Don’t look now, but “stuff-another-Big-Mac-in-my-mouth” Morgan Spurlock is up to his old shenanigans with Season Two of “30 Days.” The man who ate nothing but McDonalds for thirty days, and got fat, sick and famous as a result, premiered the second season of his life-swapping reality show Wednesday with an emotional promotion of immigrant amnesty and a dollop of condemnation toward opposing viewpoints.
Spurlock’s template for his shows is to stick someone in an uncomfortable new environment and videotape them as they struggle to adapt. Wednesday’s episode features Minuteman Frank George living with a family of illegal aliens. For a month, George attempts to live as an illegal immigrant, giving up his driver’s license, working as a day-laborer, and moving in with the Gonzales family.
As with most of Spurlock’s shows, there is always a twist to thicken the irony. Frank George’s own family is made up of immigrants as well – but in his case, they came legally. George’s family fled Castro’s Cuba when he was seven years old. George is also a member of the Minutemen, a group of citizens who patrol the southern border and report illegal crossings to the border patrol. (and of course the show makes a big to-do about the firearms he’s packing while on patrol).
It’s pretty obvious from the outset that Spurlock’s motto for the episode will be, “If this gun-toting, Republican immigrant can accept the illegals, then the rest of you should too.” There is no question that Spurlock intends to enlighten this close-minded conservative.
And so, throughout the thirty-day experience, Spurlock highlights how hard the family works, how scared they are of being deported, the discrimination they experience, and the conflicts within the family that occur because two of the four children are citizens by birthright.
It all turns into a giant guilt trip for Frank George who, despite fleeing real oppression with his parents, should have more sympathy for his immigrant brethren.
George shows up at the Gonzales house to find five people living in a one-bedroom apartment, sleeping on the floors and in the corners. The family is shocked that George is Latino. They expected their close-minded victim to be a “gringo.” The man of the house is a day laborer and scraps together odd jobs to bring in about $15,000 a year.
George sticks to his principles during several discussions, debates, and shouting matches with the family. As with any reality show, I’m sure the producers had something to do with escalating the conflict.