Tuned In

TV Tonight: 30 Days a Week

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I don’t have time to full-on review it, as I really need to start doing some things that are not this blog, but a quick reminder that Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days returns tonight to FX. (Nutshell premise: every week, a subject spends a month living the life of someone else whose lifestyle is very different, or whose beliefs are totally opposed to his or hers—a hunter becomes an animal-rights activist, a border-patrolling nativist moves in with an illegal-immigrant family, etc.) As in past seasons, the best episodes tend to be the ones Spurlock himself participates in, as in tonight’s premiere, in which the West Virginia native spends 30 days as a coal miner. (And coincidentally provides a non-cliched corrective to all the punditry in the campaign about what working-class Appalachians are really like.)

But the other episodes are usually thought-provoking and worthwhile too—though not every participant comes away with their perspective changed. 30 Days at least operates from the premise that there is some value in trying to walk in another’s shoes and understand people who are different from you, which is a welcome break on TV today.

I could think of a few cable pundits who could use the experience. Too bad they couldn’t get Lou Dobbs for the illegal-alien episode.