Review: Live for the Moment - Roger Childs (series premiere)
by Michael Pascua, posted Jan 29th 2010 1:20AM
(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.