HBO News Blog

VICE: Episode 04 Love & Rockets – Review

By Jef Dinsmore on Apr 28, 2013 to Vice



Overview: “Love & Rockets” is the title of episode 4. The first segment is the “Love” part of the equation with CHINESE COCKBLOCK. In this piece viewers will understand the implications of China’s One Child Rule. puts it this way: What happens when 50 million men can’t get laid? China’s “one child” policy, coupled with a longstanding cultural predilection for male babies, has created a market where marrying-age men outnumber women by the millions. The fabric of this social engineering has thrown old-fashioned courtship out the window and created a lucrative business catered to matchmaking. VICE travels across China to meet with bachelors searching for love, and talk to a professional matchmaker who explains the scope of the issue.VICEhost_SSmith

The second piece is about the blast of revolutionary “Rockets” in EUROPEAN MELTDOWN. described it thus: With their economy in the toilet and no jobs to be had, Europe’s youth are taking to the streets to demand radical changes. There has been a rise in extremism on both ends of the spectrum, as people respond to economic precocity and political impotency. VICE heads to Greece and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit by the financial crisis, to see how the youth are responding.

Expectations: I already see where this edition is going. It is going to be one of those shows where you go in thinking – “Well, I’ve heard about that” and after its conclusion you say “I had no idea.” Take CHINESE COCKBLOCK. I have heard of China’s Once Child Rule before; I know it has existed for decades. But, I have never mulled over the complications and implications of the policy. By the time the piece concludes I am sure to have a better understanding. As for EUROPEAN MELTDOWN I can say that I am aware of civil unrest in a number of countries; I’ve seen it on the news. They show the pictures of smoke bombs fogging the scene and someone dragged off by police but I don’t really know what they are revolting about. I expect VICE to enlighten me on both topics. I might not get the whole picture but I will get a clearer view of the Love and Rockets than I do now.MortonandDate_VICE

Review: CHINESE COCKBLOCK reported by correspondent Thomas Morton. Well, how about that, finally a light-hearted piece. I must admit, though it is nice to have a segment with a lighter tone, it seemed to really gloss over the ramifications of the One Child policy. Morton really just summed it all up in a few sentences the rest of it was a dating game. I did find the quote that the finding of mates is not a romantic issue but an economic one to be most interesting.

On that thought, I was actually thinking it would be a good situation for the women to be in because they could get their hands on any male they wanted, where the men, on the other hand, would be filled with frustrations, randy and otherwise. The males are competing for a “piece” of the action. Who’d a thought that a half-ass karaoke competition was the way? As for the women, they are being particularly picky of their choice because of the economic factors briefly spelled out here. My “I had no idea” moment was seeing the marriage brokerage happening in the city park.  I found it interesting but not overly enlightening. I can say that it is a social experiment gone wrong and that Thomas Morton proved quite amused and amusing.VICE_Emeltdown

EUROPEAN MELTDOWN reported by Shane Smith. In the episode’s intro Smith said he and Ryan Duffy were in Europe though, from what I saw, Shane Smith was the only correspondent on camera. I thought that this segment had two different stories within it. First, there was the civil unrest in Spain and then it moved quickly to Greece and most of the segment was about the revolution on the streets of Athens. Ryan could have done a separate Spain piece so that an entire segment could have been focused on Shane and the hot-spots in Greece. That comment, however, is merely a minor grumble obviously.

In Spain, the taking over of the streets is a whole different approach than what we see in Greece and, from what I could tell, just as effective. The mobilization of the people to the streets causing havoc and dissent invoked a gridlock in the demonstration we witnessed. If you didn’t catch the factoid it was stated that the Spaniards and this tactic led to the creation of Occupy Wall Street, etc. that we have seen in the U. S. The tactic proved effective on the streets and surprised me how easily it did so. This segment, more seriously taken than the first, did allow me a chuckle. I let one out in the scene where protesters were defacing the community and one person picked up a small object and wailed it at a bus-stop ad sign which resulted in zero damage. Ha, ha.

The methods of the Greeks however showed me my “I had no idea” moment. Call me naive but I had no idea how extreme the factions were here. The Golden Dawn clearly warrants an entire segment to itself, though the airtime given it here was enough to enlighten me. Is all of Greece this volatile, this adamant, this intense? I know we have illegal immigrant isVICE_GoldenDawnsue here but we are not handling like this. Should we be? I also know we are not given the whole picture here but this makes it sounds like people are spending more time revolting in the streets than looking at economic solutions in parliament or whatever. One more thought on this segment. Shane Smith sure knows how to finagle his way into getting an interview with the dangerous and unpredictable doesn’t he?

In Conclusion: This proved anther good episode though, for me, CHINESE COCKBLOCK did not fully delve into the ramifications of China’s problem. It was nice to have that segment though. Not every piece should be about the doom and gloom of the world. I had no idea that VICE could change it up for HBO; they do so at  I’m sure as the series continues there will be many more “I had no idea” moments.

The Morning After Clip is a bit different this week. Hosting this recap is Faheed Zakaria who is an executive producer of the show and a consultant on matters pertinent to the show’s content. He is an experts in international trade and foreign policy relations making part of the team and now on camera. Peace.

  • I love Vice, but I actually felt that this episode fell victim to sensationalism, at least in the European segment. There is no denying the fact that we are in serious economic trouble over here, and Greece and Spain are undoubtedly the worst affected areas. However, the manner in which the segment was framed made it seem as if these riots and chaotic events are the norm all over Europe. That is most definitely not the case. The icing on the cake was the little montage at the end showing Sweden and England…isolated, once-off clashes that in reality were dealt with quickly and efficiently, and have since been forgotten due to how irrelevant they were.

    As I said, I love Vice and the work that Shane and co. do, but their portrayal of the situation in Europe was pretty exaggerated!

  • This is my first episode that I watched

    I feel that I know a little bit more then most about the situation in Greece obviously since I am greek and still have many family members that live in Greece and see these actions first hand

    I like the show I think it has a true potential to inform and educate people all that I ask that you dig a little deeper into the European financial crisis and not show the rioting in the streets or the only violence but show the families that are trying to raise there children and be productive members of the society

    The immigrant situation in Greece is bad only because of the lack of rules or lets say regulation in the laws that allow all these people to enter into the country and cry political asylum.

    The Greeks as a people have so much to offer to this world only if we were given the chance to be listened too


    the old rule has stayed in power and will not let go that needs to be changed but using a non violent manner

  • I REALLY like this show. Please keep it going, HBO! I love how they give you so much in 30 minutes. Everyone should be able to give this a watch.

    • Exactly what he said! This show has really captivated me, and I don’t like “newsy” stuff, so I’m pleasantly surprised. I’m always bummed when it ends!

Find an HBO Series

More HBO

Subscribe to HBO
Countries HBO Is In
Watch Game of Thrones Online
Watch The Leftovers Online
Watch Silicon Valley Online
HBO Premiere & Air Dates
True Detective Streaming
Other Streaming Television
HBO Boxing Live Stream
Game of Thrones on DVD & Blu-Ray
Watch Cinemax Online