"We are such a numb culture," Morgan Spurlock told TheWrap, as he lamented the lack of information that he believes the public receives — except the Oscar-nominated documentarian said it really quickly. When Spurlock talks, you get the impression he has a million other things to do — probably because he does.
One of those other things is post-production on his next documentary, "This Is Us," about the meteoric rise of boy band One Direction. But what we're talking about today is his upcoming CNN original series, "Inside Man," which premieres Sunday night at 10/9c.
Spurlock hopes his new series can shed light on other opinions and make a dent in the reality TV culture, which he says depicts far too little reality.
On the first of eight hourlong episodes of "Inside Man," Spurlock sells marijuana at a dispensary. In doing so, he meets and shares the stories of clients with cancer, soldiers returning from war with post traumatic stress disorder — the folks he feels that we judge instead of understand. Or as he says it, his new series "puts a face behind the spin that we get."
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The marijuana debate is exactly the type of controversial topic that Spurlock wants to show both sides of.
"I think [the episode] changes the way you look at this drug," said Spurlock. He cited the lack of questions that Americans are asking, such as, "Is it illegal, or is it something that people need?"
Spurlock's strategy is to tackle topics that he sees in the news that he feels people aren't aware of. As he says in the CNN promo clip, "We will see things that happen in the United States that we won't be able to believe are happening."
Aside from addressing the question of where marijuana is legal in the U.S. and where it isn't, on the second episode of "Inside Man" the pro-gun Spurlock sells firearms, asking customers why they were buying their weapons.
Spurlock will also temporarily adopt the lives of migrant farm workers and union laborers, and tackle other social issues such as bankruptcy, education and the drought.
His favorite episode follows his move back to West Virginia to live with his 91-year-old grandmother, who doesn't even want to consider a life in a nursing home. Through her eyes, the filmmaker analyzes end-of-life issues and expenses that he describes as outrageous.
For each episode, Spurlock says he and his crew filmed for seven to 10 days, which is a break from his regular formula of 30.
Although it's not possible to predict the future of "Inside Man," Spurlock is certain of one thing — he will not lack for episode ideas. Every morning, he wakes up, opens the newspaper, scans the headlines and thinks, "this is a great show."