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Tells the comedic story of aging partners Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi), two men who have lived together in their Covent Garden flat for nearly 50 years. Freddie was a budding actor and Stuart worked in a bar when they first met, but their careers are pretty much over and their lives now consist of entertaining their frequent guests, making sure that their aged dog Balthazar is still breathing, and hurling caustic insults at each other.


“Vicious” is one of the funniest shows that I’ve seen all year. Most episodes open with Derek Jacobi trying to deal with his oblivious mother who hasn’t figured out that he’s gay. When he finally gets her off the phone, we enter his world and the vicious barbs of his partner Freddie. Some original viewers have claimed that the show plays off jokes that might be considered stereotypes. But, that’s a given. After all, comedy only works when it comes from natural interaction and not stopping to check everyone’s political and social standing before a setup.

The seven episodes that compromise the first series aren’t enough. By the time you hit the Christmas episode, you find that Stuart and Freddie love each other. While Gary Janetti is better known for his lowbrow American shows, his talent is on full display with the creation of this show. I feel that we won’t get a full audience appreciation of the material until the second series. I just hope that American audiences tune in on Sunday July 6th to watch the show make its debut on PBS. Don’t let public television scare you away from this clever production.

The DVD comes with no special features. Well, interviews with the cast and crew are pretty special. The A/V Quality is strong and supports a transfer that seems like it was natively shot in HD. Plus, the Dolby 2.0 track provides for a solid stereo experience. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 07/08/2014

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