Welcome to Weekend Binge. Every Friday we’ll bring you an over the top title designed to keep you from going too crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.
The Screecher: Vicious
Maybe that’s all the love we had for our recommendation of Derek Jacobi’s work in I, Claudius. Perhaps this is the enthusiasm we saw for Ian McKellen in Gods and Monsters. Either way, we can never get enough of these two great gay actors, so why not watch a show that features them as a slutty gay couple?
Vicious stars McKellen and Jacobi as Freddie & Stuart, a gay couple who have been together for just under 50 years. Freddie still dreams of becoming a great actor… even if he plays Downton Abbey a bit. Stuart has retired from his job at a bar, and now sits down in their apartment to care for their also elderly dog and to fight the sour slurs against Freddie. When a handsome young man named Ash (Iwan Rheon) moves into the upstairs apartment, Freddie and Stuart find their interest piqued. Soon, however, the older couple take on the role of surrogate parents for Ash, pushing him to become a decent adult.
McKellen and Jacobi attended the same school as the teenagers. In an interview with James Lipton, McKellen also revealed that he fell hopelessly in love with Jacobi at the time. Little did he know that Jacobi had fallen in love with him as well and, to quote Sir Ian, they “never did anything about it”.
We hope they have since corrected this oversight. If nothing else, Vicious serves as a sort of theatrical consumption of their long-standing friendship, and has no shortage of wicked one-liners to boot. McKellen and Jacobi again earn their status as two of the show’s greatest actors in the world, in that they play moments of wide and zinger comedy as well as quieter moments that give both characters their humanity and show the true love between the couple.
Snappy, hilarious and at times quite emotional, Vicious somehow makes us happy that we’re single… and makes us fall for the day we find a man to spend half a century with. If he’s as cool as McKellen or Jacobi, we’ll be very happy.
Streams on Tubi, Amazon, YouTube and iTunes.