sat 15/06/2024

Vexed, Series 2, BBC Two | reviews, news & interviews

Vexed, Series 2, BBC Two

Vexed, Series 2, BBC Two

Second outing for clueless cop comedy on the schedulers' naughty step

Vexed questioner: Toby Stephens' new partner is Miranda Raison

It’s not usually a good sign when the second series takes two years to materialise. Vexed , a comedy drama with corpses, took its first bow a couple of years ago. It offered Toby Stephens as DI Jack Armstrong, a detective from the old school who’s rather more mouth than trousers. There can’t have been much confidence in it back then: August is the cruellest month for fresh television content when the target audience is generally off on its hols.

The drama department may have eventually given it this second run around the paddock, but the schedulers continue to lack confidence in the finished product. This time round Vexed has been dumped in the grimmest of graveyard slots: on BBC Two in August during the Olympics, on the day they will have absolutely known – because planning meticulously ahead is what schedulers do – that Wiggo was going for gold and all eyes would be elsewhere. Hey, at least they didn’t schedule it opposite the Opening Ceremony.

Jack, being clueless in the clues department, didn’t help

Not much has changed in the two years since Vexed last approached the nation’s ribs armed with tickle sticks. Stephens plays against the braggardly type he embodied as a younger actor, a beta male who sees himself as alpha unless there are females in the room. The female in series one was his partner in crime-solving Lucy Punch. However she seems to have been busy filing her nails when the call came to do another series and now Jack has a new sidekick. He was hoping for a bloke and even bet on it.

Miranda Raison’s George is of course upright and jolly good at her job. Jack still isn’t, being quite bafflingly dim. Between them they had to track down the murderer of a corpse found in the boot of a showroom sports car. Various culprits paraded before the judges but we needn’t treat ourselves to a plot summary here. They were all played by the type of actors off whom you vaguely suspect you once bought a used car. After a long old hour one of them was correctly identified as a murderer by George. Jack, being clueless in the clues department, didn’t help.

There are five more episodes of this, which will see the nation through to the return of the real dramas the BBC are heavily trailing to everyone watching the actual entertainment over on BBC One. In the mean time, will the target audience of Vexed please make themselves known to the authorities? There’s a meeting for you in the phone box outside TV Centre same time next week. To think the BBC cancelled Zen and recommissioned this.

Not much has changed in the two years since Vexed last approached the nation’s ribs armed with tickle sticks

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Great show deserves a second chance and a little investigative journalism (you know, looking on Wikipedia) would have informed that it took so long for the second series to appear because the production company went into administration, nothing to do with confidence in the show. Lucy Punch is absent because in the time between show she had taken a role in a US drama and was unavailable to continue. Roll on series 3... It's about time we had some light hearted material on tv to make up for the relentless grim from soaps, reality shows and everything in between. Anyone looking for a hard hitting cop show would know from the trailer they won't find it here. That little button on your tv remote is to switch over... Don't like don't watch. Simple.

Jasper, I disagreed with you on Series 1. I felt it was superb, dark comedy stuff. Well written and very funny. Was delighted (and extremely surprised) to see it back on our screens, but yesterday's episode wasn't good. I've just watched it again and it got even worse, which I'm very surprised about because it was co-written by the chap who wrote the first series. You're wrong about Toby Stephens' character. He's not stupid or dim - he just doesn't care. 5 more episodes to go. If there are even 3 good episodes, I'll be happy.

I don't know (or indeed care) who you are but you need a sense-of-humour transplant as yours has clearly failed. Just because you don't get it, there's no need to slag it off. Some of us were gutted when the first series ended abruptly as episode 3. Stunned even. Thankfully someone at the BBC has the cahoonas to make a program that's not just the same as all the other rubbish (soap/reality/total wipeout)

I have to agree with Carl: some of the critics seem to have missed the word 'spoof' in the pregramme description. Last night's episode where Jack and George are tranferred to Missing Persons had me laughing to the extent tears came to my eyes. Roll on next week (I left my teens decades ago and studied English Literature at A level). The world is too big and varied for narrow minds, I believe.

Wow! Someone actually finds it funny. I had to watch two episodes of the first series as the first one I saw was so bad I thought it must have just been a duffer. The problem I found was not so much a humour issue, I can see what they're trying to do, but the totally bizarre lack of place and time killed of my ability to buy in to the show enough to find it funny. The place is kind of like London but not like real London and it's kind of like 2012 but the next minute it's 1973, oh no it's 1988, then it's the mid-nineties and the show just isn't bonkers enough to carry-off that lack of fit. Ok it's a different genre but compared to the almost pitch perfect time and place of something like Sherlock (with equally strange characters and plot-lines) vexed comes up as seriously wanting.

Frankly, my wife and I were delighted to see a second series was to be broadcast: these days it's so refreshing to see the BBC willing to produce something that's non-PC. I should point out that I'm a great fan of 'Life on Mars' and Ashes To Ashes'. The second episode of series 2 of 'Vexed' had me laughing out loud, and the Olympics invasion of programming makes me hope we can watch this episode again on the Vision+ box tonight.

And here's another one....Well Jasper, what a smug, dismissive and strangely self-aggrandising appraisal. I am (yet another) artsdesk subscriber who finds himself an enthusiastic member of Vexed's target audience. Alongside 'Episodes' and 'TwentyTwelve', 'Vexed' is one of the few British-produced comedies that isn't patronising, folksy or so eager-to-please it hurts (take note Sky 1, in your bid to out-Beeb Auntie herself) I also find Miranda Raison even better in the role as DI Jack Armstrong's detective partner. She is as vexed as we are that his character is as amusing and compelling as he is truly ghastly. In the real world, many of us know people a little like Armstrong and are not always poorer in that. Maybe because we have a sense of humour...

Nick, we agree! Good show!

I did enjoy the first series, and was pleasantly suprised to see a second series. One of the main reasons I enjoyed the first series was the relationship between the two main characters, so I was a little put off by a change in female lead, but still wanted to give it a go. The first episode made me cringe too many times though, I made me question if it was the same show. I will watch episode two, but I'm not holding my breath.

Series 2 is getting better & better. While the first episode had to set the scene, the second and third have been utterly brilliant. The charcters are evolving together superbly, it has some truly classic one-liners coming out. Some of the scripting in episode 2 was fantastic, the whole program is generally very good light entertainment. Having recorded the second eposide we sat and watched it last night, enjoyed it so much that we went straight into episode 3. Toby Stevens is doing a great job in the lead role and is really enjoyable to watch. I hope the next 3 are as good as the last 2 episodes, perhaps it will then get some more prime time recognition.

Four episodes into the second series and I'm really enjoying the chemistry between the two leads. I find the show genuinely funny - and I'm not easily pleased by comedy on TV. Thought I'd dip into Series One this evening, not having seen it previously. And far worse it proved to be, the script clunkier, the acting generally clumsy and the female sidekick simply awful. No, Stephens didn't get it right the first time around, but seems to have added a lighter touch to his performance in this latest outing. Raison is wonderful. Then the scripts are not by the same person, those used giving the show the extra spark it needed.

Absolutley loved Vexed. Mr Stephens and Ms Raison portray some brilliant characters in Jack and George. And the storylines are great. Also Ronny Juhitti as Nas and the man who.plays Tony, along with George's dad make up an excelent cast. Bring on series 3!

As I live in Sweden it is not possible for me to see the series from BBC at TV. I have to wait until they will be produced on DVD. I have already bought serie 1 and i liked it very much, Now I am waiting for serie 2.

I loved season one, but the powers that be must have been snoozing if they let Lucy get away !! Vexed is garbage without her !!

I found this show on Tubi. LOVE IT!  I don't over think it.  The series entertains me, makes me laugh.  It's a shame the show stopped at season two. 

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