Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Vicious - You Missed It and You Should Be Sad

For about two months last winter, PBS had the ITV comedy Vicious, starring Magneto/Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) and I, Claudius (Sir Derek Jacobi). If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should buy all six episodes of season one (plus the Christmas special) on DVD immediately.
This was amazing and you should start 
feeling bad for not having watched it.

The premise of Vicious is that Freddie (Gandalf) and Stuart (Claudius) have been a couple for nearly 45 years, although Stuart has been in the closet to his mother for that entire time. After four decades, Stuart and Freddie's relationship mostly consists of being verbally and wittily nasty to the other, with occasional petty jealousy or overweening vanity thrown in for spice. 

Basically, it's two dude Dowager Countesses in a never-ending cage match of Brit wits throwing shade. I know. It is as awesome as it sounds

Despite their being pretty horrible people, Freddie and Stuart have friends: the omnisexual Violet Crosby (Frances de la Tour), the grump Mason (Philip Voss),  the memory-challenged Penelope (Marcia Warren), and Ramsay Bolton:
"Strangely, none of my lines in this show involve the term 'flaying.'"

That's right, Iwan Rheon is Freddie and Stuart's young neighbor Ash, a combination of optimism and naivete. That's right; he's the innocent and gullible one. It's ironic, but frankly, Rheon plays it well enough that you forget what happened to Theon Greyjoy for a while.

For the sci-fi and fantasy record, Frances de la Tour was in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Sir Derek was in Underworld Evolution and a bunch of Doctor Who, and Philip Voss was in original Doctor Who as well as a small role in Octopussy, the most incoherent James Bond film ever made. You could have a convention just with the six-person cast of this show.

So, you missed Vicious last year. And it's basically available nowhere I can find streaming. You are saying to yourself, "how did I miss this?" I don't know, but it is a tragedy. On the plus side, season two will be on PBS sometime this summer.

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