30 Days is an FX Original Series that airs on Wednesday nights, 10 pm EST.
Everyone should watch this show.
Funny- today I was trying to figure out bills, expenses, etc. I was stressing out because there never seems to be enough money to go around. My rent takes up 90% of my first (of 2) paycheck every month. My car payment plus insurance is over $400 a month. That doesn't include gas, which is through the roof.
So I come home tonight and turn on the season premier of 30 Days. What an awakening.
Morgan Spurloch, the mastermind behind Supersize Me, spends 30 days living on minimum wage.
(Oh, and they saved the best for last.)
Morgan and his fiancee Alex, a vegan chef, moved to Columbus, Ohio for 30 days to both work minimum wage jobs. Within the week, they both needed to go to the hospital- Alex for a UTI and Morgan for a sprained wrist. They live in this ant-infested little 1 bedroom apartment in a complex that as little as a week ago was home to a crackhouse. The rent? Less than $400 a month. There was no furniture, so there was an especially touching scene where the couple go to a church and receive furniture donations.
They bought 1 bus pass to go between the both of them. Alex gets a job at a barista washing dishes and bussing tables, and Morgan goes to a temp agency. They offer him odd jobs at no less than $7 an hour- $1.85 ABOVE minimum wage. Morgan's first job was a construction site, and then he moves on to landscaping which pays a little more. This is where he sprains his wrist.
Morgan gets a paycheck every day- to the tune of about $46. Alex's weekly check? Under $200. Then Morgan makes a discovery- the guy who gives him a ride to and from the job sites makes the same amount that Morgan is making, yet he is a 22 year old with 4 kids. Morgan and Alex decide to invite his brother's 2 teenage kids up to visit for the weekend and the funniest part of the show happens- Morgan goes to the public library to see what kind of free thngs there are to do and finds
which suggests he take the kids to an "Animal shelter: Kind of a sad visit if you don’t plan to adopt an animal but you may consider volunteering to walk a dog. Sometimes, the facility will allow you to tour its clinic and explain the shots and other treatments. It’s good for kids to learn about pet care." or "Bank: Call up your local bank and ask for a tour. Winter Advisory: If you wear a ski-mask, take it off before entering the bank." Truly some "original" ideas. Morgan's take on the latter: "Oh, yes! Come in and see the money you DON'T have!!" They end up taking the kids to the $1 movie, but Morgan spends $12 on drinks, which throws Alex into a tizzy.
At the end of the show, just when you realize that they are barely going to make it with a few pennies left over, the hospital bills come. $1300.00!! Morgan has to pay $550 just for walking in the ER door; Alex, $300. Alex's prescription was $25, and Morgan paid $40 for an Ace bandage. No health insurance is the demise of the couple's unsucessful run on a 30 day minimum wage scale.
Now this is AFTER Morgan is working 2 full time jobs (for the latter half of the month- but it's at a pizza place, so they can have pizza instead of rice and beans) and Alex works one. That's 3 minimum wage salaries for 2 people. If not for the hospital bills, they would have just barely made it.
And here I sit wondering about how I'm going to afford a vacation to NY for my friend's wedding. It's amazing how lucky I really am. Granted, I live alone with no 2nd paycheck to help, my rent is crazy expensive, and my car is still new, but I don't want to live in the slums and it's the car I wanted, so that's the price I have to pay. (Even though that "price" doesn't include cable, power, water, food, gas, phone, etc. I'm not rich by any means, but this program showed me that I should appreciate what I do have.)
The show was sad and funny and intelligent and poingnant all at the same time. It was a fantastic program, and I plan to tune in every Wednesday night.