Vicious Series 1 Episode 6 (ITV) Review

People may, on mass, have hated Vicious, but for me it has been a charming tale of love at an age and of a persuasion that, sadly, isn’t seen much in primetime. It wasn’t perfect by any means, and a couple of the six episodes were almost impossible to get through, but every week it raised at least one smile for me, and that, I think, is all it aimed to do. For as different as it was, it never preached its values or related it’s set-up to politics or specific social issues – at a time when they would be especially relevant, no less.

This sixth and final episode is actually the first time Freddie and Stuart have had to defend their relationship to anyone, as the latter’s mother is inadvertently invited to their 49th anniversary by Ash. As we learnt in the first episode, Stuart’s mother does not yet know that her dear son is in a relationship with the man he has shared a flat with for almost half a decade, and the fallout from her late discovery provides the comedy for the episode. But then it also gives us a lovely and poignant end to the series, with Freddie pausing for breath between biting insults to defend his partner as “the most wonderful man in the world.”

I particularly enjoyed the possibility of Judi Dench turning up after she and Freddie filmed an advert many years earlier, and the tease of her appearance is left hanging until the episode’s closing seconds. The supporting cast aren’t left out of proceedings, either, with Violet returning from her latest romantic tryst just in time for the party. We even get to see her obnoxious veneer crack a little when one of Stuart’s jokes goes too far, but she bounces back when Ash is on hand to comfort her. The return of Penelope’s dottiness, also, doesn’t disappoint. If there’s a second series of Vicious in the works, I definitely want more Penelope.

The patchiness of previous episodes was still present in this last, but it emerged a fitting and surprisingly heart-warming finale to a series nonetheless. With such a strong cast at the centre, there was really no way Vicious could fail entirely to entertain and, despite lots of detractors and bad reviews right out of the gate, I have grown to love Freddie, Stuart and their friends (less so Ash, but that’s a rant for another time) and would be more than happy to see their dingy London flat back on my screen in the future.

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