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MTV gets serious

”My Life as Liz,” ”The Buried Life,” and ”Teen Mom” are among the networks new, more mature programming

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Three thought-provoking new shows prove the Jersey Shore network might be maturing.

MTV has a dirty little secret that’s easy to overlook when blinded by the glare of over-tanned ”Guidos”: It’s growing up. Three reality series on its current slate are proving to be surprisingly provocative and actually real. Premiering Jan. 18, My Life as Liz follows an alterna-teenager from Texas struggling to find herself, while companion series The Buried Life depicts a group of pals making their bucket-list dreams (kiss Megan Fox!) and the dreams of strangers (find my son!) come true. Teen Mom, which was MTV’s top debut of 2009, documents the challenges of children raising children. These series — and even this season’s D.C.-set Real World, which has tried to inject some gravitas into the franchise (no threesomes yet!) — may be one small step for television, but they’re one giant leap for MTV.

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