Issuing in an era of a new more socially conscious programming, MTV ended it’s premier season of The Buried Life tonight. The show captures a few months in the life of four twenty-something best friends with one big question, “What do you want to do before you die?”
For every task they cross off of their own list, they help someone else cross one off of theirs. Of course while the boys’ tasks are always free-spirited and fun, the person they help is usually in need of some actual help. Hence, MTV’s attempt at new programming for an “Obama era.”
The boys started the project a few years ago to inspire their friends. Somewhere down the line, they started filming and documenting their endeavors and, after some press, they inevitably started receiving some television offers. Apparently, they declined until they were offered a deal that would allow them complete creative freedom… enter MTV.
Moving away from critically panned superficial reality is a great idea for MTV. I don’t think they necessarily have to go back to being absolutely music oriented, as they were at birth, as most people suggest. I think the entertainment industry is so intertwined and twisted at this point, and ratings for reality prove more lucrative. The somewhat new music captioning feature used to alert viewers as to what song is playing in the soundtrack during series episodes was a great call. Also, MTV has brother channels that are entirely music oriented, and I think that’s enough.
I know there is some criticism surrounding The Buried Life and MTV’s guardianship of the series. Obviously, if MTV puts its logo on something, it needs to have some input. Apparently, nothing is staged or scripted, and I actually do believe that for once. That being said, I think it’s a lot easier to do things like breaking into the Playboy Mansion and throwing the best party of all time starring Naughty By Nature when you’re surrounded by an MTV production crew. Then again, these boys also helped out a lot of people this season as part of their MTV television show. Also, lets not forget that when you film a TV show you need permissions from anyone shown and that could have been a hinderance. I do believe, though, that people are more willing to open up and meet new friends than most assume, so while the allure of cameras may be an incentive to approach the boys of the show, and to take part in their shenanigans, I think of it as more of an ice breaker than a deal breaker.
The point of the show and the project is to inspire people to get out and do something with their lives, and that’s what really counts. Considering the demographic to be American high school kids, I don’t think that’s a bad idea at all. Growing up in this sort of social atmosphere, I don’t think young people are encouraged to dream enough anymore. In addition, I think sensibility is the absolute wrong direction to move in.
That safe and secure desk job you always had stored somewhere in the back of your head just in case your dreams flop isn’t there anymore, so is there even an excuse to fail? Use this to your advantage because all you have are your dreams. The Buried Life is a testament to what a little self belief can do when paired with a whole lot of charm.