The first season of Vicious turned out to be a fun vehicle for Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi. The duo clearly had fun delivering their performances throughout the season in a type of role that they aren’t usually known for. That slightly made up for the fact that the show was a shallow and horribly written comedy. In its second season, a lot of the problems with Vicious still remain, but with a new sense of direction and weekly performances from the leading duo, the show seems a lot livelier.
The second season of Vicious follows Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi) as they begin to reconsider to what extent they want their relationship to be after noticing how Ash (Iwan Rheon) interacts with his new girlfriend (Goergia King). Most of the season follows the preparation for Freddie and Stuart’s wedding, and this gives the season as a whole a sense of purpose that the first season was lacking. Some serial elements (rather than the 100% procedural that this show was during its premiere season) being added to the mix certainly help this show as it gives you something to invest in rather than jokes.
The shallow humor of the show still remains, and there isn’t a home run of an episode like the episode at the club was last season, but it seems like writer Gary Janetti has a better sense of these characters. Not only do Freddie and Stuart feel like more complete characters, but Violet (Frances de la Tour) and Ash seem like actual characters as well rather than props or annoying sources of dialogue.
It also helps out that this show lucked out with one heck of a cast. Just being able to see Ian McKellen mouth off to everyone and everything in sight is a delight. McKellen isn’t always known for his comedy, but he is just as much of a master of it as he is with everything else he does. Meanwhile, Derek Jacobi is clearly having fun. He may not get the same stealing material as McKellen, but he gets his own moments to shine and easily fits the role as the more grounded lead character. Frances de la Tour finally gets some moments to steal a scene or two, and the show gets a lot of material out of Iwan Rheon’s much creepier role on Game of Thrones.
In season two, Vicious improves into a show that reveals it is capable of something great.