    if you want to talk about the show e-mail me at MIKE41692@YAHOO.COM
  • About the straight man that went to San Francisco to be around gay men.

    6.1
    When I came across this episode, I thought great finally a show that will tell the real thing the Bible says about homosexuallity. But once again it was more one sided that not. Granted I do not expect the show\'s people to do the homosexual\'s research. Especially when there is a pastor from the \"gay\" church that should be able to defend the gay side. But the show DID go out of it way to look up the words or passages in the Bible the \"condemned\" homosexuallity and put them out there for the nation to see. People that are not necessarily religious or read the Bible, still can confirm that it is a sin. Since the pastor did not ever contradict the Bible or show that people\'s interpretations of the passages are wrong, homosexuallity still came out looking as a sin. There are many \"gay\" pastors that can contradict the interpretation of the Bible\'s passages and if the show\'s people had shown some of those belief it would have been great. But I feel like the pastor at the MCC Church let all gay people down.
  • I applaud Morgan Spurlock in his attempts to open the public’s eyes and ears to important issues in America. Unfortunately, his attempts are falling on a blind and deaf society. People today don’t want to think of the terrible things that happen because o

    9.5
    I think 30 Days is extremely underappreciated. Surlock addresses serious issues that are currently affecting our society everyday, but I think he tries to hard to make this information more acceptable by adding music and speeches that act as buffers to a non-caring group. The demand on television networks today is that they provide programing that allows for mindless entertainment, this show does not fall into that category. Unfortunatey our society is becoming, a mindless and complacent group, happy to be ignorant of problems occurring outside of their own communities and anything that may cause people to think or act outside of their comfort zones. He would be much better off just stating things as they are and letting people deal with it, rather than trying to make the blind in society see.
  • What could you learn in 30 days if you were thrown into a different atmosphere? Plenty.

    8.0
    Morgan Spurlock is a genius. First, he gets people watching him splurge at McDonalds. Now, he lets others into the act. One straight guy lives in a gay community for 30 days. One West Virginian guy spends 30 days in a Muslim community. The show would have you believe that spending 30 days wearing another's moccasins is a life changing experience. Each show is evidence of this. However, in most cases, the family of the show's 'participant' suffers. How is this healthy learning?

    The show has promise but needs a few tweaks.
  • Classic

    10
    Back when I used to give a crap about Michael Moore, he made two of the most interesting reality shows on TV: NBC’s “TV Nation” (which moved to FOX in its second season) and Bravo’s “The Awful Truth.” They were informative, funny, and balanced (well…maybe they skewed occasionally to his viewpoint, but they attempted to be fair.) They were essentially the TV version of his movies, 1989’s Roger & Me and 1997’s The Big One. Then he did 2002’s Bowling for Columbine and 2004’s Fahrenheit 9/11, and he decided to fudge facts and be one-sided in order to make a political statement (don’t let my glowing praise of Bowling fool you…I found out that he falsified the facts after I wrote my review.) Another documentarian has entered the arena though, and he is funny and balanced as well…Morgan Spurlock. His FX series “30 Days” has become one of the best non-competitive reality shows that I have seen in a long time.

    The show is basically the TV version of Morgan’s Oscar-nominated movie Super Size Me. The movie showed Morgan going for 30 days on nothing but McDonald’s food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He gained 25 pounds and felt sick, but he made it. His girlfriend, Alexandra “Alex” Jamieson, had to sit there and watch what happened to him (she was a very supportive girlfriend.) His point was to show how fast food restaurants have contributed to the obesity problem in this country. I didn’t agree with everything in it, but he showed both sides, which is why I rooted for it at the Oscars (it lost to Born Into Brothels.)

    “30 Days” does what the movie did: test a person out a social situation for 30 days and find out its rewards and difficulties. In the premiere episode, Morgan and Alex (who is his fiancée now) lived for 30 days on $5.15 an hour…minimum wage. They found an apartment in Columbus, Ohio that used to be a crack house and got jobs. Alex got a steady job washing dishes at a coffeehouse, and Morgan got a series of temp jobs…mostly hard labor. They struggled to make ends meet, and both had separate medical emergencies. Alex had an infection at one point, and Morgan injured his wrist. He couldn’t risk going to the free clinic, because that meant he will lose out on a day’s pay. To make matters worse, his niece and nephew spent a weekend with them, which was relatively expensive for two people on minimum wage (Morgan had decided to do this to see what it would be like for a couple who was on minimum wage and had kids.) Later, Morgan celebrated Alex’s 30th birthday with an expensive $20 meal, topped off with an unfortunate expensive cab ride (they didn’t know that the buses stopped past a certain hour.) He did try to show both sides of the minimum wage argument (the government hasn’t raised it since 1997 while the prices of goods and services have gone up), but as you see in the episode, it’s a living Hell. The argument for keeping the minimum wage at $5.15 an hour is that more businesses will be able to keep more of their employees. If it is raised, they may have to lay people off. As a Libertarian, I support lowering or getting rid of income tax altogether…but that is another argument for another time.

    In the second episode, Morgan turns the reins over to someone else to experience their 30 days while he hosts (I read somewhere that if Morgan had insisted to do all six episodes himself that Alex would leave him. I wouldn’t blame her!) Scott Bridges is a 34-year-old man who lives in Los Angeles and works for a cleaning supply and distribution company. He was an athletic swimmer in college, but a wife, three kids, and 14 years have passed, and he no longer has a swimmer’s body. He really wants to get that body back, so he goes through a 30 day treatment to see if he can do get it back. The good: He started a fitness program with a personal weight trainer, and he watched what he ate. The bad: He subjected himself with human growth hormone and testosterone injections to make his body bounce back quicker. Before he started the treatment, he banked a sperm sample, just in case (he and his wife had been considering having a fourth child.) It wasn’t shocking to see that the treatments affected his liver, his sperm count was lowered, and he had ‘roid rage. He didn’t make all 30 days (he stopped after 22.) I wanted to ask the anti-aging doctor, Dr. Alan Miles, who had claimed that he had been doing these things to himself for the last eight years, how old he was. Meanwhile, Morgan showed how easy it was to get steroids in Mexico, and he participated in a speed-walking race with an athletically fit old lady (he won…just barely.)

    In the third episode, a 33-year-old Christian man from West Virginia named Dave Stacy attempted to see what it was like to live as a Muslim in Dearborn, Michigan for 30 days. He had to dress in the same style as the Muslims, do what they did (including praying five times a day), and he had to grow a beard. Since he wasn’t allowed to be alone with a woman (i.e. his host family’s wife) in their house, he had to spend his days doing other stuff. He used that time to get to know more about the religion, including consulting with a Muslim teacher in the ways of Islam. He had personal struggles doing these things, because he felt that he was turning his back against God. By the end of the 30 days, he learned a lot about the faith, and he found himself defending verbal attacks against Muslims. He doesn’t believe that all Muslims are terrorists, and that there are extremists in other faiths, like Christianity. Meanwhile, Morgan talked to people on the street asking some word association games, like what most people think of when they hear the word “Muslim” (I’m sure this was a little bit of creative editing though, since almost all of them said something like “terrorist”…but I don’t think that Morgan was pulling a Michael Moore-ism here. I’ll forgive him.) He also spotlighted the public prayer being blasted over loudspeakers, and the lawsuits that followed (the Muslims equate them to church bells.) I was wondering why Dave went through his 30 days though. I know why Morgan went through his 30 days (so that he could do this show), and I know why Scott from week 2 went through his 30 days (so he could get his swimmer’s body back), but there was no preconceived reward at the end of Dave’s 30 days. I guess that he either really wanted to find out about another religion, or he just wanted to get on TV, but either way, the episode was interesting.

    In the three weeks that will follow, Morgan will be having more people go through the 30-day treatment. In week 4, a conservative homophobe will live with a gay roommate in San Francisco’s Castro district. In week 5, two 30-year-old professionals will live in an eco-village in Missouri and live off the grid, i.e. they will live without fossil fuels and electricity. In week 6, a mother concerned about her college age daughter’s drinking will go binge drinking herself to show the daughter what it’s like (and to see the pressures that college kids go through to drink.)

    “30 Days” is the best reality show that I’ve seen since Showtime’s “Penn & Teller: Bulls**t.” I really hope that this show becomes a huge hit and it is renewed for a second season, because there are so many topics that he could explore. Also, if there is a second season, I hope that it expands beyond just six episodes.
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