30 DAYS = Great Reality TV

Regular visitor’s to theTVaddict.com know how little I discuss reality TV. Why haven’t I jumped on the bandwagon like the rest of the world? Two reasons actually. First off, I can’t deal with watching people embarrass themselves on TV. Whether they’re eating worms for money, cheating on their partners, or willing to throw away any shred of self respect for fifteen minutes of fame, it’s just sad.

Secondly, and more importantly, the more successful reality TV is, the less quality scripted drama and comedies we’ll see. Reality TV is loved by the networks for its mass appeal and inexpensive production values. If it ever comes down to ‘Who wants to Marry a Millionaire Midget’ or a series like EVERWOOD, rest assured you’ll be watching a midget get married on screen this fall.

That said, I’d like to take a moment to talk about a reality TV show that I recently watched, and loved. It’s Morgan Spurlock’s 30 DAYS, and it airs on the FX network at 10pm Wednesdays (EST). Each week, 30 DAYS highlights a sensitive topic within America’s social fabric. The episode I watched was entitled “IMMIGRATION” and followed a man named Frank who was adamantly against illegal immigration. So much so that he was an active member of the Minutemen. For thirty days Frank lived with family of illegal immigrants in East Los Angeles and experienced what it was like for the ‘Gonzales Family.’

The episode, which is currently a FREE download from iTunes, was incredibly moving. It showed both sides of the issue and really opened my eyes to how good my life is, and how difficult it is for the majority of Americans.

It was nice to see Reality TV actually contribute to society, rather then tear it down. With future episodes tackling such hot button topics as Outsourcing, Religion, Abortion and Jail, 30 DAYS can count me in as a new loyal viewer.

More information about the show can be discovered on the FX Network’s official web site.

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  • John

    I haven’t seen the show, but I hope you are not using the experiences of a “family of illegal immigrants in East Los Angeles” as a barometer “how difficult it [life] is for the majority of Americans”.

  • http://www.thetvaddict.com thetvaddict

    Don’t worry, I’m really not looking at a family of illegal immigrants as the average life for anyone. But whenever I do watch these shows, I can’t help but think how easy my life is in comparison and how lucky I am.

  • http://watchwithintelligence.typepad.com/ Aleks

    Oh 30 Days, a giant lesson in empathy. It’s one of those reality shows that can be welcomed with open arms by everyone.

    Shameless plug: check out my review on Watch with Intelligence (click on my name).