The news magazine series produced for HBO by Vice manages to showcase everything that makes the magazine turned media empire so compelling and, at times, infuriating — it’s fascinating, self-congratulatory, edgy and indulgent all at once. Hosted by co-founder and CEO Shane Smith and produced by Bill Maher, the show exists at a very contemporary and often uneasy intersection between journalism and entertainment, as Smith and other Vice reporters travel everywhere from Senegal to the south side of Chicago to North Korea, where they made headlines for being, along with Dennis Rodman, some of the first Americans to meet Kim Jong-un since he came into power.
“Vice” is now offering three of the first four episodes of the series up online for free. They include segments on the Philippines, New Mexico, Iraq and China. Check them out ahead of the second season, which has already been ordered by HBO and will premiere in 2014. “Killer Kids,” “Guns & Ammo” and “Love & Rockets” are below. Episodes nine and ten of the series will be available on Tuesday and Wednesday.