I have a confession to make and I’m not afraid to come right out with it; I bloody love Vicious. ITV’s new comedy has come under some fire from certain critics but after just two episodes I have fallen in love. Vicious has been accused of being predictable, old fashioned and has been labelled as a “spiteful parody” by Brian Sewell – though as if anyone actually cares what that man thinks. It wasn’t so long ago he was moaning that Coronation Street and EastEnders had too many gay characters.
I am not saying that some of the jokes in Vicious aren’t predictable; yes you can see them coming but then again you can see some of the jokes in Mrs Brown’s Boys coming a mile off too but that doesn’t make it any the less funny. Vicious may well have something of a theatrical atmosphere to it as well; as though you were watching a stage play rather than a television comedy but that to me is part of its charm.
The cast is superb; where else would you find Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Frances de la Tour and Iwan Rheon? Frances de la Tour plays Freddie and Stuart’s single friend Violet, who always seems to be popping around to visit them for no particular reason, while Iwan Rheon plays the handsome but straight Ash who lives in the flat above the couple.
Stuart and Freddie, the central characters, may well be horrible to each other and their friends but that is the main part of the comedy. The scathing remarks thrown between the pair are delivered with relish by performers Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi who are clearly enjoying playing a different kind of role.
Vicious is one of the funniest ITV comedies of recent years which admittedly isn’t saying much because the broadcaster has an atrocious track record of producing funny comedies in the past decade. However, that aside the comedy is a slice of pure joy on Monday evenings much as Mrs Brown’s Boys and Miranda were earlier this year.
Monday evenings should be about guilty pleasure television; television you can sit down and laugh along with and that’s exactly what Vicious is. If the banter between Stuart and Freddie isn’t your cup of tea then perhaps you should be watching Last of the Summer Wine on G.O.L.D which frankly seems to be stuck on repeat on that channel.
Vicious may not be cutting edge like The Thick of It or a critical darling like Friday Night Dinner but it makes me laugh throughout and to me that’s all that matters. The critics who don’t like it can go jump as far as I’m concerned darlings!