Vice Investigates

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Vice Investigates TV Poster Image
Edgy, insightful docu has mature themes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It explores interesting current topics so that people can both think and learn more about them. Episodes look at subjects including geopolitical relationships, social justice, environmentalism, and the arts. There is a subtle Western bias in the way some of these stories are presented. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Correspondents go out of their way to talk to people, even if they are in potentially dangerous areas. People are interviewed from multiple sides of the story, but in some episodes it is clear who is being characterized as the "bad guys." The correspondents attempt to be unbiased, but don't always succeed. The correspondents are mostly male, but there is some racial diversity. 

Violence

Many discussions center around violent events. Fires, shooting rampages, rioting, war violence, etc. are shown. Bloody wounds and corpses are sometimes visible. Correspondents are sometimes uneasy about where they are. In one episode violent song lyrics are featured. 

Sex

One episode features lewd sexual references and suggestive dancing. 

Language

Some episodes contain a lot of cursing during interviews, including "s--t" and "f--k," or feature song lyrics that include swearing (some of which is translated into English). 

Consumerism

HP and Apple products visible, but not in a commercial context. Discussions include references to popular rappers like 50 Cent, performers like Pussy Riot, and others. Issues pertaining to commercial exploitation are discussed. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking (beer, hard liquor) cigarette smoking visible in some installments. Drug use (and references to it) is occasionally present in some episodes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Vice Investigates, which is part of the VICE news franchise, is a docu-series that covers a range of mature issues. It’s intelligent and informative, but many of the episodes feature a lot of violence, cursing, drinking, and smoking. Lewd comments and sexual talk are sometimes present, depending on what the episode is addressing. Logos for Apple, HP, and others are sometimes visible, but not in a commercial context. 

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What's the story?

VICE INVESTIGATES is a documentary series that examines the cultural impact of a range of issues and events from around the globe. Correspondents like Seb Walker and Emmy Award winner Alzo Slade conduct interviews and immerse themselves into story, attempting to get different perspectives from the people immediately touched by what is happening in order to offer a well-rounded story. Archived news reports and other video footage helps round out these stories.  

Is it any good?

The intelligent docu-series deconstructs the cultural aspects of different phenomena happening around the world. From the front lines of the Amazon fires, to traveling around Russia meeting hip-hop artists struggling against government crackdowns, its journalists features human interest stories that help illuminate the significance of the issues being discussed. It also examines how they impact the way people understand the world around us. There is a presence of bias in some of its coverage, thanks to its Western point of view, and the correspondents’ reporting styles. Nonetheless, Vice Investigates is thought-provoking, and manages to make each topic feel timely and relevant, even if the events seem far removed from what is happening closer to home. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about some of the issues presented in Vice Investigates. What impact does burning parts of the Amazon rainforest or understanding the relationship between Iran and Afghanistan have on different cultures? How does impact the way the world understands these events?

  • What is the difference between a documentarian and a journalist? Are the correspondents on Vice Investigates trained reporters? Why does this matter? 

TV details

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