Over two years have passed since the first series of spoof police drama Vexed and finally it’s back, although minus original female lead Lucy Punch (now found starring in movie, The Wedding Video).
Unfortunately though she’s not the only thing that Vexed is missing. It would seem that she has taken all the top quality scripts with her.
I’ve got to admit that it’s been so long that I don’t remember a great deal about Series 1, other than the fact that Toby Stephens as DI Jack Armstrong reminded me oddly of Kenneth Branagh’s Benedick in Much Ado and that it made me laugh a lot so Mum and I would look forward to it weekly. But now the laughs are rather few and far between.
Thanks to its brilliant stars, Stephens and Miranda Raison as detective Georgina Dixon – it must be said that the drop in the standard of the show is certainly not down to her – the programme remains very watchable. But knowing the producers have winning characters ready made and these two naturally comical actors on board and are wasting them makes the whole thing even more vexing.
My main issue with the scripts is their reliance on constantly unfunny sexual jokes and innuendo to get cheap laughs. I’m not offended by it and I realise a bit of naughty banter is only natural between male and female work colleagues but after a while its relentlessness starts to get a bit embarrassing and predictable.
Jack’s suspicion that every victim or suspect’s crime/demise is somehow related to their sexual orientation is bordering on obsessive. On one occasion he was proved right but in the previous episode he was determined the victim was gay based on no solid evidence whatsoever. He was totally wrong. If he mentions gays or lesbians again this week I will be bored.
In addition some more exciting storylines might be nice. Actually this isn’t a major issue but the investigation last week revealing the body in the river got there by the poor man reversing his car into the water by accident wasn’t the most thrilling of resolutions.
Hopefully this series will pick up a bit but for Series 3 (if there is one) writers, take note: more sophisticated humour please! I don’t want to be vexed again.
To catch up on the latest episode watch it on BBC iPlayer