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Vexed 2.1

TV episode review: Vexed (series 2, episode 1), directed by Ian Fitzgibbon

When I saw “Vexed” in the TV listings recently, I thought it was a re-run, and the info-button didn’t say it was new, so I put it at the back of my mind and forgot all about it. Then I went on the BBC iPlayer for something else, and was met by the words “Series 2”. Heeeeey! Why did no one tell me that before?! It’s true – the quirky murder mystery show is back after a two-year hiatus. Huzzah!

I don’t remember how the previous series ended, but DI Jack Armstrong (Toby Stephens) has got a new partner – again. Turns out to be DI Georgina Dixon (Miranda Raison). He likes old cars going at a moderate pace, she likes modern cars driven like she’s in a car chase and is very business-minded.

Along with Jack, restauranteur Tony (Roger Griffiths) and lab geek Naz (Ronny Jhutti) are also back. As are, of course, the murder victims. In the first episode, it’s a car salesman found in the boot of a used car. The new partners try to suss out who dunnit, while at the same time trying to dodge ruthlessly flirty car sellers (Eleanor Matsuura), botoxed ladies (Emma Davies), talkative bosses (Richard Lumsden) and disgruntled dads (Christopher Fulford).

Also starring Mark Huberman, Macauley Keeper and Amy Kirwan.

I really enjoyed the first three-part series of Vexed and hoped it would come back, but there didn’t seem to be any word of it, so eventually I thought it was just a one-off and didn’t think much of it. Imagine the joy when I discovered it was back – and in twice as many episodes!

The first episode of series two, though, is slightly disappointing. It’s still good, don’t get me wrong, and the humour is still there, but it doesn’t feel quite as … bonkers. The preview for episode two seems more like it, though, so hopefully it picks up.

Miranda Raison has replaced Lucy Punch (who was busy on another project) as Jack’s partner, and she’s an entirely different character. She’s driven, work-focused, smarter than most and a great investigator. She also knows a thing or two about cars and doesn’t have a beard. She also doesn’t seem to have a partner at home that she keeps causing horrendous injuries to by accident, but it’ll be interesting to find out more about her.

Jack is his old self, if perhaps somewhat more reserved than I remember him. His reactions to the sex-pushy car seller are priceless, and instead of saying “helloooooo nurse!” he’s rather trying to run the other way. Unexpected, and funny.

Then there’s the whole issue of “yay, Toby Stephens is back on the telly!” which is always a plus. Dang it, sir, you look splendid.

The first episode of series two of Vexed has left me a little undecided, but at the time of writing, I’ve only seen episode one, and there’s another two to go before I’m up to date. It’s good, but is it as good as last time? We’ll wait and see.

4 out of 5 bells.

The next episode (2.4) is on BBC Two this Wednesday at 21:00/9pm. Catch up on the first three episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

12 thoughts on “Vexed 2.1

  1. Series 1 was brilliant and series 2 is now finding its feet. Lucy Punch had the advantage of a mad marriage for the extra gags whereas Miranda Raison has her father as a foil and his role and lines are not as good. Raison has now grown the role to suit her and the change has worked well. The last episode was the best so far and I hope it runs and runs. Toby Stephens is great!

    1. Agreed. It seems to get better and better, and the play on Masterchef was great. Here’s to hoping there will be a series three! 😀

  2. The critics were extremely rude about this second series as I recall but this highly-educated, sophisticated, discerning viewer ha ha is enjoying every single minute of it.

    Keep it up! (Whoops).

    John B

    1. That’s the thing. It might not be “all intellectual, like” or anything like that, but it’s ENTERTAINING. And as entertainment, it’s great fun. Not everything has to have some kind of profound meaning in order to be appreciated. 🙂

  3. The account of Bunuel’s martini in todays “Vexed” was terribly wrong. The point of his martini recipe was to stress how little vermouth should be in it. The glass should be struck by a ray of light that has passed through vermouth. Makes much more sense, ¿no?

  4. Just brilliant, I am enjoying this as much as I ejoyed series 1, was sad that only got three episods. If I like something it’s usually as sure sign it will not get another series but happy to see it back and it just makes me laugh and as you say Traxy, entertaining.

  5. This programme is brilliant my eyes stream with tears where I am laughing so much the actors are fantastic, keep this programme coming please, well done to the writers, truly one of the greatest programmes I have ever watched. Thank you for bringing laughter in to my life. Great work to all involved with this fantastic programme. I cannot wait for a new series. I watched the first series and thought it was great and the 2nd series was even better. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

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