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Unearthing ‘The Buried Life’

In 2006, four Canadians asked the question, “What do you want to do before you die?”

In 2006, four Canadians asked the question, “What do you want to do before you die?” The guys now help strangers attain those goals in their MTV series “The Buried Life,” currently in its second season. Stars Ben Nemtin and Jonnie Penn talk about making dreams come true and their own bucket lists.

The show originally started as a documentary ...

Penn: We wanted to make a documentary and then we were like, “Ugh, nobody watches documentaries.” So we decided to make a TV show.

Nemtin: Actually, number 53 on our list was to make a television show. Jonnie does a lot of the editing and so we just put together a pilot and said, “Let’s do it.”

What’s the decision process for choosing which things you cross off as part of an episode?

Penn: Last season we went from a garage to playing basketball with Obama. We thought, for Season 2, we wanted to go even bigger. We’ve added things that weren’t even on the list; we cooked up some new stuff. For everything that we do ourselves, we try to help someone, even if it’s really emotional and ambitious.

How long do you think you’ll be doing “The Buried Life”?

Nemtin: The thing that started this all is the question “What do you want to do before you die?” Our goal is to ask as many people that question as possible.

Penn: This was only supposed to be a two-week road trip. The project just took on a life of its own and so we’re just gonna keep going with it. I think our priorities will change; I don’t think we’ll wanna crash the Playboy mansion as much as we’ll want to buy a home and settle down.

 
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