An unscripted, documentary-style program where an individual is inserted into a lifestyle that is completely different from his or her upbringing, beliefs, religion or profession for 30 days.

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3   2   1  
2008   2006   2005  
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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 Himself - Host (18 episodes, 2005-2008)
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An unscripted, documentary-style program where an individual is inserted into a lifestyle that is completely different from his or her upbringing, beliefs, religion or profession for 30 days.

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15 June 2005 (USA)  »

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30 dni  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Reverend Dr. Penny Davis: [talking about homosexuality and the Bible] I think God cares more about what we do with our resources than what we do with our genitalia.
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Connections

Spun-off from Super Size Me (2004) See more »

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Morgan Spurlock continues the 30 days theme, with spotty success.
7 November 2006 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Given the sheer brilliance and immediate importance of Super Size Me, I was eager to see Morgan Spurlock's next project, the unscripted documentary series "30 Days." Within a few minutes into the first episode, it becomes clear that he is going to use the same structure as he used in his feature documentary, but it also becomes clear that there are a great many subjects and issues in the country and in the world that could use the old Spurlock treatment, if not to solve them, to at least call people's attention to them.

In that way, I would say that the series is already a success. Sadly, I doubt his documentary (or even the far superior book - and upcoming, almost surely inferior movie - Fast Food Nation) has had the impact that he had hoped for and America (and our health) really need, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

The basis of this series is that each week someone is taken out of their daily lives and placed into the lives of someone else, someone either polarly different from them, or who leads a lifestyle that is morally, politically, religiously, or some way abhorrent or unacceptable for whatever reason.

The Binge Drinking Mom, for example, was abhorred by her daughter's kamikaze-style partying, as was the straight guy by all of the gays that he was surrounded by for a month, and the Christian found himself unwilling and unable to follow many of the customs of the Muslims with whom he lived in his episode. Many of the episodes are astonishing in their ability to illuminate the plight of some of the people in this country, such as the first episode, about our nation's ridiculous minimum wage, as well as to really change and heal uninformed and prejudicial feelings and beliefs, such as the episode where the straight man lives with a gay man for a month. There are true differences and real friendships made, not some contrived piece of claptrap staged for the passing cameras.

Then again, some episodes reveal something of a lack of ideas, or at least a failed experiment. The Binge Drinking Mom episode, for example, is stunning in its pointlessness and absurdity, almost as if it belonged in a different series. There is absolutely no sense of realism or positive change anywhere in the episode. If anything, it is the mother whose weakness should be focused on, given the pathetically wan behavior she exhibits when confronted with her daughter's belligerent behavior. She hangs her head in submission as her daughter puts her hand in her face to shut her up about her partying as she answers her ringing cell phone and complains to one of her friends about her pain-in-the-ass mom.

Had mom calmly reached over (as mine surely would have done), taken the phone out of her daughter's hand, snapped it in half and laid the pieces onto the table, and then laid down the law, she would have gotten her daughter's attention, at least for the remainder of the time that they spent at the table. Instead, the mother's ensuing drinking experiment comes off as a tired plea of desperation which neither the daughter nor the audience can ever take seriously.

Nevertheless, the series as a whole has a lot of good points to make about everything from drinking to religion to sexual orientation, and it is lucky in that it has a pretty open-ended premise. As long as there are problems in America, theoretically it could go on forever. Although given the problem of the diminishing American attention span, much of America, myself included (although not for lack of interest), may soon be on the lookout for what Morgan's got up his other sleeve.


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