Vice Presents: “Abandoned”

Viceland’s newest show this fall  Abandoned, revolves around professional skateboarder Rick McCrank exploring what the world has forgotten and left behind from the effects of capitalism. The show premiered last night featuring a tour of Northeastern Ohio’s deserted malls and factories. Abandoned uses chronological structure to make it feel as if we’re there with Rick discovering the importance of something forgotten by the public and the locals who still appreciate the desolate space.

The show has a slow start with a lot of arial footage which seemed to be over used to compensate for artsy shots. Even at times Rick McCrank seemed unsure of where to lead a discussion with the locals or understand exactly what is going on. He’s great at seeing what the locals are going through and what the abandoned land means to them. McCrank might not understand why they do the things they do, like the two guys Greg and Damon, who creates movies in the mall and search for paranormal activity, even then he does his best to see their point of view and humors them. The highlight of the show is when he goes to the mall in Akron that houses many churches and attends the morning prayer. He states that he’s not religious at all and only attended church once to the lady and she still welcomes him in with love. During the service Rick McCrank even ends up singing and dancing with them, admitting that he wouldn’t mind starting his day like that.

At times Abandoned can be hard to watch but the message of the show makes it worthwhile to finish. In a world when capitalism fails, many people end up leaving behind what they once loved and appreciated. The few who stay, however, bond even closer creating a close knitted group that take pride in the once was and what is to come. It is a show about humanity and finding hope in the most discouraging places.

Overall the show felt very rushed, trying to fit in as many stories as they can. It was an interesting show but I was expecting more of Rick McCrank going out and finding abandoned places to skate. Now knowing that skateboarding is not the main focus it’s definitely worth the watch and I’ll be tuning in next week to see what Rick finds next.

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