Friday, May 8, 2009

Hooray for Hulu

I've been without cable television for a while now - mostly it's due to budgetary constraints, but partly it's a choice. The fact is that I don't really miss most of what I used to watch. However, there are certain shows that I am proudly addicted to such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. With the exception of these two shows, my subscription to Netflix fills in any potential pop culture holes that my lack of cable might be causing.

Recently, I also realized that Hulu, which is free for at least the foreseeable future, also has such shows as PBS's Scientific American and Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days available on their site. If you haven't seen 30 Days, I highly recommend it. The premise is simple, Spurlock, who rocketed to fame with SuperSize Me, places someone in an environment for 30 days that is either antithetical to their beliefs or one that will raise awareness about lifestyles that often go unexplored. It's like a highbrow Wife Swap - a Mormon stays with two gay dads or Spurlock spends 30 days working as a coal miner or in jail.

One of my favorite episodes places two self proclaimed fossil fuel addicts at an off the grid co-op for a month. Hardship and hilarity ensue when the two guests are faced with what to do without hair products or meat or with a composting toilet. However the most meaningful exchanges occur as guests and hosts share ideas and reach understandings that become possible under these admittedly unrealistic circumstances.

Contrary to other proud card-carrying members of the anti-cable club, I think you can learn something from television. So check out 30 Days - if nothing else, I promise it beats I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

No comments: