Perhaps it was the novelty of watching two of the nation’s finest actors play at being a bit naughty but I enjoyed Vicious, the first of the night’s comedies in which Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi play long-time partners Freddie and Stuart.
The pair are keener on catty put-downs than words of love and affection, and it’s this which drives most of the comedy.
McKellen and Jacobi are supported by Frances De La Tour as best friend Violet and Iwan Rheon as hot new neighbour Ash, who the three older cast members all develop an instant crush on.
Some of the plotting was a little off – how did Ash know where to find the bathroom in Freddie and Stuart’s flat? – and the two leads were certainly guilty of hamming it up, but overall I thought Vicious delivered a decent quota of genuine laugh out loud moments.
Not even the presence of the always likeable Russell Tovey could save The Job Lot from boring the life out of me. Within five minutes of this The Office wannabe starting I’d almost forgotten the belly laughs of Vicious.
Flatter than a pancake, The Job Lot is the sort of instantly forgettable comedy that I’d normally associate with ITV.
The script reduced Jo Enright’s Angela to a pale imitation of Little Britain’s ‘computer said no’ woman and the whole running gag about the security guard with the carpet fitting sideline ran out of steam part way through the first gag. Sadly there were three dozen other variations to follow.
Without resorting to Google or Wiki how many could name that shop comedy Martin Freeman and Reg from Coronation Street starred in a few years back? Give it a couple of months and I suspect this will be The Job Lot’s fate too.