This is the second of four pieces in a series of entertaining MTV shows of the recent past that were cancelled. First up is The Buried Life.
#74: Help deliver a baby
#91: Get married in Vegas
#50 Streak a field
The list goes on, well to 100, but those three goals come from the list of “100 things to do before you die” made by the guys from The Buried Life. Duncan, Ben, Jonnie, and Dave were able to take a simple concept and inspire a nation, or so I like to think, to live out their dreams.
The show only aired 18 episodes, all coming in 2010, but the legacy of the show continues on due to the continued efforts of the group.
The group’s list could have been enough of a concept for a television show, but each goal was only half of each episode. The real goal of the group was to improve the lives of others, which makes their efforts truly memorable. Whether it be helping a homeless man reunite with his daughter or helping to organize a protest, the group did things that truly helped others. It was not a show about four young guys doing awesome things every day, but rather a show about giving back when in a position to do so.
The fact that it came from guys in their twenties is the truly amazing part of the show. They used the resource of having a television show on a major network to enhance the lives of others. From a network that features shows almost exclusively not centered around morally righteous behavior, wrote the 80-year old me, The Buried Life offered a fantastic alternative. Basically, they were philanthropists without the personal fortunes, which worked thanks to MTV’s support.
The show mirrors the efforts seen on World of Jenks and Catfish in the sense that helping others is the goal, while also doing something fulfilling. Not that Nev of Catfish fame feels fulfilled when he lets someone know that several years of their life if a lie, but he is able to help them confront a situation and also move past it if need be.
Moving away from the on-screen action, the message from the show has spread and is perfect for those of truly any age. It is geared toward a younger audience, but there is no reason why someone in their 40’s or 50’s could not be inspired by the efforts of four Canadian twenty-somethings.
The show offers the inspiration and motivation to go out and do things that people have always wanted to do, no matter how crazy or nerve-racking, before their time on Earth comes to an end. This does not mean that everyone should make their goal to get to the Moon or talk to a girl at a bar, but they should do things that they have always wanted to do that are realistic, but just lacked prior motivation to follow through on.
Seeing a show like this gives hope to television viewers who may be sick of the current product as a whole (although Game of Thrones makes up for much of the negatives), even though it only lasted two seasons. But the efforts and the message of the show continue and and will continue to do so into the future, because the message is not difficult: “What do you want to do before you die?”
Header image via bradtiemann.com