Earlier this month, HBO picked up a new series with the gonzo-awesomeness potentiality of an embryo in Joan Didion’s womb put there by Hunter S. Thompson, you know, from like sex or whatever.
VICE will be the boobtubular (adj; presented on the boob tube) adaptation of the hugely popular series of documentaries VICE Magazine has been posting online for the past few years. As an internet-to-television property, VICE will follow in the footsteps of Shit My Dad Says, with the minor difference that VICE‘s target audience won’t be people whose taste is so bad it borders on delusional.
HBO has hired longtime really-really-wants-to-be-controversial-yet-stays-hyper-logical personality Bill Maher to executive produce with Shane Smith, VICE co-founder and host of many of VICE‘s most badass and heralded documentaries. Smith will also host. Real newsman Fareed Zakaria will consult, with the definitions of “real” and “consult,” up for debate. If they’d gotten Errol Morris, it’d almost be like the Traveling Wilburys of filmed edutainment.
VICE documentaries are kind of like the gourmet street food of documentaries; they’re delicious, well-made, targeted to hipsters, hyper-aware of global culture, convenient, well matched with a microbrew, sleazy-yet-enriching, and served to you by a bearded man.
There are a lot of really great pieces in VICE‘s docu-oeuvre — VICE is second only to TED in the list of best places to get a videographic mind blow on the internet — and my goal here is to give you a list of which are most worth your eyeball-eardrum time.