Who says wishing won’t make it so? It did for many stateside British TV fans, myself included, who have been wanting and wishing that the hit Britcom, Vicious, would air in the US. And soon it will!
It isn’t every day (or year, for that matter) that a series, and a half-hour sitcom at that, has both Sir Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, X-Men) AND Sir Derek Jacobi (Last Tango in Halifax, Cadfael, I, Claudius) in it. This is reason enough (imo) to watch Vicious.
Freddie Thornhill (McKellen), an actor, and Stuart Bixby (Jacobi), a former barman, have been partners and living together in their Covent Garden flat for nigh on 50 years. They might be getting on in years, but aging hasn’t diminished their ability to nitpick, needle and, well, be vicious to each other. But love, like lifestyles, gets expressed in different ways, and this is one of theirs.
Their wisecracks are not limited to themselves, either. They have plenty of jabs for their close friend Violet Crosby (Frances de la Tour, Hugo, Harry Potter), a cougar if ever there was one, especially when it comes to Ash Weston (Iwan Rheon, Game of Thrones, Misfits), Freddie and Stuart’s young and good-looking new upstairs neighbor.
Ditto that for others of their friends, including the dotty and narcoleptic Penelope (Marcia Warren, The Café) and fellow pensioner Mason (Philip Voss, Fish), who gets in a few barbs of his own. Even their 20-year-old dog, Balthazar, and Stuart’s mum, who doesn’t know about their relationship, aren’t immune.
The show’s six episodes are filled with misunderstandings, mishaps and, of course, malicious words — comic fodder that drew in millions of viewers in the UK each week. A second series of the Britcom is slated to debut on ITV this year.
The first series of Vicious premieres in the US on Sunday, 29 June 2014, at 10:30 PM ET on PBS. Check your local listings.