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MTV: Beyond Jersey Shore

Courtney Cox | Thursday, February 4, 2010

The show begins each week with a slow reading of, “What would YOU like to do before you die?” The concept is universal, at some point everyone will die; yet it remains up to each individual to make the most of the time they are given. “The Buried Life” follows four individuals in their mid-twenties trying to do just this. Ben, the leader of the group, felt that it was important to give their lives direction. Pretty darn existential for an MTV show. As a team they created a list of 100 things to do collectively and the show simply follows them as they try to accomplish what they want most out of life.

The first episode featured the group attempting to sneak into the Playboy Mansion. Of course they managed to find the most difficult way to go about doing this. Two of the four manage to do this only because they were willing to sit inside of a cake for seven hours dressed as oompa loompas. This may not have been a smart choice for a first episode simply because it would appear that not many women would like to sneak into the Playboy Mansion. In fact women could probably enter dressed as nothing (or in nothing) in particular. This episode may not have showcased the best aspects of the project, but it still gave viewers the general idea.

The Playboy Mansion fiasco was then followed by the boys making a toast and asking out the girl of their dreams, Megan Fox. This was not necessarily the most original choice for “the girl of your dreams” but to each his own. The main problem with Ben choosing Megan Fox as the girl of his dreams is that it showed nothing about the guys in the show. It would have been much more meaningful had one of them chosen a girl from their past. Wishful thinking.

The interesting thing about “The Buried Life” is that it isn’t just a show. It is most accurately described as a project. These four bros have been attempting to fulfill their wildest dreams since 2006. This would definitely make it difficult to complete task 11, get a college degree, but honestly 99/100 isn’t that bad.

The best part of the entire project is the fact that for each thing they complete on their list, they help someone else do something they want to do in their life. Everyone they talk to has an amazing story and the fact that they were able to help people they just met is so powerful. While it is compelling to watch these four guys do some of the craziest things ever, it is even more fascinating to see them help with the most basic goals.

In the first episode the group raises money by performing on the street to help provide a poor school with a working computer. They went to the school to simply talk with the kids about following their dreams and setting goals for things to do before they die, and they came back the next day with a brand new Apple desktop computer. The reactions of the little kids were priceless. They all started screaming and it was the most triumphant moment of the show.

The real reason to watch the show is not to see a bunch of twenty-something men goof off; it’s to see the sincere reactions of the people they help. As far as MTV shows are concerned, “The Buried Life” goes beyond what may be expected from the network that brought you “The Jersey Shore.”

Contact Courtney Cox at ccox3@nd.edu