Vicious is the brand new studio sitcom starring Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings) and Derek Jacobi (The Kingâs Speech), joined by Frances de la Tour (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones). Vicious tells the story of partners Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi), two men who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. Constantly picking each other apart and holding on to petty slights for decades, we can still see that underneath all their vicious co-dependent fighting they have a deep love for each other. Into their world steps a young man, Ash (Iwan Rheon), as their new upstairs neighbour. Joining Freddie and Stuart is feisty best friend Violet (Frances de la Tour), young at heart and with a deliciously dry sense of humour.
Bit of an oddity this one. writer Gary Janetti is an alumi of Family Guy and Will and Grace who litters his script with bitchy one liners and the odd out of place vulgarity. Director Ed Bye however is a product of british audience shows [Red Dwarf, My Family amongst others]. These are styles which clash somewhat and affects the end product, feeling american but curiously old fashioned at the same time. The show seems to have suffered from a tight budet with a lack of location filming and supporting cast. But it also has a lot of merits. Jacobi and McKellen kinda know the material is beneth them but are clearly enjoying each others company and having fun. Francis De La Tour [Rising Damp] gets some good laughs even if her characters not that well developed. Iwan Rheon [Games of Thrones] fits in surprisingly well. Marcia Warren proably gets the best laughts with her scatty character. Best episode is no. 5, where the budget restriction is used to the stories advantage with Alexandra Roach providing a great guest performance lacking previously and Mckellen and Jacobi's insults hiting the target. Overall, it's nothing very special and quite forgettable, but if you turn your brain off, your probably have a good time.
A master class in situation comedy from Sirs Derek and Ian and every member of this superb cast. I have gay friends who have been in a monogamous relationship for 45 years and this is their favourite programme. I hope there will be many more series of this brilliantly written, produced and performed instant classic.
Really love this show. I have to admit that the writing was a little shaky at first with many of the jokes not being anywhere near as funny as they thought they were being. I also found the voice projection as if everyone was on a theatre stage a bit distracting. But it all grew on me and the final two episodes were priceless (in particular the barbs over the dinner table when Ash's girlfriend comes to visit and just about every moment of the final episode). These may be stereotypical portrayals of gay men, but as a gay man myself I can assure everyone that there really are hundreds of Stuarts and Freddys in the real world! And to be honest, I hadn't even noticed that the two characters often refer to each other as 'she', but this too is the way 'Queens' often talk. Special mention goes to Frances De La Tour who is absolutely priceless and often threatens to steal every scene she's in. Bottom line is that this is not meant to be 'sophisticated' comedy but rather a return to the bawdy fun and refreshing 'politically incorrectness' of the likes of Hi Di Hi, 'Allo, 'Allo etc and is all the better and more enjoyable for it.