30 Days in its’ third and final season ran during the summer of 2008 and tackled some more hot button American issues. The basic premise of the show is to test the saying “live a day in another person’s shoes.” The six episodes of season three were as follows:
- Working in a Coal Mine: Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days working in a coal mine in West Virginia.
- 30 Days in a Wheelchair: Former NFL player Ray Crockett spends 30 days confined to a wheelchair.
- Animal Rights: George Snedecker, an avid hunter, spends 30 days with a vegan family where he learns about animal right causes.
- Same Sex Parenting: Kati, an adoptive mother, spends 30 days living with a gay couple who have adopted four children.
- Gun Nation: Pia Lalli, a gun control activist, spends 30 days with a gun enthusiast and his son.
- Life on an Indian Reservation: Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days on an Indian reservation where he learns about the struggles that many Indian tribes deal with while trying to maintain their cultural traditions.
After having reviewed the first and second seasons of 30 Days, it is time to look at the third and final season. Like the first couple of seasons the episodes are kind of hit and miss. I would say that the average episode quality in season three is better than the first season and on par with the second season. The standout episodes of the third season are Working in a Coal Mine, 30 Days in a Wheelchair, and Life on an Indian Reservation which have to rank as three of the best episodes in the series. Season three as a whole seemed to focus more on showcasing different life experiences than on focusing on controversial issues like the first two seasons.
My thoughts on the season three episodes follow:
- Working in a Coal Mine: Just like all of the episodes that Morgan Spurlock starred in, Working in a Coal Mine is one of the better episodes of the series. Working in a Coal Mine is less politically charged than most of the episodes. While the episode does address the various energy concerns the world faces, a majority of the episode just focuses on the hard and dangerous job of working in a coal mine.
- 30 Days in a Wheelchair: The episode doesn’t address a controversial issue but focuses on showing the struggles and triumphs of people that are forced to live their lives in wheelchairs. The episode is pretty inspirational. I kind of wish the episode would have featured a middle class American though instead of a wealthy ex-NFL player in order to show a more typical experience.
- Animal Rights: This is the first episode of the season that actually addressed a controversial issue. Overall the episode was decent but really didn’t change my mind very much. Before watching the episode I felt animals should be treated with respect but I am not a vegetarian and I don’t approve of people condemning people that aren’t vegetarians. After watching the episode I feel the same way. I give the episode credit for not being too preachy for either side of the issue.
- Same Sex Parenting: Easily the worst episode of the season and probably the entire series. I am not going to get into my stance on the issue. While most episodes of 30 Days at least had both sides get something out of the experience, in Same Sex Parenting neither side got anything out of the experience. Essentially the episode is just a series of fighting and arguing.
- Gun Nation: As far as the issue is concerned I am a strong supporter of reasonable gun control legislature (required background checks). While the episode really didn’t change my mind it did a pretty good job presenting the other side of the argument.
- Life on an Indian Reservation: Probably the best episode of the season and one of the best episodes of the series. It doesn’t really feature a controversial issue but it does a great job showing what life on an Indian reservation is like. Of all of the episodes in season three, this episode makes you think the most.
After watching the third season of 30 Days, it is unfortunate that it didn’t get more seasons. While it wasn’t the greatest show, it was interesting and thought provoking. The show also seemed to get better each season so I wonder if that trend would have continued. I am guessing the show was canceled due to poor ratings which is unfortunate since more people should have watched the series.
As far as the DVD set is concerned, the third season of 30 Days was not released normally like the other two seasons of the show. The third season can either be purchased as part of the complete 30 Days series set or it can be bought in a direct to DVD format on Amazon. Clearly the first two seasons must have not sold very well or you would guess that they would have released the third season as a normal set.
If you enjoyed the first two seasons of 30 Days I can’t imagine you not enjoying the third season as well. The episodes on average are better than the episodes of season one and are on par with season two. Season three also has three of the best episodes in the entire season. As a whole I enjoyed the 30 Days series and I think it was cancelled too early.
If you have never seen the first or second season, I would either get the complete series or I would start with season one since at the time of this review it was considerably cheaper than the other seasons. If you either enjoy documentaries and have liked Morgan Spurlock’s over movies, or enjoyed the other seasons of the show you should enjoy the third season as well. If you don’t like documentaries and/or are not interested in the topics of season three, you probably won’t enjoy the third season of 30 Days.