June 23 2005

30 Days, Episode 2:Anti-Aging

Last week I mentioned that Morgan Spurlock’s new series, 30 Days, might run the risk of being predictible. This weeks episode, Anti-Aging, was predictible only in the sense I was sure the man using the steroids would have some negative side-effects, but I could have never predicted how severe they would be.

This was the first episode to not feature Mr. Spurlock as the test subject, instead we are introduced to Scott Bridges, 35, married father of 3. Mr. Bridges used to be a high school and college athelete, and was in great shape. With his age quickly catching up with him, and not being in any form of shape, he wants to fight back against the mid-life realities. He agrees to go on a program of hormones, testosterone and a daily dose of some 21 odd pills (at one point they also say 40 pills…not sure which is correct). He also begins weight training and cardio workouts with professional trainers and radically changes his diet.

Things go well at first. He starts to feel more energetic, people are telling him he looks more youthful and it seems like it may be working. Some of the first hurdles to pop up though are things like, oh…HIS LIFE? Look back at everything I said he was doing, then remember, he has a full time job and 3 kids! Sure, everyone should lead a healthier life, but at what cost to those around you? This does become a sore spot between Scott and his wife, and eventually between his wife and the cardio trainer. The cardio trainer essentially tells Scott’s wife that nothing besides the cardio matters and tries to tell the wife how things will be. Look, the wife was no angel, she seemed a bit snippy to me through the whole episode, but the cardio trainer had no right talking to her like that.

It was after this though that the whole experiment started to fall apart. Scott’s liver started acting abnormally. He started getting angrier with people (a known side effect of testosterone, as it is a steroid). One of the biggest shocks of all though, was he had his semen tested before he started to watch for sterility. At the time this started, he had an excellent sperm count of 80 million per CC, normal is 60 million per CC. After taking all these drugs, within weeks, his count was 1 million per CC, and 100% of those were dead. In general, all these “helpful” drugs, were having some very negative effects.

As an aside, the funniest moment of the entire episode had to be when he took all his pills with him to talk to his weight trainer, a hulking professional body builder. Even he was shocked at the number of supplements Scott was taking, and said that even he didn’t take this many. You have to see it to get the humor, but it was highly amusing.

To Scott’s credit, he dropped out of the experiment at 21 days, and we were informed with title cards that his liver function returned to normal, his sperm count went back up and through all of this, he lost 15 pounds.

The one aspect I am very happy with the show is that even though Spurlock isn’t doing all the experiments himself, he does appear through out the episode doing like little side notes that enhance the overall point. Nice to see him doing that as his commentaries really do spruce up his projects.

Next week, a Christian spends 30 days as a Muslim. Oh this should be interesting.

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