Wednesday, May 18, 2005


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Morgan Spurlock, the director of Super Size Me, has created a reality TV series called "30 Days" which will begin airing June 15 on FX (in the US). The show puts people in unfamiliar situations for a month (hence "30 Days"). The added intrigue to me is the fact that he's focusing on social and political hot buttons in an attempt to improve social awareness. For instance, he tries living for a month on minimum wage, while another segment deals with homosexuality. But, I think the following is most essential.

This segment sees a fundamentalist Christian living as a Muslim for 30 days and dealing with "what's it like to be a Muslim in America ... who is seen every day as a threat to our freedom." Spurlock said the Muslim episode was one of his favourites. "We took a fundamentalist Christian from my home state of West Virginia, somebody who is very pro-war, pro-'us versus them,' that when you hear Muslim the only thing he thinks of is a guy standing on a mountain with an AK-47," Spurlock said. The man leaves his family to live in a Muslim household in Dearborn, Michigan, which has one of the largest Islamic populations in the US. "He dresses as a Muslim, eats as a Muslim, he prays five time a day, he studies the Koran daily, he learns to speak Arabic. "He works with an imam, a Muslim cleric, to learn the history of Islam, what are the five pillars, why are they important," Spurlock said. He said the effect on the man after the 30 days was "miraculous, it's incredible".

Now this is what reality TV should be about.


Anonymous bulldog said...

I'd rather see all of the politicians try to live on minimum wage!!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous JJ said...

I can't wait to see that episode! I can only assume the guy changed for the better.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

I hope the show is a hit. It sounds like it has too much substance and relevance; I don't know if John Q. Public wants to watch something like this or not. Can it compete with Survivor, Fear Factor, American Idol, etc.?

10:18 PM  
Blogger Sar said...

Bulldog - I agree politicians can use a lesson in humility.

JJ - me too.

Tom - It's bound to have an initial cult following, starting with the Super Size me crowd and those additionally accrued through the grassroots of blogsphere. Let's hope it grows from there.

11:10 PM  
Blogger Nedhead said...

People want "reality" TV not reality TV. Who wants to see someone learn a real, valuable lesson in life? Not me! I want to see the car crash and the guy with the most broken bones then getting better, cheat on the love of his life, embarass his family in public and win $20,000.

8:39 AM  
Blogger SheaNC said...

"Now this is what reality TV should be about." I totally agree. This sounds great - I'm looking forward to it.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

Nedhead - Don't worry, even though this show won't have worm or cow testicle eating contests, you'll still get your fill of watching people endure uncomfortable, unfamiliar situations.

(Right on, Shea!)

12:20 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

Outstanding idea! Which, of course, means it won't last 5 epidodes. The degree of misinformation people rely on is on the rise, and their receptivity to new experiences is shrinking.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Sar said...

Jet - sad, but true. Let's all collectively cross our fingers on this one.

5:01 PM  

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