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 promoting “camp stereotypes.”

Speaking 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.