I have to admit, when I saw the first promo for MTV’s The Buried Life, it was reality-TV love at first sight. Because I love lists, and I love people helping people, and I love the idea of four fresh-faced Canadian bros (Duncan, Ben, Dave, and Jonnie) bonding on a cross-country bus trip, taking life by the reins, and crossing ridiculous tasks off their bucket list to prove that (almost) anything is possible. As long as you can break dance, chill inside a cake for six hours, and impersonate a postal worker without facing jail time. Tonight, in the last episode of the season, Duncan, Ben, Dave, and Jonnie attempt #85: Throw the Most Badass Party Ever.
The Buried Life definitely tows a fine line between stereotypical boyish antics—their first task was to “attend” (as in, break into and enter) the Playboy Mansion—and sincere do-good-ing when they pay their what-do-you-want-to-do-before-you-die mission forward. The first episodes focused more on the antics: first they hit up Playboy; then they crashed three weddings; and then Ben posed as an Entertainment Weekly reporter (oh, the blasphemy) to ask out Megan Fox. It seemed like an elaborate excuse for 20-somethings to pull some self-indulgent stunts…but then Jonnie, with his own fear of heights, joined a terrified teenage girl on a rollercoaster to overcome hers. The next week, the crew raised money to send Queen, a Katrina survivor, to visit her mother’s grave for the first time. Her immediate crumpling was compelling, and so were her words: “These people are great. They got me to you, thank God.”
For me, though, the season reached its impulsive-yet-bighearted peak in D.C., when the guys try to play basketball with President Obama. They take their campaign to the radio in search of presidential “ins,” and Jonnie tells us that “it’s actually not even about the game, it’s a symbolic thing.” His bros all nod in earnest agreement; I melt in front of the TV. In a matter of days, these four random Canadians manage to connect with Congressmen, cabinet members, and even Obama’s personal aide, while they also reunite four middle-aged friends in Rhode Island. Seemingly improbable but wildly possible, which is how most of their tasks are.
They’re too idealistic for their own good, maybe, and too willing to break federal laws every week. But after this first season, my inner schmaltz is on board that purple bus named Penelope to see how far these guys’ sheer will and ingenuity will take them. Not to mention the people they help along the way. What about you, PopWatchers? What are your favorite moments from the show? And what are you dying to cross off your list, “Buried Life”-style?