Media Analysis: “The Buried Life”

Just like a lot of people in this country, I am a sucker for reality television. There is something interesting about being able to escape your own hectic life for half an hour or an hour and looking into the lives of other people. Most of the time these shows aren’t groundbreaking or have a strong message. However, a recent show on MTV called “The Buried Life” represents a new direction and transition in the world of reality TV. I have fallen in love with this show because it is not only entertaining but inspiring and thought provoking. Who would have thought that MTV would support a show that doesn’t include rich girls running around Los Angeles or roommates fighting and making out in a hot tub? Finally, there is a show with substance.

“The Buried Life” is about four Canadian guys in there 20’s who compiled a list of things they want to do before they die. They travel around North America in their purple bus, Penelope, crossing items off their list. There is a nice touch though. For everything they do on their list, they help a stranger do something on their own list. The guys began this project in 2006 on their own with the help of private donations and sponsorships. Even though MTV airs the show, the guys have complete creative control. They film and edit everything themselves, and it is their own responsibility to get things done on the list.

The New York Times published an article in April 2009 about the new direction MTV is trying to take. “The Buried Life” is part of this transition into showcasing the good of reality television. I think the new direction deserves a big “Amen!” Obviously, it wont happen over night, but at least it is a step forward. I really believe that our generation can be powerful and have an affect on society in a positive way. I wish that there would be more shows that would represent our generation like “The Buried Life” does, instead of the sleazy, immature way most shows do these days.

At one point in the article it says, “Meet MTV for the era of Obama.” President Obama definitely found a way to appeal to the younger voting generation. It set him apart from the other candidates, and the fact that he won says something about our generation. Maybe we aren’t the lazy, unmotivated youth we are sometimes labeled as being. Instead we can be motivating and ask some important questions, just like the “The Buried Life”.

What do you want to do before you die?

About Susie Bartel

I am a Senior at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism (magazine) and minoring in multimedia.
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