Vice on HBO

I first heard of Vice in conjunction with Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea. At the time, many people poo-poo’d the show as being sensationalist. As a result, I didn’t give it a chance. Last week, I happened to catch the first show of Season 2 and thought it was excellent. So over the weekend, I went back and watched 7 episodes from Season 1. For the most part, I thought they were great as well. The show is very thought-provoking and entertaining. Even the Rodman NK episode was good. It was really their only way into North Korea. While I do agree with it being sensationalist, I don’t think that anything is misrepresented or fictional.

I wonder what the SDMB world thinks of the show.

I’ve only seen one episode. The one that played last night.

It was about the money being spent in Afghanistan by the US to aid in the reconstruction of the country. The reporter called it the American “You broke it, you bought it” nation building policy. They showed a brand new electrical power plant that was built by the US. It sits just outside of Kabul, idle. The locals do not have the knowledge nor the interest in running it. Instead they continue to buy their energy from Uzbekistan and Tadgikistan. The plant is diesel powered and there is a large fuel tank that sits next to it. It holds about 15 million gallons of fuel and the US continues to purchase fuel for the plant at $10,000,000 per fill up. Where does the fuel go if the power plant isn’t on line producing energy?

In addition to that, the US is purchasing broken down military helicopters from Russia for the Afghan army. Something like $40,000,000 worth of broken down and obsolete helicopters. The Afghans do not have pilots to fly them nor mechanics who can maintain them. But more continue to arrive.

The last ten minutes of the show was about Brazil and the corruption taking place with respect to drug lords and astounding murder rate in the Rio slums. Something like 50,000 people go missing each year. They use the term “missing” to mean killed. The cops and the gov’t are taking bribes from the drug traffickers. With the world cup this year and olympics in 2016, the issue is being swept under the rug more than ever.

All that to say… interesting show and does not appear to sensationalize the stories. I’m going to keep watching.

That’s the episode that I watched on Friday night that made me go back and watch Season 1 via HBO On Demand.

Thanks for reminding me to remake a timer for this. I got a new DVR and am having trouble remembering everything to record.

I avoided it for a while for the same reasons the OP did but tried it halfway through its first season (eventually saw all the episodes including last week’s new one). I find it well done and eye opening. Almost a younger skewing Frontline.

Yeah, this show and Vice in general are 100% awesome. Let me make your night wish some awesome videos.

If you have some extra time, I recommend:

Vice Guide to North Korea: The original one that got Shane banned from the country.
Ukraine is Burning: they filmed this during the opening weeks of the protests there. Yes, Vice was there.

North Korea Labor Camps in Ruissia: Well, he couldn’t return to N. Korea…so he rode trains in Russia until he found N. Koreans in work camps there. 100% awesome.

Prior thread on the topic:

I kind of liken it to a 60 Minutes for the 21st century. They do some insane stories, and go places where most news agencies won’t go. One of my favorite episodes is the one they do in Liberia, which is literally the most lawless place on earth.

They get some shit from critics about their reporting and corporate sponsorship. I can’t recall where I heard it, but someone was less than impressed with their funding sources and Shane Smith. That guy Thomas, who went boxing in Africa and did the story in Indonesia about kids smoking, is a pretty ballsy dude.

Saw the Afghanistan episode this weekend… talk about a money pit…

I was able to catch the latest episode last night. I told my GF that we won’t be having any kids. The “Greenland is Melting” segment and the “Venice is Sinking” from last season have convinced me that the Climate Change is far, far worse than our former worst case predictions. This world might be a complete mess very soon.