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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2008   2006   2005  
4 wins & 4 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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User Reviews

A mixed series of documentaries but generally interesting, engaging and well worth a look
19 April 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Following on from his month long experiment involving eating McDonalds and seeing his body breaking down, Morgan Spurlock hosts this documentary series that places people into different worlds and situations to gain a better understanding or awareness of what it is like. The subjects include an out-of-shape man undergoing anti-aging treatments, a straight man living in a homosexual area and a Christian living in a Muslim family. To kick it all off Morgan and his fiancé spend 30 days trying to live on minimum wage and survive.

Although the concept isn't actually as new as some people seem to think it is (nobody else ever saw BBC's "Living with the Enemy"?) the idea is still a good one and the potential is right there. The concept of taking people and getting them to walk a mile in someone else's shoes is clever and it allows Spurlock to highlight important issues. In reality the results are mixed with some of the shows being impacting and serious affairs while others are a bit like the experimenting on bodies a la "Super Size Me". The difference between the two extremes can be seen in the first two episodes. The first episode is exceptional documentary film making. Looking at the realities of minimum wage living had me open mouthed and disgusted – I knew that my take home pay is a lot, lot higher than $6 (£4) per hour but never appreciated what that actually meant in reality. However the second show is more of a physical experiment and, although interesting, is not as compelling an issue to pick up and run with. And so the series continued with this inconsistency – with the next show forcing a man to look at the Muslims he doesn't like despite not knowing any, and then later shows including a mother binge drinking for a month.

Spurlock is a great host but not all those involved in the series are that engaging. It helps therefore that each episode is broken down with the same approach Super Size had – the experiment itself makes up part, with animated sections etc filling in the background to the issues (for example in the Muslim episode we get basic background to the religion to supplement Dave's learning experience). Each episode is different but really it doesn't really matter where each ends (some make it to the end, some bail out half way) because what matters is the journey. In this regard not all episodes are as good as others but generally they are mostly interesting and worth a look, with at least one of them (the minimum wage) being worth hunting down.

Overall then, an interesting series that is worth seeing despite the mixed successes of the series as a whole. Some of the episodes are so-so but mostly it is interesting stuff that is worth a look. At "worst" it is gimmicky experimentation that is interesting but at its best it is confrontational and insightful. If there will be a second series it would be interesting to see the subject range opened up because series 1 did rather reflect the liberal views of Spurlock.


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