Vicious Series 1 Episode 3 (ITV) Review

Another week, another half hour spent in Freddie and Stuart’s stuffy living room – despite last week’s refreshing escapades to the department store, trips outside of the flat obviously aren’t going to be a weekly thing. This third episode of Vicious does use some new dynamics to tell more than one story, however, and the split focus was a slight improvement.

The first two episodes leaned heavily on the chemistry between Freddie and Stuart, but here we get to see Freddie and Ash delve into the acting world while Stuart and Violet dealt with her volatile love life. Both pairings worked really well and, with only five cast members that we know of, I hope future episodes mix it up as well. I particularly enjoyed Freddie’s storyline, which involved him auditioning for a part on Downton Abbey, playing Cook Staff Number 4.

As Violet puts it, “a lot of acting is just good hair”, so Ash decides to try it out. Unfortunately, on the same day that Freddie wins the smallest role imaginable on Downton, Ash manages to win a film role his first time out. The comedy stems from Freddie’s reaction to this news – to become attentive, kind and loving in his downtrodden state. Watching these thespians live in a world where Ian McKellan can’t get a job is funny in itself, and there were a decent amount of titters squeezed from the situation.

There’s also some of the warmth left over from last week, with Stuart being supportive when it’s necessary and switching back to his ‘vicious’ self as soon as the coast is clear. These exchanges aren’t sign posted as character beats, but just exist, and they stop Vicious from being completely intolerable. With the relationship between the two leads beating at the heart of the show, I believe that everything else can be sorted out. I enjoyed this episode more than the previous two, so that’s a good sign.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.