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Review: Live for the Moment - Roger Childs (series premiere)

by Michael Pascua, posted Jan 29th 2010 1:20AM
Roger and Jeff Probst on Live for the moment.
(S01E01) Live for the Moment goes for the heartstrings at the first minute. In the premiere episode, we meet Roger Childs who started to suffer from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease). Even with his body degenerating, he's managed to continue to be positive for his wife and two children. Jeff Probst arrives, hands the family a journal with several "missions" and hopes that the family will live for the moment.

On paper, the show is basically Phil Keoghan's show No Opportunity Wasted, but with a bigger budget and longer timeline. Live for the Moment is truly a combination of The Bucket List, Big Fish, and Up! The show is saccharine sweet and would have fit perfectly on the Hallmark Channel.

Roger says the most important moral of the episode: it's the small moments and keeping perspective that's important. Anyone could have gotten that from someone closer to their family who has an event similar to Roger; they would have been able to tell you that whether it was a natural disaster, cancer, or just losing a job. There are tons of books and Lifetime specials that could have told us that.

The hour is spent following Roger getting to cherish his life through grand events that he doesn't have to pay for. The episode ends where long lost family members and friends get to see Roger. His old roommate John starts ALS research in his name, he gets named an honorary aircraft commander, and his father and sister start a scholarship fund for his children. The nice touch at the end was as the credits rolled, we got to take a small look at the journal/scrapbook.

The biggest flaw with Live for the Moment's premiere episode is the fact that Roger had already gone through several of the adventures. It was nice seeing him overcome the four events with ALS (I was moved watching his wife have to dress him), but he used to ski with his old roommate. If the show was called Live for the Moment, why isn't he experiencing new things? Roger has flown and skied before, I want to see someone who was suffering from a disease getting an opportunity to do something that they never have experienced, not just get to do something they haven't done in a long time.

Jeff Probst was basically transported from his Survivor hosting duties. His interviews and his voice-overs are all the same. Hell, even the first minute's camera swooping around Jeff looked like Survivor. The journal looked like a prop that could have been a tree mail, and the maps they used looked like they were designed by the same art designers. I remember when Jeff hosted Rock and Roll Jeopardy; he has been heavily influenced to keep this Survivor persona.

The effect of the premiere episode is one thing, but I'm hoping that future episodes can go above and beyond this one. It's hard to open a show with a space shuttle launch and a jet pilot adventure. I will admit that I don't think I could watch this show week after week, because I would get too emotional each week. It will start becoming the "diseased person of the week" if the show airs constantly, defeating the true heart and soul of the show.

I hope, though, that the people won't be forgotten next week when the next person gets to live for the moment. How did you find the episode? Leave comments below.

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rachel bailey

i was just diagnosed with als. there is a little more info out there to find out. it sure helps to have a good support system. i have dropped foot and a brace and use a walker. i wear a life alert bracelet and have a good neighbor that checks on me every day. i also use a bipap breathing machine which really helps me. don't give up hope

April 02 2010 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Teresa Kiser

I watched the 'Live for the Moment' was very disappointed in it. I was diagnosed with ALS, Aug 13th, 2008, the day after my 30th wedding anniversary. You only mentioned ALS for about 10 minutes. just showed Roger trying to eat eggs, his hand shaking. Rest of the show was a cross between " Bucket List" and " Make a Wish" program for adluts...No explaining how is fatal disease attacks a healthy body and leaves it in a paralyzed shell with a sharp mind, who can nolonger talk, breath on their own, or can take care of theirselves...We need ALS AWARENESS to educate people about this disease that strikes anyone, it not choosey. Motor Neuron Diseases has been known about for over 140 years, sadly still no treatment or cure....When my GP retired and I had to find a new doctor, I would interview them and ask if they known anything about ALS---most of them had very little knowledge except that it was fatal. Most didn't want me as a patient...I found one that was happy to learn and wanted the challange...We just wanted more, and the show fell flat when it came to ALS awareness...You should have done better....show the good, bad and the ugly of this monster....I hope at when we try to have benefits or fundraiser, that people don't say to us, " Oh I watch that Live for the Moment, ALS doesn't seem so deadly. That guy, snowskied, climbed into a navy jet, ect..." If you do another disease please educate the people watching....not counting your money you make from the show....

February 03 2010 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great movie we did enjoy I cried often .Hubby he said the movie was nice but it did not tell anything about what ALS is about How do you live with ALS ? I was really surprised when th movie was over what he said h's a quit man. Next day at work a lady who has ALS friend was talking with him and how disappointed she was. He was really disappointed . My husband said he's the one who watches me suffer everyday , he knows what ALS is and this movie was not ALS. He suffers inside too I know caring for me . Hubby met me 2002 I was trying to survive in a Nursing Home. I'm sure I would have died if not he rescued me. I progressed quickly within a year I had cane, leg braces walker with seat & soon a wheel chair I could not walk at all nor no use of hands , arms. I used a Bi-Pap nights , naps. BED bound I am now, I need a vent as soon as possible. Income is low and our Country has no Home Care for disabled and Elderly . I want a chance to live. My hubby only 24/7 caregiver past 8 years with poor health he wants me to be able to have a vent & not die . He's upset at the movie what it portrayed ALS as , he said I have watch my wife suffer everyday , there is no joy in watching someone you love gasp for air , not able to stop choking and get a breath , only to keep her alive from going into Respiratory failure , I know ALS is not what this Movie was about , people living with ALS suffer each and everyday. My wife always smiles, she is always positive , & looking forward to the future and a CURE ! We are not sure how we will do this but i want her to have a vent and best care at home where she wants to be , where she should be ! Most people even in the Medical field DO NOT know what ALS is or about it. A PT boss was interviewing her for care the other day, asking her the day, who's the President, how many fingers he had up , He told her to close her eyes and he touch her with his pen and she should tell him where he was touching her. He said I can't believe you still have so much feeling . My wife told him people living with ALS DO NOT lose their feeling of touch , we do not lose our sense . He was rude & not the only one most ALL RN Nurse do not know about ALS , some neurologist .. Put the money into Research for a Cure for ALS how many decades have we been waiting :*( , money for things Pals needs, repite care , funds to ALS Guardian Angels an Angel always here/there for Pals like no other. When I got Dx I never heard of ALS. Most people i know and come across even in the medical Field do not know ALS . The movie was great like i said, good acting I know you all meant well i just wish there was ALS awareness in the show, Even little before and after. Maybe even an ALS person with cane or walker . At the end of show when over could have taken 5 minutes to tell about ALS and where people can go for help and where to make donations.

January 30 2010 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Alley's comment

Many many years ago, my wife was diagnosed with ALS. She survived 13 years with this affliction. Her friends disappeared, as did my family. This TV feel-good show outraged me. The ultimate loneliness and total dependence on others is what Roger will face. However, like every other film and documentary about ALS victims, there always seems to be plenty of money for the travels, special events, etc. etc. Let me be clear: This is intellectually dishonest.

January 30 2010 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Please visit our website at www.bike4als.com. We are trying to help ALS patients as we raise money and awareness. Stay strong.

February 02 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fern Cohen

I was diagnosed with ALS in January, 2004, but had symptoms as long as 10 years before my diagnosis. Although the 2-5 year prognosis is an average, there are developments in the last few years to help patients live a lot longer. I personally know a man in his 16th year and a woman in her 13th year with the illness. I try not to focus on the fact that I am dying, but cherish the fact that I am still living. I will say one thing though: there are often many friends and supporters at the beginning, but they fall off as the disease progresses. People get scared and uncomfortable and stop coming around. I hope all those friends and relatives that showed up at the end of the show, will stick around for the long run, as Roger's condition worsens and he really needs the love and support. I also hope they will be there to pitch in on the care Roger will need, because all the love in the world will not change the fact that his devoted wife and kids will be exhausted!!

January 29 2010 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Fern Cohen's comment

Please visit our website at www.bike4als.com. We are trying to raise awareness for ALS and help ALS patients and families. Stay strong. You are not alone.

February 02 2010 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ken Paprocki

The reviewer of this show sounds like a jerk. Maybe that's his angle. His 'voice' is childish and pouty and he comes across as someone who hasn't experienced much of anything in his life except TV. The first episode of a show is always the pancake that gets tossed out, so a little bit of constructive feedback instead of bitchiness, would've been useful. If this is how the reviewer thinks he gets his writing chops, think again.

January 29 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

please google: ALS versus Lyme

January 29 2010 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron Unruh

After an entire life of dreaming, fulfilling dreams, becoming educated, trained, working at a fulfilling career, making innumerable friendships, given great responsibility, having countless opportunities for growth and improvement and seeing many countries of our world, I find myself blessed.

Did I always live life, truly live it? I am not convinced that I have. I spent a lot of days and weeks getting life done. I probably theorized that the best use of my time was the work I did and the tasks I completed. I learned to become a stellar organized man, and effective administrator. Christine often reminded me to be more spontaneous. Perhaps I am being too hard on myself in this assessment yet I realize now that the best use of my time requires that I know what is most important and then give myself to that.

The lesson was reinforced on Thursday evening when I watched a reality TV show called "Live For the Moment."

January 29 2010 at 7:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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