Vice Magazine, founded in 1994 in Montreal, employs the style of immersion journalism (comparable to gonzo), where writers become deeply involved with their subject to deliver accounts on their specific experiences. Objective news reporting? Not exactly. But Vice Media (now with books, a news channel, a record company and more) is currently presenting one of the most unique and interesting contemporary news shows.
The eponymous series’ first Emmy-nominated season was full of thought-provoking news and human-interest stories, capped off with insane coverage of Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea for some b-ball and bro time with Kim Jong-un. That final episode garnered ample mainstream media attention for the show, but most of the topics covered are not ones you’d see on the nightly news.
Over the course of the second season of Vice (Season Premiere, 11 p.m. Friday, HBO) we’ll delve into Evangelical support for Israel in the American Bible Belt, climate change in Greenland, bonded laborers in Pakistan’s brick kilns and other international stories of politics and culture from a wide range of correspondents.
In Friday’s premiere episode, conflict-zone journalist, documentary filmmaker and author Ben Anderson takes us to Rio de Janeiro, a city desperately trying to curb violence and drug use as it prepares to host a World Cup and summer Olympics. Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith investigates the waste and misuse of reconstruction funds in Afghanistan.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 12
Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – Jay and Luke share a manly bonding moment; Gloria and Claire get girly shopping for a flower-girl dress; Phil helps Andy the “manny” create a video love letter for his girlfriend.
Broad City (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) -– Abbi, Ilana, Lincoln and friends head to a wedding.
After some bumps along the way, Ilana struggles to accept Abbi’s old friends.
THURSDAY MARCH 13
Community (8 p.m., NBC) – Vince Gilligan and Jonathan Banks (Professor Hickey) reunite as the Breaking Bad creator guest-stars as a gold-digging instigator at Greendale.
Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m., NBC) -– Leslie employs her famous headline-writing skills to come up with a new town slogan, which leads to another encounter with Crazy Ira & The Douche. Also: Duke Silver is back!
Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – Crosby raises doubts about his daughter’s upbringing, Max fuels tension between Sarah and Hank and Joel reunites with the Bravermans as emotions converge at Aida’s baptism.
Portlandia (10 p.m., IFC) – Making celery cool again, beet-induced health scares, going “gutterpunk” and more with returning fave guest stars Steve Buscemi, Jeff Goldblum and Kumail Nanjiani.
FRIDAY MARCH 14
Shark Tank (9 p.m., ABC) -– What’s better than watching cut-throat billionaires rip apart an entrepreneur’s business model? When those entrepreneurs are children. Enter Shark Tank: Kids Edition.
Hannibal (10 p.m., NBC) -– The murder trial begins, where Jack and Hannibal take the stand. Just when it seems Will’s fate is sealed, a court bailiff is killed copycat style, sparking doubt in the case against him.
Helix (10 p.m., Syfy) – Peter and the vectors launch a last-ditch effort to spread the disease as remaining CDC scientists continue to disappear. Elsewhere, a cure is finally established.
SUNDAY MARCH 16
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (9 p.m., Fox) – Neil deGrasse Tyson’s answer to Carl Sagan’s 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a visually captivating scientific storytelling of life, space and time. This week’s episode looks at natural selection on a molecular level. Fun fact: Somehow Seth MacFarlane is an executive producer.
The Walking Dead (9 p.m., AMC) – Carol, Tyreese and the girls get screen time this week as they continue to search for safe shelter.
Girls (10 p.m., HBO) – Marnie and Desi take the stage in what is sure to be a completely awkward but attractive performance.
MONDAY MARCH 17
How I Met Your Mother (8 p.m., CBS) – Gary Blauman (the Goliath National Bank employee played by Taran Killam, Cobie Smulder’s real-life husband) shows up to the wedding last-minute, sparking — what else — flashbacks of everyone’s encounters with him.
TUESDAY MARCH 18
Glee (8 p.m., Fox) – New Directioners of past and present reunite for Glee’s 100th episode.
Justified (10 p.m., FX) – Crowe family drama comes to a head as Boyd and Raylan collide searching for Dewey.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern