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Barry Cryer brands ITV’s Vicious ‘homophobic’ television

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  1. Cryer -> right
    Summerskill -> oh so wrong

    1. Cryer = wrong. Summerskill = 100% right

  2. colonelkira 18 Jun 2013, 3:42pm

    Cryer = 100% absolutely, positively without any doubt, WRONG

    Summerskill = one of the few other gays on the planet smart enough to realise we are out there and we want to be represented on tv as we are, not as the jacked up, “straight acting” obsessed youth culture insists we be represented.

    1. Way off @colonelkira

      Summerskill is a gong hunting narcistocrat who couldn’t support equal marriage when it was first proposed.

      TV producers are notoriously ‘right on’ in expecting gay characters to be archetypal and two dimensional. It is a well known fact that the TV world hammers young film makers’ idealism. Producers (both male and female, gay and straight) eventually end up institutionally homophobic and assume that all gay people are alike. Dreadful.

      1. 100% agree with Diva Doll. Contrary to popular opinion, the showbiz world is a very homophobic place to be in

      2. colonelkira 18 Jun 2013, 6:41pm

        I will speak slowly so maybe you might understand………YOU are the one who is conforming by insisting that only a friendly, neutered straight acting gay character be written for tv……….people like these characters exist! Why should we be ignored and not represented?

        There are plenty of other shows that portray the kind of mainstreamed version of gay people, simply watch these shows and leave the rest of us to watch a TRUE representation of ourselves when we want to.

        1. The characters in this programme are downright nasty and rude. It’s not about them being camp, it’s not about them not being “straight-acting”, it’s about the fact that they are horrible characters and how that’s being presented as a facet of them being gay. The ‘bitch’ stereotype is still dominant on television, and it simply is not true.
          These kind of characters do exist – but so do straight ‘bitches’, and is it ever made out to be that they’re a horrible person BECAUSE they’re gay?

          1. BECAUSE they’re straight?*

        2. Rubbash at whatever speed you utter it.

          1. colonelkira 18 Jun 2013, 11:32pm

            Why? Because you say so? You are worse than the homophobes you know. Because you should know better…….and apparently you aren’t smart enough to!

    2. Most gay men I know are “straight acting”, whatever that means. But it is no act, which is the inference I take from colonelkira.
      They are simply men, and behave as other men. Is it compulsory for all gay men to be mincing, bitchy drag queens? Cannot we be just guys, albeit guys who like/love other guys? Otherwise we might as well have pink triangles sewn onto our jackets.

      1. colonelkira 18 Jun 2013, 11:23pm

        Are you serious? How come it is “ok” to be straight acting but NOT ok to be a mincing bitchy drag queen?

    3. Spanner1960 19 Jun 2013, 4:21pm

      I think had this show been made with two straight actors instead of McKellen and Jacobi, the likes of Summerskill would be screaming “Stereotyped homophobia!!” from the rooftops.

      It’s only the fact he wants to be associated with a couple of famous luvvies that he is coming out with this sanctimonious drivel.

      Dear Barry is truly a national treasure, and a genuinely funny one at that and I only wish it had been him that had written a vehicle for Ian and Derek instead, and we could have had a few belly laughs instead of this Godawful bitchfest.

      1. I could not disagree more, I loved the show and dear old Barry is bitter because he has not been current for decades.

    4. Spanner1960 19 Jun 2013, 4:21pm

      I think had this show been made with two straight actors instead of McKellen and Jacobi, the likes of Summerskill would be screaming “Stereotyped homophobia!!” from the rooftops.

      It’s only the fact he wants to be associated with a couple of famous luvvies that he is coming out with this sanctimonious drivel.

      Dear Barry is truly a national treasure, and a genuinely funny one at that and I only wish it had been him that had written a vehicle for Ian and Derek instead, and we could have had a few belly laughs instead of this Godawful b|tchfest.

    5. Spanner1960 19 Jun 2013, 4:22pm

      I think had this show been made with two straight actors instead of McKellen and Jacobi, the likes of Summerskill would be screaming “Stereotyped homophobia!!” from the rooftops.

      It’s only the fact he wants to be associated with a couple of famous luvvies that he is coming out with this sanctimonious drivel.

      Dear Barry is truly a national treasure, and a genuinely funny one at that and I only wish it had been him that had written a vehicle for Ian and Derek instead, and we could have had a few belly laughs instead of this Godawful biatchfest.

  3. Beelzeebub 18 Jun 2013, 3:49pm

    I found it absolutely hilarious even with the over generous slices of ham it was all served up with.

    Having lived through the twaddle that was 70,s gay representations, Viscous took the p!ss out of it with great zeal.

    Whilst I respect Mr Cryers past writings, they were of the time and all very gentile.

    1. Took the piss out of it, or perpetuated it?

      1. Aye, there’s the rub!

  4. Barry Cryer has here spoken oh so truly!

    We watched the first two episodes only.

    Couldn’t bare to watch any more of two vile tongues in a situation of transparent domestic abuse.

    Thank you McKellen, Jacobi, and writers for reinforcing one of the most hideously erroneous images of gay men that there is.

    If my partner and I caught ourselves carrying on like McKellen and Jacobi we would know it was time to make an appointment at Relate.

    1. What utter bollox – watch the whole series and you’ll see a deep affection that two men, who have been together for 40 years have for each other – they are no different to hetero couples who bitch and bemoan one another – a humour that they only show each other and close friends –

      certainly ALL Gay men are different – camp – masculine – big – small – black – white – and believe it or not OLD and Young – the generation they come from is precisely like this – they are not intended to represent all of us – they merely represent themselves –

      Why do so many of us condemn what we assume and NOT what we have witness entirely

  5. I loved it, I think it was really fun and so did the rest of my LGBT society, we even watched a few episodes and no one had anything negative to say but I can see his point.

  6. Vicious was nothing more than a comedy series based on the stereotype of bitchy queens. It was homophobic, and no amount of support from Stomewall’s Ben Summerskill will make it otherwise. It is regrettable that Ian and Derek agreed to take part in the project.

    1. P.S. I did find it mildly amusing

  7. Vicious seemed to reinforce every tired, stale, cheap and well-outdated negative stereotype about gay men – I can see Cryer’s point.

    We all decry the movie-world’s reluctance to admit openly gay actors can do a non-gay role; yet imagine the uproar if two well-known non-gay actors took the principal roles in Vicious, we’d have been out there loudly denouncing the homophobia (well, I would have been). So if it’s just a matter of acting, why is it OK if two gay actors take such dreadful parts?

    1. Very good point about having straight actors in the roles.

  8. GingerlyColors 18 Jun 2013, 4:08pm

    The problem with ‘Vicious’ is that it did stereotype gay couples as bitching queens. I thought it was a great idea to have a comedy show about a gay couple but it seems to have backfired somewhat because of all their sniping. Perhaps the best comparison could with them could be ‘Little Britain’s’ ‘Only Gay In The Village’ sketches which portrays Daffydd Thomas as a homophobic gay who doesn;t like having other gay men on his patch.
    Nowadays gays are increasingly represented in mainstream television programmes such as Coronation Street and Torchwood and same-sex kisses no longer attract the media attention like they used to. Gay characters often feature in ‘Doctors’ which appears on BBC1 after the lunchtime news. We are no longer banished to late night slots on Channel 4 or BBC2.

  9. Can somebody explain to me WHY they think is homophobic? Really, I don’t get it.

    1. Hello NewMarc. I’ll have a go a answering you; you ask a good question. It was homophobic to those who remember almost exactly the same portrayal of gay men for decades on television, and who were attacked at school and even thrown out of home, like me, because of it’s damage. I think this is a generational thing, too. The programme writers assume a little too much, that too many battles have been won which are still being fought, that this kind of post-modernist, self-irony is now so removed from peoples’ prejudices that it will be universally understood for what it is; this is not true. Go outside of central London and the planet is a different place. This ugly portrayal is too soon. Too many people still believe it is the picture of all gay men.

      1. Rufusred, thank you for the answer. I live in Italy so I know what you are talking about. But to be Fair With the show: Did the shows you are referring to had committed and LOVING gay couples in it? Did those shows had straight characters who don’t care at all if someone is gay and are proud of their gay friends?
        I think those are important differences.
        Sorry for my English.

        1. Very good point, NewMarc, I had not consciously registered that Freddie & Stuart were the only gay characters, or the strong support they received from their straight friends.
          Your English is very good, BTW, minor grammar errors aside, you made your point quite clearly. More clearly than many native speakers whose rantings I have tried to follow on the social media! Innit? lol

  10. I dunno, I’m gay and I wasn’t offended by it at all. I just found it utterly hilarious, in fact.

    1. It perpetuated and reinforced the sort of stereotypes that homophobes mimic when they want to take the piss, and denigrate LGBT. Is it really not possible to have gay/bi characters in a sitcom that don’t behave as if they are playing Widow Twankey or the Ugly sisters?

      There would be a lot said if a black person was portrayed wearing a straw hat and going round saying yes massaa, while dancing and playing a banjo.

      1. So on that point, is it homophobic to have drag queens do shows in gay bars? Surely that is enforcing the same stereotypes?

        1. It’s not homophobic in that setting presumably that’s what the patrons would want, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.,, but then most gays/bisexuals rarely if ever go to gay bars.

          It is however probably homophobic(perhaps unintentionally) if the mannerisms and appearance of drag queens were used in sitcoms in order to get a laugh?

        2. It’s often offensively misogynistic (as well as, in my opinion, grotesquely tedious)

          1. never heard so much bollocks in all my life, how can a show written by a proud gay man and starring 2 proud gay men be homophobic. Perhaps you should get over yourself and laugh a little.

  11. It felt like serialised La Cage oux Folles sans the laughs and the homophobic prospective siblings-in-law. Now La Cage aux Folles wasn’t a bad comedy, but it was also written in 1973.

  12. Kelvin Beer-Jones 18 Jun 2013, 5:03pm

    Well, Clive and I have been together 30 years and we HATED it, until some straight friends visited and said that they thought is so funny, and just like us. So then we reconsidered and yes, maybe it is time to poke fun at ourselves and sometimes show our less PC selves!

    1. Although still finding its way, ‘Vicious’ was funny and stylish, and at times even moving. I hope they make more. For those who went their gays self-hating and in the closet, there’s always Brokeback Mountain.

  13. I wonder if this will encourage reruns of Love Thy Neighbour? I mean, that was a harmless send up about race and racism wasn’t it? Why don’t we bring back the Black and White Minstrel Show as well while we’re at it? Viscous was appalling unfunny stereotypical and badly written tripe.

    1. Bollocks, i remember those shows and they in no way compare to Vicious at all. perhaps take the stick out of your ass and stop taking yourself too seriously. When there is trully lots of real homophobia out there why not take a swipe at that instead of concocting it when there is none. .

  14. I just thought it came across as terribly dated. The “gags” were atrocious, like something out of an 80’s sitcom…

    But I don’t think the intention was to be homophobic. I just think the execution of a nice idea was terribly lacking, despite the fantastic actors.

  15. I cannot bring myself to watch one second of it. No doubt there are some funny lines and of course McKellen & Jacobi threw themselves into it I just don’t like the idea of it. It may not be any more homophobic than George & Mildred was heterophobic but we really need some positive role models on TV. Maybe I’m being ageist. Will & Frace was very bitchy.
    Very interesting how it has divided opinion. Maybe I should watch it….
    No. Not going to.

    1. then keep your unfounded remarks to yourself –

    2. The writers of Vicious worked on Will & Grace. There are similarities, but Jack & Will were friends, the thought of a sexual relationship repulsed them (ground-breaking, in that two gay men could live together platonically).
      The constant back & forth insults in that relationship were clearly banter, though. The deep friendship was portrayed well throughout the life of the show.
      Freddie & Stuart’s exchanges are more like two people who have grown to hate each other, hence it has to shown how in love they actually are in contrived (IMHO) scenes.

  16. You didn’t need to be Ms. Marple to know that Vicious was a stinker

  17. It was great; and the final episode where Jacobi’s character came out to his mother and McKellen’s character defended him was really touching.

    Homophilic rather than homophobic!

  18. queenyqueenqueen 18 Jun 2013, 6:17pm


  19. Hey Cryer – You are a heterosexual you Don’t get to condemn comedy you had no hand in as Homophobic – If you’d watch more than one episode you’ve seen the deep affection these character have had for each other – like so many old hetero couple who bitch and bemoan each other – don’t slag off what you don’t truly understand – stick to anecdotes about your dead colleauges.

    1. JD I often enjoy and agree with what you write, but on this subject I just can’t agree with you. And I think Cryer’s heterosexuality is irrelevant, racism can be recognised and condemned by anyone (not just ethnic minorities), and you don’t have to be a woman to recognise and condemn misogyny.

  20. That There Other David 18 Jun 2013, 6:29pm

    It was no Gimme Gimme Gimme laugh-wise, but I don’t see it as homophobic in the slightest. It’s about a gay couple of a certain age, one of whom is an actor, not a reflection on every gay person in the country.

  21. DivusAntinous 18 Jun 2013, 6:34pm

    It’s not homophobic. It’s just camp comedy. They’re a couple of old eccentric queens.

  22. It had its moments and could have been spectacular with that cast but it ended up rather lame and embarrassing.

    Derek Jacobi (and his limp wrists) was unprofessional and a disgrace to his profession at times. He’s so much better than that.

    1. utter bollocks.

  23. It’s hilarious!

  24. When I was young (early teens) I used to believe that I couldn’t be gay or bisexual as the idea of reclining on a chaise lounge, while wearing a silk dressing gown and holding a long cigarette holder held no appeal whatsoever.. That was how gays were portrayed at that time

    I can imagine young people of today who are gay/bi being confused at this repeated stereotypical portrayal of LGBT which dates from the seventies.

  25. Christopher in Canada 18 Jun 2013, 7:50pm

    Meanwhile, Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? is seen as great theatrical literature…

  26. The biggest tragedy about Vicious is the appalling waste of talent it chewed up and spat out.

    Anything McKellan and Jacobi appear in here on end will be tarnished by the shadow of this appallingly misjudged, juvenile farrago.

    1. That There Other David 19 Jun 2013, 10:13am

      My guess is that in two years time everyone will have forgotten about this. McKellen and Jacobi will keep their assured legacies.

  27. I think homophobia is less the issue, more the intolerably bad writing, but then again the acting was hardly subtle either. Did anyone tell them that although performed before an audience, it was actually being filmed so they
    could perhaps tone it down a tad. Most were guilty of appaling over acting, particularly Jacobi, with his flip flopping wrists and rising intonations. In that regard it was incredibly stereotypical and yes, I suppose, homophobic. Watching the series however, in Stuart and Freddie’s relationship with Violet and Ash, it was also misogynist and heterophobic, where they showed distate for anything outwith their sphere. There may be a crumb of salvation if they replace the writer and give pointers to the cast, although I suspect, despite some interesting work from McKellan, it’s a goner.

    1. GulliverUK 18 Jun 2013, 8:56pm

      Oh and Ben’s comment about this being progress for representation — if this stereotyped image is all we get, I’d rather remain invisible on TV. I’m afraid writing talent dried up in the last few years, but if you look to the MUCH younger generation on YouTube you’ll find a wealth of very positive portrays. Why not just do some documentaries and ask gay people how they feel about life, show their lives —- real lives. Talk about relationships and hopes and dreams, and coming out, etc. It’s time. Show them how unfair asylum and visas tear partners apart, show the real issues, the unfair pension rights. Show people dating. Tell people about our fears, like being refused a hotel room, or tenancy, or job. Talk about attitudes of the Church of England and Catholic church and how this affects us. Deal with the myths.

  28. GulliverUK 18 Jun 2013, 8:49pm

    It certainly made me laugh a few times, but appeared to be so stereotyped I thought I’d traveled back in a time-machine to 1970. We only needed John Inman to appear and it would have been complete. Cryer is absolutely right – something like The New Normal, or similar would have been positive – this just re-enforces stereotypes which aren’t even true – they are a caricature of what straight people think we’re like. Even the occasional gay film (of which I have purchased and viewed over 100) would have been more appreciated. Good effort by Sir Ian and Derek, but wrong format. It says a lot about ITV I’m afraid. The general public know we’re not like that. Hoping for so much, but got almost nothing from it.

    1. Oh don’t be so pious man; it made you laugh-that’s its remit and it passed.

      I’ve met a few Freddie and Stuarts and this programme actually portrayed them in a good light-loyal, faithful and caring.

      You want gay marriage-they had it.

      1. I too know a few Freddie and Stuarts and found the show hilarious when did we start taking ourselves so bloody seriously? Honestly there is so much real homophobia out there without inventing it because we are so pole faced.

  29. If Vicious was comedy then we owe John Inman one hell of an apology

  30. Wow what a bunch of joyless, uber-liberals we have on here. It was funny, and frankly accurate since I know couples like that.

    Whats funny is that on one hand you have the gays that think you are homophobic if you don’t like camp, and on the other side you have gays who think you are reinforcing stereotypes if you do.. You just cant win, and I bet half those that hated it are it.

    Now you might not like Vicious, that’s your choice, but calling it homophobic is just plain idiotic.

    1. As with JD above, I often enjoy and agree with your contributions Rovex, but here I’m not on your wavelength.

      If we’re to speak of personal experience, then I’m happy to say I don’t know any couples like that – and I know a number of older (60+) people.

      Just out of interest, if the main roles had been taken by two actors who were well-known not to be gay, would you have still thought it not homophobic to perpetuate the stale and outdated stereotypes (IMO) Vicious did?

      1. colonelkira 18 Jun 2013, 11:25pm

        Just because you don’t know anybody like that does not change the fact that they exist?

        How are we supposed to take such an insipid argument seriously?

        1. de Villiers 18 Jun 2013, 11:44pm

          How are we supposed to take you seriously.

        2. About as seriously as you should take Rovex’s observation “since I know couples like that”, which is what I was responding to.

    2. colonelkira 18 Jun 2013, 11:22pm

      Bravo Rovex. You have hit the nail right on the head. Why people just can’t see that representing a true demographic of people who actually exist is beyond me?

      How can something be a negative portrayal of something if there are those of us who are exactly like the characters?

    3. Spanner1960 19 Jun 2013, 4:25pm

      I wonder if you would have said the same had it been played by two straight actors?

  31. Being a huge fan of Sir D & Sir I, and admiring the work of Ms De La Tour and Rheon, I was hugely excited, especially as i loved Will & Grace, two of whose writers created this.
    So the first episode made me want to weep, it was so awful. The script was poor, direction was lacklustre (Ash knew exactly where the toilet was, despite never having set foot in the place before), and Jacobi’s acting was so far over the top, I wanted to take back his knighthood.
    With tighter direction, a less filmed-in-a-provincial-theatre feel, and a better script which featured banter, not barbs, this might have been a success. Certainly i grew to hate it less as it went on!

    1. Apologies for lower case “I”, my keyboard is aging!

  32. colonelkira 18 Jun 2013, 11:35pm

    All you you naysayers should be ashamed of yourselves.

    You argue that we are a diverse group of people, then denigrate a particular section of our community being portrayed the way they are.

    You are all actually far worse, and much more dangerous to our community than any right wing nutjob.

    Your lack of sensitivity and mass hysteria based hypocrisy is truly scary and very sad.

    1. It is precisely because we are a diverse group of people that Vicious was such a mistake. What you have is a programme featuring two gay characters behaving in a bitchy way towards each other – a stereotype in other words. Don’t forget that ITV originally put it about that the series was to be called Vicious Old Queens.

      I rest my case.

      1. What a load of claptrap, i know several Stuart and Freddies, and Ian and Derek got it spot on. 2 of my closest friends are just like them, they have been together for 35 years and love one another deeply but the insults to one another fly thick and fast.

  33. It was homophobic, however you may try to pretend otherwise; Was it written by a Ukip councillor by any chance?

    1. No a gay guy called Gary Janetti, who was the executive producer of Will & Grace. And it was by no means homophobic, contrived and not PC perhaps but in no way is it homophobic.

  34. It’s not homphobic – it’s just crap.

    1. William Earl 19 Jun 2013, 2:35am

      Although I admire the two lead actors, I had reservations about this series as soon as I heard it was in production. My fears have been confirmed.

      The point is not that it is homophobic – it manifestly isn’t – but that it might fuel homophobia by perpetuating certain gay stereotypes. Surely there are creative minds somewhere who can take us beyond Julian and Sandy of Radio 4s Round the Horne, laudable though the series was in its pioneering depiction of gay characters?

    2. I could only watch a little of it as it was so
      cringe-making and dreadful, I’m so sad that Ian & Derek agreed to do this.

  35. JackAlison 19 Jun 2013, 3:27am

    I watched it recently. 10minutes in was more than enuff!! It was so embarassing and degrading to have this sort of stereotype as comedy in the 21st century. and the canned laughter was just appalling. there were discernable nano seconds where both these actors were as it appeared timing their lines with the fake laughter. this program reinforces every stereotype about bitchiness and self loathing. it made my skin crawl to watch the little i saw apart from the straight jacketed acting that both these men were press ganged into to get a laugh.if this is ‘having arrived’ where gay is now mainstreamed im sorry because being gay and the rich diversity of the gay community is a helluva lot more than this represents.

    1. What you guys fail to understand is this:

      the whole show was a huge huge boost for the cause of legal recognition of gay partnerships.

      Stuart and Freddie been together 49 years. Loved and lived together all that time-no different to the couple next door.

      A REAL gay marriage portrayed on screen for you.
      And people like this DO exist.

      It persuaded a friend of mine that we should at least have civil partnerships; before that they were dead against ANY legal recognition.

      1. sorry
        its no better than
        Catherine Tates character’s
        Derek Fay and Leonard Mincing
        and add a dash of John Inman from “are u being served”
        Give me vintage ‘Queer as folk’ anytime

        1. I am sorry JackAlison but what utter bollocks, Although it was no Queer As Folk, which i also loved (the US one more than the UK one) it was no homophobic, and i loved those others you mentioned too.

          1. JackAlison 25 Jun 2013, 2:36pm

            Im happy 2 hear reasons with facts
            not ur flavorite likes and dislikes ‘just because u say so’
            ‘utter bollocks’ is just redneck no opinion
            doesnt cut it

  36. Vicious was an embarrassment to the gay community. It might have worked with a younger couple but we found no humour in it whatsoever.
    Mr. Cryer’s comments could not have been more true.
    Surely the TV channels can come up with something more witty and humorous in this day and age.

    1. Gay ‘community’? So on one hand this programme is wrong as it stereotypes gay people who are supposedly just like Heterosexual people, yet you claim there is a gay ‘community’/

      Make up your mind. Gay people are either no different from straights-in which case there is no ‘gay community’ or they are different and this programme has truth in it (which it does, because while not ALL gay people are like this, some are)

      1. I totally agree Sam, when did we all start to take ourselves so bloody seriously. And Barry Cryer has not been relevant in decades.

  37. I have to wonder what we would do without stereotypes in comedy. The fact is that most sitcoms play on one kind of stereotype or another. The over-bearing parent, the over-achieving child, the pedant in the workplace; the list is endless.

    Even apparently PC sitcoms like “The New Normal” includes images of stereotypical gay men with the camp TV-show producer and the straight-acting and nerdy doctor.

    “Vicious” was not the best sitcom on the box, but it wasn’t the worst and it certainly wasn’t homophobic. What’s homophobic about having a gay couple as the central characters, loved and accepted by all their friends and their new neighbour. It did draw parallels with “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” insofar as the central characters appeared to lambaste each other despite their obvious reliance on and love for each other. Yes, some of the jokes did wear thin rather quickly, but it was 25mins where gay men were the stars and not the token gays!

  38. Spanner1960 19 Jun 2013, 4:28pm

    I think had this show been made with two straight actors instead of McKellen and Jacobi, the likes of Summerskill would be screaming “Stereotyped homophobia!!” from the rooftops.

    It’s only the fact he wants to be associated with a couple of famous luvvies that he is coming out with this sanctimonious drivel.

    Dear Barry is truly a national treasure, and a genuinely funny one at that and I only wish it had been him that had written a vehicle for Ian and Derek instead, and we could have had a few belly laughs instead of this awful b|tchfest.

    1. No it’s not homophobia at all. It may be crass sitcom comedy in the style of 1970s type and that’s not to everybody’s taste, however, it’s no different from ‘George and Mildred’ in that it has two characters who bitch but love each other deep down.

      Just goes to show how less homophobic the UK is because now George and Mildred are Stuart and Freddie. Think about it: there’s no nudge,nudge, wink, wink- Stuart and Freddie are open about their sexuality. No double entendres in that regard.

      The trouble is that sitcoms of this nature won’t have couples who are loving all the time. There’s no mileage in that from a humour viewpoint. The comedy comes from the antagonism. ‘Vicious’, in its own way, is actually very non-homophobic.

      OK, people may diss it as old-fashioned comedy-fair enough, but in no way is it homophobic. The couple are open, in a long-term relationship, their friends love them.

      1. Fair point about other (ancient) sitcoms like George and Mildred, but the finest sitcoms have the main characters balanced by foils (like Marty and Daphne in Frasier): is there a single positive foil to the vicious couple in Vicious (I don’t count the alcoholic woman friend) other than the dumb-but-cute man they letch over who, of course, isn’t gay? (I couldn’t bear to watch more than the first appalling episode, so I will have to accept others’ views that the series did actually improve.)

        1. I can’t think of the foil in this. But, you know, I agree with you if you see it was an old-fashioned sitcom-it was. But I enjoyed it all the same. I love Jacobi (oh why is this gorgeous man gay?! Such a waste to us females ;) Not fair lol)

          But it really was not homophobic at all. In fact, it could be seen as an educational film pro-same sex marriage.

          It portrayed two men who were obviously loving of each other and been together a long time. You know I doubt it was MEANT to inform but anybody who was unsure of homosexuality would think, ‘Oh they’re really no different to my mother and father, are they?’

          As for having normal characters, well normal characters-gay or straight -aren’t usually funny viewing, are they? Yes it could have been about two straight-acting gay guys, but that would have been the same as two normal heterosexuals.

          It DID very much improve and the final episode was particularly touching.

          1. OK Sam, thanks for your reply. I will take your word for it that the series improved. However, I do still see it as a tragically wasted opportunity to subvert, rather than reinforce, stereotypes. And when you compare it to, say, the best series of Frasier, with the wonderfully deft writing that characterised them, it really didn’t seem very worthwhile.

  39. David Hancock 25 Jun 2013, 9:48am

    I wouldn’t call it homophobic; but I wouldn’t call it good either.

    In fairness I persevered with it because of the stellar cast; but I think it was about episode 4 before I could honestly say I started getting into it.

    I’d like to see a second series as it was just starting to improve toward the end and it would be nice to see how it developed, but it certainly didn’t capture the imagination.

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