Vexed Review: Worrying…

August 13, 2010 by  
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VEXED: Sunday 15th August, BBC2, 9pm ALERT ME

Conventional wisdom says that making a good TV comedy about a couple of detectives hunting a serial killer is a very difficult thing to do. Vexed not only proves that theory utterly correct, but is so poor that it will probably be several decades before some other brave writers take on the challenge. Like a neglectful petroleum giant, this programme has dumped all over a promising genre.

Despite this, you have to feel a bit sorry for Toby Stephens and Lucy Punch as they struggle under the weight of a sub-standard script totally lacking in style and imagination. Almost immediately it becomes impossible to forget that you are watching actors saying lines in a TV studio, rather than following a pair of police officers on a man-hunt.

The two shallow characters the unfortunate actors in question are trying to play are Jack Armstrong and Kate Bishop, a pair of detectives who pick out furniture patterns at crime scenes and crack jokes about ginger pussycats (we are talking some seriously lowbrow humour here..) In this first episode, the outrageously unsensitive and rather workshy duo are on the trail of a serial killer who is knocking off lonely, depressed Bridget Jones-type individuals.

Unfortunately the whole thing is a clunky and unsubtle mess with absolutely no originality or wit. At one stage I was wondering how Vexed had slipped through the net to receive a prime-time Sunday night slot (arguably the most prestigious of the week) on a flagship BBC channel. Over the last few weeks, viewers have been asking why the corporation only commisioned three episodes of Sherlock. When you watch Vexed (which has been given a similar run) the answer becomes obvious. It could have been s**t.

Ray says:

Have to agree with the other comments the review like some other reviews are too pompous by far. I found it wholly amusing and showing the potential to become more so as the characters develop. Waiting for the next episodes. More of this and dramas instead of reality/celebrity/cheap TV please.

Photo says:

What a pompous review.

Vexed was one of the most fresh and funny programmes to appear on the BBC in a couple of decades. We absolutely adored its political incorrect humour, totally brilliant.

Please produce more of this series BBC.

jerry m says:

I think the problem this reviewer had, was that they thought they were watching a crime drama, its brilliant!

Shonz says:

I thought this programme was really original, hilariously funny and very gripping. It was the best TV I´ve seen in a long time.

Chris says:

This show is crass, insensitive, politically incorrect, sexist, rude, simple, sometimes purile… fantastic, hilarious, enjoyable, entertaining, clever, well acted and written. Its a brass eye kind of thing; quit getting offended, come down from your high horse and let out the inner snigger… Loved it. Shame ‘high brow’ reviews such as this one will probably seal its fate.

Kelly says:

Don’t think me pompous, but I agree with the review. I really wanted to like this show because I have a bit if a crush on Toby Stephens, but it was just bad. It tried too hard to be funny and dark, but was neither.

James says:

Ignore the review. Pomp pomp pomp. Watched both episodes on iplayer after my mother told me about the show. Loved it! Got up the next morning and watched them again with my brother!

danny says:

I have to say I agree with most of this review. Maybe I’m also a bit pompous. Lol! The programme is pretty predictable and unfunny and some of the gags aer unbelievably banal as well. Very surprised by all the postive comments here!!!

Pez says:

Very funny. I hope this gets a full series ( and Sherlock too ). Predictable in places, but laugh out loud in others. Some of these TV reviewers are so up themselves.

Random Person says:

Cant understand this review, there were a few bits that needed polishing but overall an excellent program. One of the most original things i’ve seen in a long time. Hope we have at least another series of it!

coocoo ca choo says:

Hard to believe the reviewer was watching the same show. To my mind, the best and most entertaining comedy the beeb has pumped out in a good long while.

Norm says:

Politically incorrect, low brow and cheesy. Bloody hilarious. Loved it, shame there’s only two more episodes.

the reviewer says:

I agree- don’t be put off by this review- this surreal-stye comedy is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Though the jokes may appear tranpsarent to some, others will burst out laughing at what may seem like an insensitive remark. Though on the surface the script doesn’t seem to have any depth, the laughs come from the characters themselves, rather than the lines they deliver. A witty comedy made complete by the great performances from Stephens and punch. (if you like the IT Crowd, this is for you)

Marc Welby says:

Pompous sums up the review quite nicely. I’m with Edmund. Seriously low brow, but hilarious. My partner and I were in stitches…. thank god we’ve not succumbed to the curse of pseudo-intellectualism.

Edmund Simpson says:

Oh dear… I confess I found it puerile, tasteless and shameless at times, and consequently hysterically funny. Best comedy I’ve seen for a long while – even reminded of that great classic “Green Wing” at times.
And the two main protagonists work brilliantly together.
Don’t be put off by this rather stuffy and pompous review.