Vicious Review: “Wedding”

photo credit: video.pbs.org

photo credit: video.pbs.org

Here’s my review of Vicious season two finale “Wedding.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.

I can’t think of a better way to end this wacky season of Vicious than how they did it in “Wedding.” We had an abundance of classic sitcom tropes, a lot of funny lines, and even a few well-deserved heartfelt moments. There was nothing particularly surprising in the plot, nothing that broke the mold or stepped out of the box. Usually I would say that’s not a good thing, but this time I think it’s perfectly fine.

After shaking up all the relationship dynamics in the previous episode, it’s really like a bit of fresh air now that everything has calmed down and gone back to the way they were. In fact, they even refer back all the way to season one by opening the episode with Stuart talking to his mother like he did in all the episodes of the previous season. It’s interesting to shake things up for a while, make the audience feel a tiny bit uncomfortable, before going back to the way things were. In sitcoms which thrive on a standard status quo for each episode, returning to previous normalcy is like a sigh of relief. It’s a chance for the audience to recover from what happened before. Freddie and Stuart are still in love and getting married, so the audience feels like everything is okay again. It’s a (mostly) lighthearted episode for a lighthearted occasion.

Another reason I don’t mind the predictability and reliance on standard sitcom elements (such as the cake getting destroyed, Freddie rushing them through the vows, Violet being a horrible matron of honor, etc) is because it treats the whole wedding as completely normal. Even though gay marriage is becoming legal in more and more places, there are still many people who don’t accept it yet. Therefore, I think it’s important to treat a wedding between two gay men the same as any “traditional” one. So it’s totally fine to make the same jokes you’d make in a sitcom that would feature a tradition wedding ceremony. Like I’ve said before, Vicious tends to make more jokes about the main characters being old instead of being gay. And when there are jokes based on their sexual orientation, it’s just for fun like any other joke on the show. It’s not mean-spirited or derogatory (which is funnily ironic for a show called “Vicious”)

And speaking of jokes, I laughed a lot during this episode. The interactions between all the characters were comfortable which made their snarky remarks and one-liners to each other even more fun. A funny example was Stuart lying to Mason about the cake being paid for and Mason actually believing it. And, of course, Violet would wear white—excuse me, I mean cream—to a wedding where she wasn’t the bride. The running gags were very fun as well. Even if smashing the cake in Penelope’s face was predictable every time, I still laughed a lot. Sometimes good old-fashioned physical humor is good enough for a laugh.

But I think what really elevated this episode were the emotional moments. You can tell how much Freddie and Stuart were looking forward to the wedding after fifty years of being together. Those scenes were very sweet. If anyone had doubts about the couple’s feelings for each other before, they should see how genuine they are in this episode. They even compliment how nice they look dressed up instead of insulting each other. That was a shock!

And the final scene was really one of the best of the season. It was simple: just the two of them talking about how nice it was now that they are “husbands” while they enjoy some cake. But then Stuart breaks down as he mourns the loss of his mother and Freddie comforts him. This is the kind of moment we don’t usually get to see on this show. We mostly have to assume and infer that there is some deeper part of their relationship past the snarky insults we usually get to see. I’m glad that we were finally shown one example of that even if it came as a result of something very sad. It was a good wrap-up to a season where the characters have grown and expanded outward more than ever.

Vicious Observations

  • The best joke in the episode was Freddie briefly objecting to a woman performing the ceremony because that would be “non-traditional.” Of course, this joke was immediately ruined by Stuart saying out loud what everyone was thinking. Over-explaining a joke is the easiest way to negate the funniness. But anyway, I still laughed entirely too much at the first part.
  • Did I miss previous mentions that Mason is Freddie’s brother or was that new information? Either way, that finally explains why Mason keeps hanging out with them like he’s obligated to.
  • I liked Freddie, Stuart, and Violet saying they’d never been to a gay wedding before and Ash just casually saying “I have. They’re tons of fun.”
  • The only thing I didn’t really enjoy was when Stuart’s mom died and suddenly it was all Weekend at Bernie’s.
  • So that’s a wrap for season 2! I have no clue whether it’s been renewed for another one, but I certainly hope so. What was your favorite moment of the season? Mine was basically any time Penelope was there. (But my actual favorite moment was from the first episode when Violet pulls the vodka bottle out of her purse and then says she doesn’t want to seem “uncouth.”)
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