30 Days was a documentary television show that began in 2005 where the phrase “spend a day in another person’s shoes” was tested. Created by Morgan Spurlock, each episode features someone spending 30 days outside their comfort zone. During these 30 days they try to learn something new about themselves. The six episodes of the first season of 30 days include:
- Minimum Wage: Morgan Spurlock and his fiance Alex spend 30 days working minimum wage jobs while seeing if they can make ends meet.
- Anti-Aging: A 30 year old former athlete tries to reverse the aging process by using an anti-aging drug regimen.
- Muslims and America: A devout Christian spends 30 days with a Muslim family and learns about the Islamic community.
- Straight Man in A Gay World: A young man spends 30 days living with a gay man in the largely gay Castro District in San Francisco.
- Off the Grid: Two regular Americans spend 30 days in a ec0-village.
- Binge Drinking Mom: A mother concerned with her daughter’s alcohol drinking habits, spends 30 days on a drinking binge in order to show her daughter what her drinking habit may lead to.
30 Days was an interesting idea for a show. Everyone says that to truly understand someone you need to spend a day in their shoes. I believe people can learn to get along better if they only knew what other people experienced on a day to day basis. This is why I was first interested in 30 Days and why I decided to give the show a chance.
Overall I found the first season of 30 Days to be kind of hit or miss. Due to each episode being based on a different topic and featuring different people, it is not that surprising that every episode is quite different. Some of the episodes are great and may make you change your mind on a subject. Other episodes are kind of boring and don’t have much of an impact.
The first season of 30 days aired in 2005 so the episodes are a decade old at this point. While some of the data and facts presented in the episodes may have changed over the years, the overall message of the episodes I still feel is pretty current.
Here are my thoughts on all six episodes (my personal beliefs on the various topics will be kept to a minimum):
- Minimum Wage: The best episode of the first season and one of the best episodes in the series in my opinion. It is not particularly surprising that Minimum Wage was the best episode of the season since Morgan Spurlock starred in the episode and he clearly has more experience with documentaries than the stars of the other episodes. Even though the episode is a decade old at this point, the episode really shows the struggles that people who work for minimum wage have to deal with on a daily basis.
- Anti-Aging: The second worst episode of the first season. Before watching the episode I really didn’t have any interest in anti-aging processes and after watching the episode my mind wasn’t really changed. The episode was pretty boring and didn’t have the effect that the better episodes of the season had.
- Muslims and America: Muslims and America was the second or third best episode of the season. Muslims and America does a pretty good job of showing what life is like in America for Muslims. If you are a Christian and know very little about the Muslim religion I would recommend watching the episode. It won’t make you change to the Muslim faith but it might change your thoughts on the Muslim community as a whole.
- Straight Man in A Gay World: Either the second or third best episode of the season. If you go into the episode with an open mind, you can gain a better understanding of the gay community.
- Off the Grid: The fourth best episode of the first season. The episode has some good points but it also tends to drag on at times as well. The episode shows what it is like to live in an eco-village where the residents try to conserve as much as possible. I doubt the episode would make anyone make drastic changes in their lives but it may make you consider making some small changes in your lifestyle in order to help save the planet.
- Binge Drinking Mom: The worst episode of the season. The episode pretty much ends up going nowhere. It is not particularly informative or entertaining and pretty mush rehashes the same things over and over again. The episode could have easily been a half hour episode and you wouldn’t have missed out on anything.
30 Days is an average to an above average show. Some episodes are great while others are kind of boring. If you go into the episodes with an open mind you could actually learn something new and some of the episodes may actually change your mind on certain topics.
Since 30 Days is a documentary series, if you don’t like documentaries you won’t like 30 Days. Also if you aren’t interested in the topics covered, you probably won’t like the show either. If you like documentaries though and would like to learn more about some of the topics covered I think you will enjoy 30 Days. Some of the episodes may have a real impact on your life and how you view the world.