Ash, do you know our friend Violet?Vicious is a BritCom about an older gay couple and the small circle of friends that always seem to be dropping by unannounced. Freddie and Stuart are old school snobs who talk down to everyone they met. At the same time, they never have enough money. They get by on the meager wages Freddie earns from his rare acting jobs. Like all great Bristih comedies, there are a few running gags. One such gag in Season 1 saw Stuart introducing Ash to Violet every episode. Ash is the ‘normal’ person in the story, meaning he isn’t in his 70s and slightly nuts. He’s just slightly nuts.
Easily the best aspect of Vicious is its brilliant cast. Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Frances de la Tour, and Iwan Rheon. Ian and Derek do their best scenery chewing as flamboyant homosexuals who dress and act like every day is an outing to La Cage aux Folles. Frances is best known to me as Hagrid’s giant love interest in The Goblet of Fire and Iwan is shockingly different here from his usual desperate and evil roles. I know Iwan best from Misfits and Game of Thrones. The other two regulars, Marcia Warren and Philip Voss, are good as well, but their roles seem to be limited to saying random things and looking shocked.
Vicious is funny. As might be guessed from the title, there are a lot of nasty comments of one sort or another. Freddie and Stuart have a love/hate relationship. Season 2 sees a lot of f-bombs. A typical exchange sees Freddie complains that his arm is sore from pushing Stuart away every night for the past fifty years.
One off element has Penelope suffering from Alzheimer’s. I have always had mixed feeling about mental illness being played for laughs. The Australian sitcom Mother and Son was all about a woman who had lost her mind. I found the show to be mean and sad. Penelope is not always bad, but she is often mean.
Overall, I’m very fond of Vicious. It can be found on PBS stations.