‘Vicious’ – Series 1, episode 3

Andy West
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  • Arts
  • Last updated: Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 9:18 am

vicious 300x225 ‘Vicious’ – Series 1, episode 3SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen series 1, episode 3 of ‘Vicious’

Can it only be episode 3?

Frances de la Tour is on the chair. Good hair.

Pan face is here! Hurrah. Frances is surely about to make a flaccid double entendre? There it is. Her hair is irrelevant. Move along people, there’s nothing to laugh at here. Srian says something waspish and purses his lips. Have you ever seen a bald cat sniff a chair? I have.

Srian has suggested that pan face might like to take up acting. “Yes,” quips Frances de la Bore. “One doesn’t have to know anything to do that.” Titter. You get it? What a wry bunch of thesps. Apparently the young one has fantastic hair. This script was written before casting. He looks like he’s disguised as the love-child of John Travolta and an an elderly Greek woman.

We have finally arrived at the plot. Srian is to audition for Downton Abbey, thus intertwining two bastions of pants television – young and old – in a morpheus loop of formulaic lazy scripting and derivative characterisation, carried by lacklustre performances delivered by the haggard faces of the once-admired.

We press on.

For those uncertain I have decided I dislike this programme. It is congealing like a cold and slimy kebab.

You see the comedy of this particular scene (where Srian is practising his solitary line for a hypothetical audition) comes from the very idea that the grand dame would be playing such a weak and insignificant part and reading such mundane dialogue. Unfortunately, this exact joke has been made from the moment he appeared in the first episode, only the writers weren’t aware of it.

Now (forgive such speculation) but a very close friend works closely with those who work closely with someone who works closely with Srian and Baroness Jacobi and he tells me that they largely pushed this project through, using their own theatrical girth as a battering ram. Suddenly it all becomes clear. The entire programme rests on their spindly and much-patted shoulders. Very little effort has gone into the concept, it seems. Big names do not mean big success and more time ought to have been taken to ensure the comedy was attributed a respectful quota of jokes.

We move on. Ash has a part in a film, much to the chagrin of Srian.


I’m actually bored of writing this review. I keep getting the image of Gary Janetti sitting at his laptop with his head in his hands. How else can I say it? The programme is a limp and listless 2/10.

I need a beer.  One sec.

I’m back. They’re talking and a can is laughing. Meanwhile my beer feels cool against my fingertips. The Spanish label hints at a white and gold summer. A tinfoil lake. A bottle-top sun.The bubbles tickle my tongue as I take a sip and the chilled lager slips into my mouth and down my throat, refreshing me and giving me something more engaging to write about than this load of old guff on the TV.

It looks like there’s no old lady in this episode. The dotty one, not Jacobi. Was there ever a Will and Grace without Karen and Jack? I don’t think so… we can assume the team on this show had no idea she was the only funny thing in it.

Srian and Derek are on the sofa. They’re about to watch his big moment in Downton. I expect he’s been edited out of the episode or something. Wait… yes. Can barely hold my bowels in for episode 4. Apparently it was written by a yoghurt.

The Job Lot next. Wish I was reviewing that. I like it. It makes me laugh.

PS – Congratulations to Olivia Colman, my new favourite actress, for her two Baftas. Please though Olivia, don’t say yes to everything. You’re already appearing in a little too much. The Mr Whicher thing was a mistake for a start. Be selective, you legend.

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  • Ian

    This review reads like it was written by either a five or an eighty-five year-old. Disconnected ramblings. Most odd. Don’t understand most of it. Doorbell ringing. Ham sandwich. And so on…

  • Andrew West

    Ian. The above is a new and brave approach to review-writing where I give my real-time response to what is happening on-screen. You must get with it. I’m the new James Joyce. Don’t make a fool of yourself. Your great great great grandchildren will be ashamed of you. Telephone ringing. Peanut butter. Squirrel.

  • Ian

    Apologies. I clearly mistook it for what I was expecting – journalism.

  • Andrew West

    My review of Emmerdale (foot and mouth scare episode) won the Pulitzer prize in the “reviews of programmes on ITV category”.

  • Edward Studor

    I enjoyed the stream-of-consciousness review very much. Different and entertaining.

  • Andrew West

    Wow I like you!

  • Andrew West

    Next episode I will review the adverts! Great idea, I’m nicking that!

  • Andrew West

    “I am absolutely a frustrated author!” thought Andy as he sat back in his chair and sighed like a sad bear.

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