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Vice - Renewed for a second season by HBO

Vice has been renewed for a 12-episode second season to air in 2014. The first season of this documentary series ended last night. All 10 episodes of Vice have aired Fridays at 11pm on HBO, following Real Time with Bill Maher (Maher is also an executive producer of Vice). This news magazine a good show to watch and then feel like crap when you see what's going on in the world or where it's heading.

Michael Lombardo, President of HBO programming, said : "Vice's fearless, irreverent style of news coverage has produced a uniquely provocative show. We look forward to more of their groundbreaking reporting in season 2".

Shane Smith, founder of Vice, said : "I don't think there is another network in the world that would have given us the opportunity and support that HBO did over the last year. We learned a lot over the course of shooting season 1, and are insanely excited over our story selection for season 2. Now that our various parasites and virulent rashes have been treated, we are ready in mind and in body to go out there and get the gold".

Executive producer Bill Maher said : "Damn them, I don't hear about my own show any more from people on the street. They stop me and say, 'I love that Vice show'".

And since they film a big amount of footage that ultimately cannot be contained within their 30-minute format, they put a lot of deleted scenes online on HBO's Youtube channel. If you want to see a bit of what Vice is like before watching the complete 10-episode season (on HBOGo I guess), that's the place to go.

Here's an example of a deleted scene part of their "European breakdown" documentary (the version that aired was focused on Greece and Spain) :

[EDIT] Ah, I had to pick an extract where they make a huge mistake in their subtitles. When the drunk guy at 1:00' said "à bas le Front national !", he's not "down with it", being down with something is agreeing with it and saying "à bas" to something means you want it to end, you want it to shut down. [/EDIT]

The editing may be dubious at times, like at the end here with the voice-over talking about how the far-right hates immigrants while the verse of La Marseillaise that can be heard in the background and subtitled is "[...] That an impure blood shall water our furrows" — this 1792 anthem obviously has nothing to do with actual immigrants, the suggested parallel seems tacky, though it's normal they try to make a point, with Europe breaking down and everything. But overall Vice displays a truly compelling work, through tough/polemical subjects you don't necessarily see in the 8 o'clock news bulletin, and certainly not with the angles/depth they adopt here.

And all the controversial subjects they tackle can spark conversations. Like, I've started to fear the 2017 election long before I watched this bit about French nationalists. When a far-right party tries to appear more mainstream and when trends show they tend to appeal to younger voters, coupled with the debacle of a socialist President more unpopular a year into his Presidency than conservative Sarkozy ever was in his 5-year term (and he was loathed towards the end, resulting in the election of his polar opposite, Hollande) leading into the implosion of the leading Right party (UMP, Union pour un Mouvement Populaire) Sarkozy was the flagship of, it opens the doors to a new force on the right, the far-right, which didn't bomb in the 2012 election as they did in 2007, and they have the advantage of stability and a leading figure (the Le Pen clan, led by Marine) when the right only has quarrels and internal wars. Yes, it's definitely time to worry about the rise of the Front National.

I'm serious going off-topic here, talking about that on a TV series board, I'll stop. That story didn't make the final cut of episode 4 though — admittedly, the situation in Greece & Spain seems more 'extreme' and fitting with the "breakdown" they announce in their title.

Anyway, there are a lot of interesting subjects like that in this documentary series. Here's a teaser for the season followed by the list of all 10 episodes with the stories they delve into :

Episode 1.01 (April 5, 2013) - Killer Kids : political assassinations in the Philippines / Afghan child bombers.
Episode 1.02 (April 12, 2013) - Bad Borders : defectors fleeing North Korea / Kashmir's line of control.
Episode 1.03 (April 19, 2013) - Guns & Ammo : armed training in New Mexico school / toxic waste in Iraq.
Episode 1.04 (April 26, 2013) - Love & Rockets : desperate bachelors in China / rise of extremism in Europe.
Episode 1.05 (May 3, 2013) - Winners & Losers : Mormon church in Utah / the diet of Mauritanian women.
Episode 1.06 (May 10, 2013) - Corruption : ghosts cities in China / aftermath of the Arab Spring in Egypt.
Episode 1.07 (May 17, 2013) - Addiction : tobacco obsession in Indonesia / weird treatment of heroin addiction.
Episode 1.08 (May 31, 2013) - Fighting Chances : wrestling in Senegal / effects of rising sea levels.
Episode 1.09 (June 7, 2013) - Gangs & Oil : gang violence in Chicago / oil piracy in Nigeria.
Episode 1.10 (June 14, 2013) - The Hermit Kingdom : Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea.


EDIT : If you want a proof this show is worth watching, look no further than the episode that aired last night.

No wonder they saved this story for the season finale in which Vice made History, in a way. It's certainly the best episode of them all. A truly compelling, almost Truman Showesque look to North Korea - except for the last scene, which got emotional and ends on a positive, hopeful note :

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