An interesting discussion has broken out on the F/X message boards for Spurlock's show 30 Days. A woman claiming to be "Jessica," the partying ASU student featured in the 30 Days binge drinking episode is protesting the way the show was scripted. Keep in mind, this is a web-based message board, so it's difficult to know if the people who posted these messages are who they claim to be. But if so, the idea that these programs are scripted with predtermined outcomes would keep with Spurlock's habit of pushing a political posturing as "documentary."
"Jessica" first writes:
I just want everyone to know who watched the binge drinking episode that it was totally fake and scripted. I was "Jessica" the binge drinking college student who was portrayed as the biggest brat ever. Basically I was told how to act and what to say by the producers and was actually shocked to see how they manipulated my words around. I am not a big drinker so when I refused to get drunk in front of the camera they took it upon themselves to make it seem like like I was an out of control college student witha bad attitude. For all of you people out there who have written mean things about me, I don't blame you at all! If I were to watch this and see a teenage girl acting like a total bitch to her mom, I would think the same thing that the majority of people are probably thinking. Just to set the record straight as to who I am.Right after, comes this message:
I am Jessica's professor at ASU and I just want to say that Jessica is one of the brightest, most talented girls I have ever met. She is a hard worker and will go far in life. This is a reality TV show. If you are honestly making judgments based on a show intended to make people look bad, then you must not be too bright yourself.Then, this one from "Michiel," the name of Jessica's mom in the show:
Jessica is right. They made me look like an awful parent and Jessica look like a bitch. Jessica has been paying all of our bills an dliving on her own for two years now. I have never had to fork out a dime for her college because she excells in school and has a full-ride scholarship. It is ridiculous that the producers of the show made her look like a fool. The show was supposed to be about the harmful effects that alcohol can do to the body, but they manipulated the whole thing around to show an out of control college student who drinks too much. All of the meaningful areas of the show were edited out so they could make my daughter and I look like idiots. I am very disappointed!If the posters are who they claim to be (and it's certainly possible that they aren't), this would confirm Debbie Schlussel's charge in the Wall Street Journal that while positioning itself as a "fish out of water" documentary, the show is actually tightly controlled and scripted, with clean lessons drawn from each episode.
If anyone knows how I can get in touch with Jessica or her mother, drop me a line. I'd be interested in speaking with either of them in person.