PBS on Sunday broadcast the first
episode of the second season of the British comedy import Vicious.
Vicious looks at the lives of
elderly gay couple Freddie (played by McKellen of the X-Men
series), a retired actor, and Stuart (Jacobi; I, Claudius), a
former barman. Freddie and Stuart have a love/hate relationship
which has lasted nearly 50 years.
In the season premiere, Violet, a good
friend of Freddie and Stuart, hosts her sister for a visit and
neighbor Ash introduces his new girlfriend to the gang.
The comedy has been criticized for
last year to gay glossy The
Advocate, McKellen, who came
out in 1988, defended the show, saying “these characters are
different” from the stereotypical gay characters found in sitcoms
20 or 30 years ago.
“These guys are
out and have no problem with being gay. They're not hiding it.
They're not making sly jokes about it. The comedy in this can be
full-throated and you're not laughing at these guys, you're laughing
with them, I hope. Of course, you'll observe that not much of this
show advances gay rights, nor will we say that these two men are
typical gay men. I certainly hope they're not. They behave
outrageously at times, and yet it's amusing to watch because we
understand them,” he said.