Series Overview: The dynamic news show VICE kicked off its 14-edition third season FRIDAY, MARCH 6 at 11:00pm. Always unorthodox and at times irreverent, VICE takes viewers around the globe as its correspondents cover stories often overlooked by traditional media outlets. Reporting on today’s most pressing issues, VICE uses an immersive documentary style to bring a unique perspective to the events shaping the future. Hosted by VICE Media founder Shane Smith, the series is executive produced by Bill Maher, Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti, VICE’s chief creative officer, and BJ Levin, with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria serving as consultant.
In the 2015 season, VICE investigates a broad range of topics, including climate change, the state of American policing, the movement of families fleeing gang violence in Central America, and new drug trafficking routes from South America to Africa. This season also sees the addition of new award-winning correspondents to the show’s roster. Along with Shane Smith, the 2015 lineup includes VICE Media co-founder Suroosh Alvi; conflict-zone journalist, documentary filmmaker and author Ben Anderson; Emmy-nominated producer and correspondent Gianna Toboni; filmmaker and producer Vikram Gandhi; correspondent Isobel Yeung; and longtime VICE correspondent Thomas Morton.
Episode Overview: In the premiere episode focus is on climate change with OUR RISING OCEANS. The oceans are rising. With human use of hydrocarbons skyrocketing, waters around the globe are getting hotter, and now this warm sub-surface water is washing into Antarctica’s massive western glaciers, causing them to retreat and break off. Antarctica holds 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of its freshwater, so if even a small fraction of the ice sheet in Antarctica melts, the resulting sea level rise will completely remap the world as we know it – and it is already happening. In the last decade, some of the most significant glaciers here have tripled their melt rate. VICE founder Shane Smith travels to the bottom of the world to investigate the instability of the West Antarctic ice sheet and see firsthand how the continent is melting. VICE also follows the rising oceans to Bangladesh for a glimpse into the world’s underwater future. From the UN Climate conference to the People’s Climate March to the forces that deny the science of global climate change, this special extended report covers all sides of the issue and all corners of the globe, ending in a special interview with Vice President Joe Biden.
Series Expectations: It should be no surprise that this writer is excited for this series return. Though I expect the same type of stories they still offer something interesting, shocking or downright scary. It always ceases to amaze me how VICE can boil down a hot topic into a simple , short report yet still encapsulate all you need to know in that short amount of time to grasp the issue and inform the viewer of the ways of the world. To help remind you of that point here, once again, is the preview trailer.
Episode Expectations: VICE has discussed the topic of climate change before. Shane Smith reported the prior two submissions. They were Season One’s “The World Is Sinking” and Season Two’s “Greenland Is Melting.” Shane Smith now looks at the issue again and will surely state, as he had done twice before, that this issue in the number one global concern that affects us all.”
Two separate reports are filed here. The first takes us to Antarctica and the melting of massive glaciers. The second focuses on those who deny that we are facing accelerated climate change at all. The next 44-minutes are going to be interesting. Here is a clip.
Gut Reaction: Seems to be a slightly different approach this season or at least with this extended premiere episode. VICE founder Shane Smith doesn’t start off with an intro to the piece from the Brooklyn, NY offices like last season. Instead he is off and running way down in West Antarctica. Of course, he wastes no time and shows us the problem and the consequences which are spelled out here –
Just as quickly the focus jumps, but not towards what you think. It doesn’t try to focus on solutions to the problem, maybe because they are not clear-cut or easy ones, but focuses instead on climate change deniers and examines their rhetoric and then proceeds to refute or affirm their claims. It is a different approach to the issue. I thought that like in seasons past we’d see two different segments within the show instead of melding both ideas into one longer segment. Again, it is a different approach to a hot topic the world has been raving about for a while. According to VICE the evidence of glacial melt is there, the great animations used in the episode make it clear to anyone, except those deniers. And if the graphics and the aerial surveillance isn’t enough Vikram Gandhi looks at from the sea. But that still isn’t enough. Who’d of thought we’d go to Bangladesh and yet we do as that country serves as an example of the rising oceans. Waiting for us there is Vikram once again. Needless to say he paints a glum picture. But if that isn’t enough a few words from VP Joe Biden drives it home. VICE wants to drive its point across and it is left to you to decide if you are going to prepare for the inevitable, because we can’t turn back the clock, or if are you going to deny it and continue on your way.
In Conclusion: I am not going to get on any soapbox here. But, I will point out a crucial note that rang true for me in listening to our Vice President (the real one – not Selina Meyer). The gridlock in our capitol and the special interests of this country are crushing us. “Change is too hard and a lot of good people are going to get hurt if we change up our tactics now” is what we hear, but in the issue of climate change, whether you believe it man-made or not, some action is better than no action. Let’s just sit back and watch our rising oceans. The world, it is a-changing. As in seasons past here is the Debrief.
This proved an exciting jump off point to VICE Season Three. I always like the additional Q&A the Debrief offers. Climate Change will always be a top topic. You can catch “Our Rising Oceans” HBOGo and YouTube or catch it still airing on the main channel on 03.09 at 3:15am and 03.12 at 12:30am or on HBO2 on 03.09 at 10:30pm; 03.11 at 12:45am and 03.19 at 11:00pm.
Next Week: On MARCH 13 Episode # 2 (of the season) looks at the militarization of police in America with Thomas Morton and the immigration crises at our border with Suroosh Alvi. Here is that preview. Until then – Peace.
Find VICE Special Report: Killing Cancer here.
Find Episode # 24 here.