8.6
518 votes
VICE

VICE

HBO 2013

The Emmy®-winning documentary series is now on SHOWTIME, delivering immersive reporting from the frontlines of global conflicts, civil uprisings and beyond, and tackling untold and complex geopolitical stories from all corners of the globe.

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The 10 Best Episodes of VICE

VICE - S1E10

#1 - The Hermit Kingdom

8.61

Season 1 - Episode 10

'Basketball Diplomacy' - U.S. relations with North Korea have been strained to the breaking point by the country’s disturbing nuclear-weapons threats, backed by “supreme leader” Kim Jong-un’s anti-American rhetoric. Fortunately, Kim shares one of his late father’s passions: American basketball. With that in mind, and through official and backdoor channels, VICE organized an unlikely, highly publicized trip to North Korea, hoping to thaw out relations through some hoops diplomacy. With NBA great Dennis Rodman and a trio of exuberant Harlem Globetrotters in tow, VICE traveled to the capital of Pyongyang for a surreal tour of the city, a basketball clinic with under-18 players, an exhibition game witnessed by Kim and 10,000 adoring fans, and - most surprising - a first-ever meeting between the baby-faced leader and an American delegation.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of VICE from 236 votes.

VICE - S1E7

#2 - Addiction

8.30

Season 1 - Episode 7

'Tobaccoland' - The dangers of smoking are no secret in the U.S., but in Indonesia, the tobacco industry is virtually unregulated. The result? Over two-thirds of all men are smokers, and it is commonplace for children as young as six to take up the habit. Tobacco is a $100 billion industry here, with TV and print ads everywhere. Investigating this phenomenon in Malang, VICE visits a clinic that promises cures to a plethora of modern ailments through tobacco and smoking – with our intrepid correspondent getting the full smoke-therapy treatment. 'Underground Heroin Clinic' - Heroin is the most addictive drug on earth, and some people will do anything to kick the habit. Enter Ibogaine – a drug made out of the African iboga root, whose intense, hallucinogenic properties make it a Type-A felony drug. But many swear it's the most effective way to kick heroin addiction – especially when combined with a voodoo-type ritual that involves face paint and chanting. VICE follows the journey of a heroin addict who travels to Mexico, where Ibogaine is legal, to try to finally quit.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of VICE from 215 votes.

VICE - S7E7

#3 - Fighting COVID & Atomic Atolls

8.18

Season 7 - Episode 7

Following front-line healthcare workers as they take on the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis; the nuclear legacy of the United States' atomic weapons testing in the Marshall Islands and the negative impacts on its people.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of VICE from 40 votes.

VICE - S7E1

#4 - Keepers of the Caliphate & SIM Kids

8.17

Season 7 - Episode 1

VICE correspondent Hind Hassan explores the resurgence of ISIS, as brigades of radicalized ISIS women have started to regroup within al-Hol camp, where tens of thousands of women and children who once lived under The Islamic State and are now held; VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu examines the unlikely origins of what some call the perfect crime, and explores the urgent implications for personal security, digital identity, and the persistent industry inaction on SIM swapping.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of VICE from 52 votes.

VICE - S4E13

#5 - State of Surveillance

8.15

Season 4 - Episode 13

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of massive government surveillance programs in 2013, igniting a raging debate over digital privacy and security. That debate came to a head this year, when Apple fought an FBI court order seeking to access the iPhone of alleged San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. Meanwhile, journalists and activists are under increasing attack from foreign agents. To find out the government’s real capabilities, and investigate whether any of us can truly protect our sensitive information, founder Shane Smith heads to Moscow to meet Snowden.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of VICE from 293 votes.

VICE - S6E1

#6 - Raised in the System

8.11

Season 6 - Episode 1

Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams embarks on a personal journey to expose the root of the American mass incarceration crisis: the juvenile justice system.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of VICE from 112 votes.

VICE - S2E6

#7 - Rocky Mountain High & North Korean Defectors

8.10

Season 2 - Episode 6

'Rocky Mountain High' - The legalization of marijuana in the United States is now a reality. Businessmen, and even lawmakers are trying to capitalize on the potential success of the end of marijuana prohibition. David Choe looks at the rising entrepreneurs and businesses of this ever-growing trade. 'North Korean Defectors' - Last season, VICE on HBO followed the lives of the North Korean defectors on their perilous journey escaping the Hermit Kingdom. Vikram Gandhi follows the paths of these defectors and their new lives in the highly modernized society of South Korea.

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of VICE from 184 votes.

VICE - S5E3

#8 - When the Earth Melts & The Displaced

8.10

Season 5 - Episode 3

“When the Earth Melts” - VICE Correspondent Ben Anderson travels across the Arctic to examine the devastating impact of thawing permafrost--and the astonishing solution that might keep it frozen. “Displaced” - VICE Correspondent Gianna Toboni follows the journey of refugees journeying across the Mediterranean Sea who have been left in limbo due to the tightening borders of an increasingly nationalist Europe.

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of VICE from 251 votes.

VICE - S2E9

#9 - Crude Awakening & The Enemy of My Enemy

8.08

Season 2 - Episode 9

'Crude Awakening' - Shane Smith heads to Louisiana to report on the lasting effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where four years later, mass quantities of oil still wash ashore. 'The Enemy of My Enemy' - Ben Anderson goes deep into Houthi-controlled territory to learn about the group that’s fighting, and beating, Al Qaeda in the east, Saudi Arabia in the north, and Yemen’s central government in the south.

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of VICE from 165 votes.

VICE - S2E7

#10 - The Pink Gang Rebellion & Genetic Passport

8.08

Season 2 - Episode 7

'The Pink Gang Rebellion' - The brutal details of a 2012 gang rape on a Delhi bus focused international attention on India’s rampant rape issue. Inept law enforcement, the social stigma associated with rape, and a patriarchal social structure have allowed sexual assaults to plague Indian women. But one woman, Sampat Pal, has galvanized a group of rural women into the Gulabi Gang, or Pink Gang, to combat the injustice of sexual assault. Gelareh Kiazand heads to rural Indian to investigate the issue and embed with this revolutionary gang. 'Genetic Passport' - From 1949 to 1989, the Soviet Union, determined to prepare for nuclear warfare, detonated more than 450 nuclear bombs in an area of Kazakhstan known as the Semipalatinsk Test Site. For hundreds of thousands of Kazakhs, radiation not only surrounded them, but became part of their DNA. Thomas Morton goes to Kazakhstan to learn more about this controversial initiative.

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of VICE from 171 votes.

VICE - S1E5
#11 - Winners & Losers
8.07
Season 1 - Episode 5

'Mormon Lost Boys' - In today's Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) Church, many young men have been thrown out of their homes because of an edict allowing polygamist church elders to monopolize all the eligible young girls.  These "lost boys," few of whom have even an 8th-grade education, must adjust to a drastically different America than the one they grew up in.  We travel to Colorado Springs to meet some of these young men and listen to their harrowing stories. 'The Fat Farms of Mauritania' - Ironically, in one of the world's poorest countries, obesity is a sign of beauty and wealth. In the West African country of Mauritania, parents send their daughters to rural fattening camps, where they are force-fed over 15,000 calories a day in camel milk, figs, oiled breadcrumbs and couscous.  VICE sends its skinniest correspondent to one of these camps to examine the impact of force-feeding on young women in a society that loves them so plump.  Mumbai Slumscraper: Nowhere in the world is the collision of caste and future more apparent than in Mumbai, where more than half its residents live in slums sprawled in the shadow of billion-dollar, single-family skyscrapers. VICE travels to Mumbai's Dharavi slum, where over a million people live in abject poverty while billion-dollar single-family skyscrapers are being built on top of them.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of VICE from 227 votes.

VICE - S2E10
#12 - Playing With Nuclear Fire & No Man Left Behind
8.05
Season 2 - Episode 10

‘Playing with Nuclear Fire’ - In March 2011, the Tohoku earthquake in Japan created a tsunami that killed some 16,000 people and caused an estimated $210 billion worth of damage, including crippling the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant resulting in massive emissions of radioactive materials. Vikram Gandhi heads to Japan to investigate what's really going on at ground zero of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. ‘No Man Left Behind’ - For many U.S. veterans returning from Iran and Afghanistan, the transition to civilian life is too often marred by mental illnesses including anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ryan Duffy meets with veterans struggling with mental illness and addiction to find out how the men and women who risked their lives on the battlefield are now falling through the cracks back at home.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of VICE from 165 votes.

VICE - S4E16
#13 - Die Trying
8.03
Season 4 - Episode 16

The 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge raised millions of dollars for ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease, but while the social media wave gave new life to ALS research, there is still no viable treatment and access to experimental drugs is limited. Battling ALS herself, VICE editor Angelina Fanous meets with patients and top researchers across the U.S. to find out what's being done to tackle this devastating disease and the regulatory hurdles faced by ALS patients and drugmakers alike.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of VICE from 161 votes.

VICE - S3E14
#14 - Cold War 2.0
8.02
Season 3 - Episode 14

The increasingly strained relationship between Russia and NATO is examined in the Season 3 finale, which includes remarks by U.S. president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of VICE from 168 votes.

VICE - S4E9
#15 - The Future of Energy
8.00
Season 4 - Episode 9

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last December, world leaders agreed that climate change is an urgent threat, cementing green energy production as a new frontier of innovation. VICE founder Shane Smith takes an in-depth look at the future of how we make and use energy, and how we can meet growing demand as we cut carbon emissions.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of VICE from 279 votes.

#16 - Battle for Idlib & Seeking Solitude
8.00
Season 7 - Episode 3

Correspondent Isobel Yeung gains rare access inside Idlib, Syria's last rebel-held territory, as President Assad and his allies mount a brutal bombing offensive that has civilians paying the highest price; Correspondent Dexter Thomas goes on lockdown in South Korea to search for the benefits of isolation -- ironically, just weeks before the rest of the world would join him in their COVID-19 quarantines.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of VICE from 38 votes.

VICE - S2E4
#17 - A Syria of Their Own & White Gold
7.99
Season 2 - Episode 4

'A Syria of Their Own' - Thomas Morton goes to the frontline of the battle for a Kurdish state to follow the story of Syria's forgotten ethnic group, the Kurds. 'White Gold' - Rhino horn has been coveted in Eastern medicine for centuries. Vikram Gandhi traces the trade from Southern Africa to Vietnam to understand this illicit phenomenon which has been on the rise.

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of VICE from 187 votes.

VICE - S2E1
#18 - The Afghan Money Pit & The Pacification of Rio
7.99
Season 2 - Episode 1

'The Afghan Money Pit' - The U.S. has spent nearly $100 billion on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, the most spent on any country in history. But John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, has found that much of that money has been wasted and misused, and has even fallen into the hands of the Taliban. Shane Smith heads to Afghanistan for a tour of American taxpayer dollars gone down the drain. 'The Pacification of Rio' - Rio de Janeiro is working hard to remedy its reputation as a drug and murder capital in time for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics. The Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) has been charged with pacifying the slums (favelas), but BOPE's military occupation of increasing numbers of favelas has been criticized as heavy-handed. Some corrupt members of the BOPE, together with ex-police, have formed militia gangs of their own and are controlling many favelas by sinister means, openly extorting, torturing, killing and making criminals disappear. Still, there are hundreds of favelas, untouched by pacification, that remain under the control of drug gangs who act with complete impunity. Ben Anderson looks behind the picturesque façade of Rio's marketing campaign to reveal the dark underbelly of the city.

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of VICE from 253 votes.

VICE - S2E3
#19 - American Scrap & Children of the Drones
7.97
Season 2 - Episode 3

'American Scrap' - Ailing American manufacturing cities like Detroit and Cleveland are experiencing a boom in a new trend known as scrapping. David Choe looks into the life cycle of scrap metal, from the people that risk their lives to find it, to the yards that buy the metal, all the way to the Chinese traders who funnel it back home. 'Children of the Drones' - Suroosh Alvi investigates the effects of drone strikes in Pakistan, where extremism and militancy are only growing in the wake of Obama's drone campaign.

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of VICE from 200 votes.

VICE - S1E9
#20 - Gangs & Oil
7.96
Season 1 - Episode 9

'Chiraq' - The lethal combination of gangs and guns has turned Chicago into a war zone. To see why the Windy City, now dubbed "Chiraq," had the country’s highest homicide rate in 2012, VICE visits Chicago's most dangerous areas, where handguns are plentiful and the police and community leaders are fighting a losing battle against gang violence. In the neighborhood of Englewood, we patrol with police, visit with religious leaders, and hang out with members of gangs – soldiers in a turf war that has spread into new communities as projects are destroyed and residents are forced to move elsewhere. 'Nigeria’s Oil Pirates' - High unemployment, political corruption, and the unequal sharing of oil resources have turned today’s Niger Delta into a hell on earth. Oil theft has become big business in Nigeria, costing oil companies more than $7 billion per year while polluting coastal farmlands and fisheries – and wrecking the lives and livelihoods of local residents. VICE travels to Africa’s oil-producing region to meet with oil thieves who refine and sell oil in West Africa, and follows one farmer’s attempt to sue a foreign oil company for poisoning his family’s land.

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of VICE from 226 votes.

Last updated: apr 01, 2021

Comments

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This is such a great, great show. Talk about brave journalism. It's really admirable what these are doing and it leads to an amazing program.

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Quite an interesting format, reporting about issues not often enough talked or reported about in the "mainstream media". Tho I think some of the hipsters working there seem kinda unfit for the job, I'm nonetheless looking forward to the coming episodes and issues tackled there!

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The series, as of season 7 airs on SHOWTIME in the US, not HBO

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I enjoy watching the episodes despite disagreeing with their blatant liberal bias. We are all people of different opinions, but I prefer being told the facts, rather than how to feel about them from a third party. With that said, keep it up Shane, I've been a long time fan of your work.

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HBO just ordered 2 new seasons, great news! :)

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I have no idea if this is the show I'm looking for, but hopefully it is.. This is what I'm hoping for; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X51rPtxmd3Y&hd=1 http://www.hbo.com/vice?cmpid=ABC1325

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