In this first episode of VICE on HBO, Ryan Duffy travels to the Philippines to explore the rampant political violence during election season. VICE co-founder Shane Smith also heads to Afghanistan to speak with would-be child suicide bombers who were captured before they could kill themselves and others.
VICE joins a South Korean pastor who has developed a modern-day underground railroad to move defectors from China to freedom and eventual citizenship in South Korea. And we travel across Pakistan to the contested line of control in Kashmir, pointing out how close a nuclear apocalypse is yet again.
In episode three of VICE, Thomas Morton meets a gun-crazy pastor who teaches his young students gun drills and tactics to disarm attackers, and Shane Smith travels to Fallujah, Iraq, where a rise in birth defects has been linked to the American military's suspected use of depleted-uranium munitions during the war.
VICE travels across China to meet with bachelors searching for love, and talked to a professional matchmaker who explains the scope of the issue and tries to find a girlfriend for correspondent Thomas Morton. We also traveled to Greece and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit by the financial crisis, to see how the youth are responding.
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. VICE travels to Utah to meet some of these young men and listen to their harrowing stories. Then, 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 sent 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. VICE also traveled 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.
One ghost city in Inner Mongolia, built to house one million people, is now an empty shell of unoccupied skyscrapers and abandoned construction sites. VICE checks out this and other urban failures to figure out how China's preoccupation with growing its GNP turned "supply and demand" into "build now, sell later." We also traveled to the embattled streets of Cairo, where opposition to Morsi has resulted in renewed mass protests and violence in Tahrir Square. Among those we meet: members of the Black Bloc, youthful revolutionaries who disguise themselves with hoods and scarfs while vowing to oust Morsi and destroy the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tobacco is a $100 billion industry, 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. We also follow the journey of a heroin addict who travels to Mexico, where Ibogaine is legal, to try to finally quit.
The most popular sport in the West African country of Senegal isn't soccer -- it's laamb, combining Greco-Roman wrestling moves with eclectic pre-fight rituals and dances. VICE visits Bombardier, a laamb star who's a hero in his hometown of Mbao, to learn about the physical and spiritual sides of the sport -- and to train for our intrepid correspondent's debut in the ring. Shane Smith also travels from Europe to the Maldives to New York (site of the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy) to measure what we might expect if climate change and rising sea levels continue unabated.
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, to see why the Windy City, now dubbed "Chiraq," had the country's highest homicide rate in 2012. We also traveled to Africa's oil-producing region to meet with oil thieves who refine and sell oil in West Africa, and followed one farmer's attempt to sue a foreign oil company for poisoning his family's land.
In our season finale, VICE makes history on a trip to North Korea to play hoops and meet with supreme leader Kim Jong-un. With NBA great Dennis Rodman and a trio of Harlem Globetrotters in tow, VICE traveled to the capital of Pyongyang for a tour of the city, a basketball clinic, an exhibition game, and a first-ever meeting between the leader and an American delegation.