30 Days (Morgan Spurlock's new show) - Let's Discuss

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Nicholas Vargo, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    I've been eagerly awaiting the premeire of FX's new show "30 Days" and I have to say that after seeing it tonight, I enjoyed it a lot.

    Now, understand that I've not seen "Super Size Me" yet, that may be why I liked it, but the two main reasons I'm posting this thread are for the fact that I want to see how this show is playing with everyone, and secondly because I can't find a thread about it here.

    Anyway, on the first episode, Spurlock and his fiancee tackle minimum wage, and for those who have yet to enter the world (like myself), this is an eye-opening experience. They live 30 days on minimum wage in Columbus, Ohio and strip away all their credit cards and cash and get regular jobs. A lot of things happen during this episode that I don't want to tell, but when you see it, you'll understand what I mean.

    This is a show that will not only open your eyes, but it will also make you laugh as well. It is a reality show, but unlike others, its gimmick doesn't lead to anything overly prictable. There is no voting and there is no commercialism. This is the real truths that we see in America.

    It is one hell of a show, and I think you'll all like it to. In my opinion, FX has struck agian.

    My rating: ***1/2 out of ****

    My review is in. Let the discussion begin. What does everyone else think of this show?
     
  2. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    This episode was similar in concept to "Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting By in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich. Her book was more interesting for several reasons: she was single and she did it for a year (IIRC). Still, the visuals of the show help drive home the point of just how impossible this whole situation is. I mean, when you have to give great consideration to buying two $.60 pastries ONCE A MONTH, something is wrong. I know there's the standard reply of trying to better yourself through education, public assistance for job training, etc. What I don't understand is just how in the hell you're supposed to take advantage of those things when you're working 18 hours a day to survive.... with NO KIDS!

    It really makes me wonder just how much of life is luck of the draw. My wife and I are well off, but is it just because we were lucky enough to be born into families that were in a decent situation? Would I have come this far if I'd have been the son of a minimum wage worker instead of a union crane operator with good health benefits?

    The one time I groaned a little during this episode was when he tried to show how pitiful the 22 year old with 4(!!) kids was. You'd figure after the first 1 or 2 popped out, they'd figure out where they were coming from. A box of Trojans is certainly cheaper...

    I will for sure be tuning in to the rest of this series.

    -Brett.
     
  3. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Definately interesting and it did it's job in showing how much it stinks being part of the working poor. I made me feel bad that I have a decent home in a nice area of the country and can afford some of life's amenities and I still go through times where I complain about money and worring about not having enough. It's a little bit tough in this show to really feel it though as we know after 30 days, Spurlock and his fiancee will go back to a luxurious lifestyle.

    I wonder if they should have lead off with this episode because the ones they have coming up don't look quite as compelling, although I do look forward to seeing the mother become a binge drinker like a college student for 30 days
     
  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Statistically, the strongest predictor of the financial well-being of an individual is the financial well-being of his/her parents.

    I forgot about this show and will keep an eye out for repeats.
     
  5. Jason Walstrom

    Jason Walstrom Supporting Actor

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    I enjoyed this show. It sucks being broke and they crystallized this perfectly. My Wife and I started out in a crappy one bedroom apartmen and worked our way up to a two bedroom then bought our first house about 3 years ago. The hard thing living paycheck to paycheck was things like Car repair etc. I'm glad we didnt have children at the time. The next episode doesn't look as compelling but i'll give it a chance.
     
  6. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    I found it to be really compelling, especially since I expected somehow that they being quasi-celebrities, they would leave the experiment if things really got rough. I was glad they stuck with it, as the show managed to be enlightening, educational and entertaining. It was interesting but being an experiment, Morgan & Alex, couldn't avail themselves of government programs (like Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc) that are available to the people in this real situation, especially if they had children. I was a little disappointed that they didn't even touch upon this subject when they mentioned the cost of daycare, which many states have programs for.

    This series looks really interesting, though I hope that Morgan & Alex tackle more subjects down the road and their active participation wasn't a one time thing.
     
  7. Scott_Sch

    Scott_Sch Stunt Coordinator

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    I caught this and got into it too. Definitely a humbling experience. Aside from the serious nature of most of the content, the one part that really had me laughing was the list of free things to do in Columbus..."Call your local bank and ask for a tour"?!?! I forgot some of the others that were listed, but wow...talk about an experience you'll never forget. You know, not like go to this park or site see or something, but visit your local hospital and ask for a tour..."Here's what we do with the people that have no healthcare...whoops...my bad...moving on..."
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    Alternate name: America Nepotism alive and well. [​IMG]
    I sure had my beyond poor times, raised myself from age 7, working musician through my 20's, ect..ect...

    I know I could of related.


    I missed it.. I had planned on watching it too.
    I screened the movie Scanners of all things instead.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I walf-watched the first half, flipping channels, and paid more careful attention to the second half. It was engaging show, heart-breaking at times, and eye-opening.

    But it had a few weaknesses. The show made its case well, and the closing final moralizing treated me (the viewer) as an idiot, putting me off at the last moment.

    And did it even last 30 days? It seemed like it ended at day 22, just after the girl's birthday.

    Despite the hiccups, the show was a success, and I'm going to make a point to watch the next episode.
     
  10. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    Well, the new episode that aired tonight was very well done. Not as good as the first one (and that was because Spurlock didn't exactly try this experiment himself), but it was still a good and informative hour, and it's definately better than anything else that airs on network TV.

    Anyway, on tonight's episode, the challenge posed to a normal couch potato is whether taking healthy suppliments can mean the fountain of youth for them. This experiment was interesting, as the worst things that could happen do happen, and by the time the episdoe ended, I just felt sorry for the guy. Sure, things did turn out all right in the end, but still, I couldn't help but feel sorry for this guy.

    Still, a great episode, thanks to the insight on everything about the subject.

    My rating: *** out of ****

    Next week, watch what happens when you live as a Muslim in today's America. I'll be there for that.
     
  11. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    Tonight's ep was a huge let down from last week, but I was expecting it. The wife came off as being concerned and a bitch at the same time (had I been the personal trainer, i'd have been rude too).

    I think the most interesting part of the experiment was how the guy regressed from mild-mannered husband to frat boy in 3 weeks. I almost expected him to go bar-hopping straight from the fertility clinic. "I have no sperm, let's celebrate!"

    The subject is interesting, but the execution was flawed. It was so difficult to make an emotional investment in two people I really didn't like. But since I'm not a shlubby mid-30s husband and father of three, maybe I don't get it (late 20s, shlubby, gay, single). At least the guy walks away from the project with tangible results: he lost 15 pounds, significantly reduced his BMI and he looks a heckuva lot younger, especially next to his 'domestic goddess.'

    I'm not sure I'd watch this series consistently during the regular season, but for a summer series, I'm totally satisfied. [​IMG]
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i think there is only 6 eps to start(could be wrong).

    i read somewere tht spurlock was going to do all the experiments but his wife/girlfriend gave him a choice, the show or her.
    so he decided to just be the "host" only.
     
  13. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    No, I think that's about right, TonyD. "Over There" premieres in its time slot on July 27, so it would be right that there would only be six episodes.
     
  14. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I like Stephen Bochco but I can't in Good Conscience bring myself to watch Over There, I had to force myself to believe 24 was just over the top entertainment and I can enjoy it at that level, I may check out the first Ep of Over There to see how "fair and Balanced" the show is , but I Ain't holding my breath
     
  15. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    For what it's worth, I read an article about "Over There" and supposedly it is supposed to avoid treading into politics and just focus more on day to day life for soldiers in Iraq.
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    *ahem* this thread should be about "30 Days"...
     
  17. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I have'nt watched the new 30 days yet but it's on my DVR. I'll pass on OT I have no desire to see a Drama that just happens to use the Middle east conflict as a backdrop. ok Back to topic.
     
  18. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

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  19. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    More specifically, he was taking crazy doses of controversial suppliments: 20 pills a day, steroids, and HGH.

    So far in these past two shows they've had some worst case scenarios actually happen. I don't know if it's rotten luck or planned that way.

    In the minimum wage show they had to make two visits to the ER. I don't think most people ever make that many ER visits in a year. "What? You're actually making ends meet? (Yes, you are living in poverty and working 2 jobs but...) We can't have that. Let's visit the ER...twice."

    In the fountain of youth show the guy developed liver problems from all the suppliments just 1 week into it. But the doctor prescribing the treatment says he's never seen such a thing happen so soon in the 8+ (?) years he's been doing this.

    It all just seems very suspect. Especially with Debbie Schlussel's comments about how the outcome of the show is predetermined. Was the "doctor" we saw really the doctor he was seeing, or was it an actor? Did he really develop liver problems? What about the sperm count? A documentary shouldn't raise such questions, yet I'm beginning to suspect the show is a setup.

    I'll continue to watch and see how things go and what other issues they take on. Although it seems very apparent that they have a slanted view to begin with. If things continue this way then I'll be very disappointed. I'll keep watching of course. So I can pick it apart.
     
  20. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I hope they are'nt using actors. But all documentaries have a point of view, they all have a "slant". That charge was leveled agaisr F911, and MM never said he did'nt have an agenda, he was clear about it. I think every documentary I've ever seen is biased in one way or another
     

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